One of the reasons I love my job is that every drive is different. You just never know what is going to happen. A couple of nights ago we had planned to have a sundowner at a watering hole in the south-western extremities of Londolozi. A refreshing drink to celebrate yet another wonderful game drive in the lush-green bush veld. Well, the animals put a stop to that…
As we arrived at the waters edge a pack of Wild Dogs erupted out of nowhere, chasing a kudu cow into the water. Completely outnumbered and split away from her herd she was caught with a big decision to make. Try outrun and out maneuver the ferocious pack, or run for the deep water, gambling that the resident crocodile was not home. Now if you ever think you are caught between a rock and a hard place think of this poor female as you watch this footage.
Luckily for her, the crocodile was away and the after 20 minutes or so the dogs lost interest. The poor Kudu stood shivering in the water. She kept her composure and remained calm. the entire scene was completely silent! I have heard about animals being chased into water, but have never been lucky enough to see it. I certainly did not know how this scene was going to turn out and what would happen if the four wild dogs attempted to attack her in the thigh deep water!
The darkness put an end to our viewing, but I can tell you how it ended. The pack of four ran off to fetch the remainder of the pack nearby. I figured that with reinforcements and a greater number, they would have the upper hand. Whilst the dogs, however, ran off in search of the pack some 600 meters away, the kudu took her chance and took off. She lived to tell the tale.
Written, photographed and filmed by Adam Bannister