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The Hunt for the Wild Dogs


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madaboutcheetah

@@xcrunch - Have you seen the documentary - "Botswana: Lion Brotherhood" ? ...... It features the Marsh Boys - filmed between Kwara and Xaxanaka camp in Moremi.

 

Sounds like an awesome sighting - FYI - the Marsh Boys supposedly kicked off the magnificent Seven. Alas, I've only seen them on TV. :)

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Got to Lebala in time to refresh ourselves before going on a drive. Bates was our Guide and Mr. Moore was our tracker. He told us that he and Hobbs (who is at Lagoon) had searched out on foot and fo

Day 2 Began with us arriving at Little Kwara by 12.30 p.m. Just enough time to have brunch and get settled before going on our first drive. The cook/chef at Little Kwara is absolutely the best tha

The afternoon drive was not as successful as the previous two. We tried to refind the leopard but was unable to do so. I so much would have liked some better pictures than the ones I had gotten. Af

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xcrunch

@@xcrunch - Have you seen the documentary - "Botswana: Lion Brotherhood" ? ...... It features the Marsh Boys - filmed between Kwara and Xaxanaka camp in Moremi.

 

Sounds like an awesome sighting - FYI - the Marsh Boys supposedly kicked off the magnificent Seven. Alas, I've only seen them on TV. :)

I haven't but I will definitely be looking for it now!! Thanks for the Tip!

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xcrunch

@@xcrunch - Have you seen the documentary - "Botswana: Lion Brotherhood" ? ...... It features the Marsh Boys - filmed between Kwara and Xaxanaka camp in Moremi.

 

Sounds like an awesome sighting - FYI - the Marsh Boys supposedly kicked off the magnificent Seven. Alas, I've only seen them on TV. :)

Just downloaded it, and looks fantastic. Our son and daughter in law, while at Shinde two years ago was able to see them. "Blonde" as the guides call him was the Alpha Male at the time, but now they say it has switched to the "Dark Skinned" or "Dark Mane". All very interesting indeed.

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madaboutcheetah

"Great News; Wild Dog Puppies at Kwara have been spotted at the den opening. There are 18 adults looking after what appears to only be 3 puppies. The Den sight is about an hour and a half drive north west of camp and we are expecting spectacular sightings this month. Watch this space for more details."

 

From today's facebook post from Kwando ......

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optig

I can only hope that I see them when I go to Little Kwara in September. I have already seen wild dogs 16 times before,but I've never seen puppies.

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xcrunch

Day 4

After having the evening we had, the morning strategy was to continue where we had left off. The roaring had finally stopped around 4 a.m. but what had happened to the four male intruders and the “residents”.? All of us in the vehicle were like little kids having their first candy. Euphoria and giddy was an understatement as we made ourselves up to the Eastern part of the concession. Would we get a sighting of the famous Marsh boys? Our son had seen them while at Shinde two years ago, and they were so impressive as they laid on the road with their pride of 20. We were told that the Alpha role had been transferred from “Blondie” to one they call “Darked Skin”. Expectations and hope was high as this is also the area where they were seeing wild dogs. We searched and tracked all morning, with tracks pointing that both were in the area. No Marsh Boys, but they had been there. Their tracks are enormous, and impossible to miss. And none of the other lions we were seeking either. As we turned the corner we come across the wild dogs, relaxing in the morning sun. Some satisfaction for our morning drive.

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xcrunch

"Great News; Wild Dog Puppies at Kwara have been spotted at the den opening. There are 18 adults looking after what appears to only be 3 puppies. The Den sight is about an hour and a half drive north west of camp and we are expecting spectacular sightings this month. Watch this space for more details."

 

From today's facebook post from Kwando ......

This is fantastic News! We had only seen glimses of them while we were there, but at that time they did not know where the den was. They were supposed to track them on foot to find out, but were also worried that they might be on the Shinde Concession.

