The pan at our Kanga camp in Mana Pools National Park is a favourite spot for predators to rendezvous as they lay and wait for opportunities to act upon their natural instincts in order for them to survive. Being a huge draw for most animals, especially in the dry season when precious water is scarce, it can unfortunately be perilous for prey species. Our newly released seasonal calendar can show you more about the dry winter seasons, and any others you might be wanting to know about. This waterhole is approached cautiously by many when thirst hits home, but some succumb to the burning dehydration and ignore standard safety procedures when the chance to drink water arises.
“We sat one afternoon watching the game coming and drinking at the pan in the Kanga Camp. A pride of 6 lions was amongst the last visitors and after quenching their thirst they scattered and planted themselves strategically around the pan. We all knew that a disaster was about to unfold. A pack of 20 wild dogs including 6 pups came through from the far end of the pan, all in a rather jovial mood to have their last drink of the day before they could go out on their evening hunt. Not heeding any safety measures, they walked themselves directly into the middle of this setup…
We could sense some excitement in the pride as prey drew closer. Within a split of a second, the lions were all over the dogs and all that was left was a whirlwind of dust and piercing screams from the dogs. The charge and kill took approximately fifty six seconds, and sadly, the dogs left two pups less, and without even drinking.... Nature’s ways!!!” - Bono Lunga (professional guide for African Bush Camps)
Although the result of this encounter was indeed saddening, as Bono says above, this is the way of nature and as responsible conservationists it is not appropriate to step in- as difficult as it is due to the fact that wild dog are listed as Endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species. We prefer to let the life in whose territory we are visitors, play out naturally.
With this in mind, all of us at African Bush Camps are doing our utmost to protect and save what we have left of the wild dog in Africa, and we will go to all extremes as professional guides and conservationists to prevent the slightest unnatural manoeuvre that might occur not only to the wild dog, but to all species in the bush.
This encounter was not the only one of its kind of late. Guests have been enjoying watching a ton of action around our Kanga camp - this being the only water source for miles! In the video below, unlike in the event above, the role of the wild dogs is reversed as they are seen to be chasing and bringing down a young kudu at the pan.