It was an early morning at Footsteps camp, I was hosting a walking safari with one guest and before we set out on the morning walk we sat down for breakfast and a cup of tea. Whilst eating we heard the baboons shouting and alarm calling and the next moment an impala came running through camp, almost knocking me over as I was sitting in my chair eating. She looked startled and trapped as if something was chasing her, then before we could stand up to scan our surroundings, an African wild dog rushed past us towards the impala who had now run into the water right in front of the fire pit area at Footsteps.
It was the famous Golden Dog who we have been seeing fairly regularly on the concession (Read my previous blog about her sharing her prey with a hyena ) She is an extremely competent hunter and will often take down prey by herself, using tactics like chasing the animal into the water. The Golden Dog has five pups who are approximately six months old so she is forced to hunt with or without the help of the other adults in the pack.
The dog started feeding on this impala in the water right in front of our breakfast spot, she has become used to people in camp so the fact that we were so close did not bother her in the slightest. She fed for a few minutes on the impala, it was graphic viewing and my guest was watching out the corner of one eye. The dog left the kill and started running out of camp, calling at the same time for her pups who must have been hidden in the area.
About five minutes later the pups came bounding in, squeaking and yapping, almost as if they knew what was waiting for them. The pack fed and within minutes the impala had disappeared and the Dogs ran off into the wilderness. What an action packed breakfast it was and we were truly so lucky to have witnessed this encounter right on our "doorstep"!
Click here to see a short video of the encounter
Story and images by Omphile Kaluluka (Specialist guide)