I knew our ranger, Pierre, was excited when he took off at high speed down a small dusty road. There was a high level of chatter on the radio. Pierre told us that he wanted to keep what we were going to see a surprise but I could have sworn I heard him say 'cheetah' at one point over the radio.
Turns out I was mistaken in what I heard. We arrived on the scene of a so-fresh-it-was-still-steaming kill surrounded by a pack of seven African wild dogs. I was surprised (and slightly disappointed at first) but soon grew to appreciate the awesomeness and rarity of what we'd seen. Wild dogs are actually quite endangered and spotting them is rarer than seeing some of the Big 5. Seeing them make a kill is even more rare.
We also caught part of the action on film.
Here are some additional highlights from our rare sighting of African wild dogs.
Pierre was actually obsessed with wild dogs and tried to track them down at every opportunity. We actually ended up seeing them twice! In the second instance, their commotion had chased a leopard up a tree. We were watching our first leopard and really enjoying the experience when Pierre decided to take us in for a closer look at the wild dogs eating another kill thinking that the leopard would be up in the tree for a while. We drove to the kill and within 5 minutes the leopard had strutted down the tree and walked away. I wish we'd gotten to spend more time watching the leopard. As rare and as cool as wild dogs are when you have a choice between them and a leopard, the leopard trumps every time!