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xcrunch

Day 5

Today we were on to Lebala. One last peek at our favourite sightings. First was to the Cheetah cubs. Unfortunately, one of the four cubs was missing. Whatever happened we do not know, but she is now down to three. Then we came across a lion pride of 2 females and 5 cubs all around one to one and half years old. On the way to the airport we caught a glimpse of what we believed was a leopard kill which was abandoned for the jackel and hyena to fest upon. Get animal sightings at Kwara!

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xcrunch

Got to Lebala in time to refresh ourselves before going on a drive. Bates was our Guide and Mr. Moore was our tracker. He told us that he and Hobbs (who is at Lagoon) had searched out on foot and found the wild dog den which was actually not that far from the camp. It was two weeks later than last year and now had 18 dogs, as one female had disappeared. When we found them it was obvious they were searching for prey. We followed them for about a half an hour before cutting ahead about a half a mile. There we saw a family of warthogs wandering along. Did we pick the right direction for the dogs? The dogs then hit the crest of the hill and immediately noticed the warthogs. Everything then stood still, almost as if we were in a slow motion movie. Then in a flash the dogs were off and all went after one particular younger warthog. The mother attempted to defend her young but after a couple of the dogs started going after her decided to retreat to her hole which was nearby with the rest of her young.

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madaboutcheetah

How lucky! you had Mr.Moe tracking for you ....... Great sighting with the dogs. Interesting, that you say that you counted 18 dogs - the Kwando report from May says the pack was down to 16... So, obviously two of the dogs came back to re-join the pack! or perhaps they were just not re-united with the pack after a hunt and the guides got the wrong count.

 

Very interesting choice of den site - close to Lebala camp itself ....... Hopefully, the yearlings from last year's litter are good hunters. The Adult males in the pack are absolutely useless!!! ;)

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Marks

What a dog sequence! You've captured an especially good moment in the fourth photo.

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Tom Kellie

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about being in Africa that enhances your senses. We travel in our daily lives, ignoring most of the wondrous things around us and rushing to this function or that. Maybe it is because I am taking the time, but my sense of smell is awakened while we are in Africa. One of the most enjoyable things is the smell of Wild Sage in the air. It gives off this intoxicating aroma that relaxes you. Truly enjoyable!

 

~ @@xcrunch

 

What you've eloquently expressed is exactly what I feel!

I've never been able to put it into words as elegantly as you have.

The olfactory environment on safari is heightened, perhaps awakening dormant capacities.

Thank you for writing that!

Tom K.

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xcrunch

Thanks Tom. I really do feel that we can be awakened to get so much more out of life, if we allow ourselves the opportunity. Africa somehow awakens these senses and is a catalyst to us becoming aware of them.

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SafariChick

Poor baby warthog, but the dogs have to live too. Great sightings you had! Hobbs is now at Lagoon? I didn't know that!

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xcrunch

It was very interesting to see the wake up call from the Alpha Female, calling her troops to hunt. The Alpha Female comes out of the den and starts to lick each of the members of the group. As they begin to wake up each starts to defecate and squeals at such a high pitch that is very similar to a group of pigs being disturbed. This continues for several minutes before deciding on which direction to take for the hunt, never being the same as the last one. The group fans out with two members seemingly always protecting the rear.

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xcrunch

Day 6

It was absolutely impossible for me to imagine that any day could be any better than the previous one. Even as I write this report it is so vividly ingrained in my mind what we witnessed I will never forget about it. And the best part is that we were sharing it with family, as our son and daughter and law were with us. Couldn’t ask for anything more. As we did our drives for the day we came across many great sightings, from the lions going through there mating ritual (which lasts for two days every twenty minutes or so), to a journey of giraffe, to some great bird sightings. But we had to go back to the dogs in the afternoon. The dogs have an allure that one cannot explain, but is there none the less. We catch them again on a hunt. Our adrenaline is pumping as we follow them through some deep brush. Mr. Moe aka (Moore), is fantastic in tracking them to where they meet up with a group of buffalo. The Buffalo are two large a prey for them to pursue, and do not seem to be worried whatsoever as the dogs appeared on the crest of a hill. Then again in a flash they go after the buffalo, chasing them. Were we going to experience a kill again? After about 10 minutes of bothering them, it all ended abruptly, with one lone dog having a stare down with a lone zebra he had come across. He decided it was too much for him and the hunt ended

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madaboutcheetah

The females who remained in this particular pack from the old Lagoon pack (2013) when the Muvumbi males invaded the pack to cause the split, used to hunt buffalo regularly (smaller sized ones).

 

Phew! What a sunset!!!

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xcrunch

The females who remained in this particular pack from the old Lagoon pack (2013) when the Muvumbi males invaded the pack to cause the split, used to hunt buffalo regularly (smaller sized ones).

 

Phew! What a sunset!!!

That would have been an incredible sight. That explains why they went after them, with some of the pack remembering the old days....

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Marks

The dogs chasing through the dust kicked up by the buffalo make for a great photo.

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xcrunch

Day 7

Going to Lagoon today. But before we left we tried to squeeze out of the guides some of their most memorable moments with guests. One story happened recently on a drive with the wild dogs. A guide had three woman in their vehicle and were tracking the dogs. They came across them when they were about to make a kill from a group of impala. All of a sudden the guide heard a noise from behind them and he looked in that direction. But his guests had disappeared (later to be found under their seats), and what he and the tracker saw was one impala in the vehicle, saving himself from the possible looming doom. The guide then found his guests and told them that he would be getting the impala out of the vehicle and not to be concerned. He then heard a very weak voice from under the seat requesting that he drive off a distance to save the impala. After explaining that they do not interfere with nature’s course, he did comply and drove off some distance before getting the impala out. My personal favourite is an old story but still good. It was about the bush baby’s they put in your bed at night to keep you warm. One night the alarm goes off from one of the tents at about 11 p.m. When they arrive they find a excited gentleman who said that he had killed an animal in his bed with his pen knife. When they look at what it was – they found a hot water bottle!!

On the way to Lagoon we had some fantastic bird sightings. LBR’s, Storks, Eagles and Cranes. I am not a keen lover of birds, but you cannot help but enjoy them!

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madaboutcheetah

Those booked to be in Kwara this season - not good news to report I'm afraid ........ the Kwando FB page mentioned a Lion attack on the Kwara den and they are not sure any of the puppies survived (which were only 3 to begin with?) ......

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Atravelynn

You hunt for wild dogs and find cheetah cubs! The fact that the cheetah family went from 4 to 3 cubs during your visit proves how dynamic of a life-and-death environment the bush can be. Sad to wonder which one did not make it. That is some story about the elephants. How terrifying for both client and guide. Poor guy probably knew his stint would be finished as he was battling literally for his life with the bull elephant.

 

Great luck with the dogs. Love all the white tails. Speaking of life and death environments, Hari's post on the lions and the dog den may spell death this time for the dogs.

 

How wonderful you had this experience with your family.

 

Fabulous sunset.

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xcrunch

You hunt for wild dogs and find cheetah cubs! The fact that the cheetah family went from 4 to 3 cubs during your visit proves how dynamic of a life-and-death environment the bush can be. Sad to wonder which one did not make it. That is some story about the elephants. How terrifying for both client and guide. Poor guy probably knew his stint would be finished as he was battling literally for his life with the bull elephant.

 

Great luck with the dogs. Love all the white tails. Speaking of life and death environments, Hari's post on the lions and the dog den may spell death this time for the dogs.

 

How wonderful you had this experience with your family.

 

Fabulous sunset.

Really sad news about the dogs at Kwara. I can see that the "drama" the guides talked about when we were there continues with the lions. In reflection, you wonder why it has not happened at Lebala as well. We can only hope that the dogs don't decide to move to another location as having dogs at Kwara and Lebala is truly a blessing!

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We had a blast at LK last year...Lagoon was so so....

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xcrunch

We had a blast at LK last year...Lagoon was so so....

Couldn't agree with you more. Lagoon has a beautiful setting, but when we visited the animals were far more prevalent and in abundance in Lebala and Kwara. Little Kwara rocked!

Edited by xcrunch
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