The instinct of wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) urges them to travel vast distances. In South Africa a pack has been recorded to have a home range of 1 100km square kilometres (271 815 acres) in the Kruger National Park.
Our Malilangwe WildlifeReserve is enormous compared to other privately-owned reserves, yet at 501 square kilometres (124 000 acres) the pack of wild dogs we consider “our own” still finds the need to go beyond the safety of our continually patrolled boundaries from time to time.
This need for huge home ranges is the biggest threat facing these endangered carnivores because beyond the protection of sanctuaries they face death in a number of ways, including being killed on public roads, catching diseases from domestic dogs and being caught in snares.
Recently, I was enjoying a game drive with my guests through an area called Banyini (loosely translating to ‘open grassland’). Most water sources are drying up as we are in the dry season, with the bigger water systems holding water longer, such as the Banyini Pan. As a result most animals will frequent these points to hydrate and, with that, so will the predators lurk while looking for opportunities to come to them. Naturally this is a great place for us to explore, looking for the animals and the action…
Waterbuck in these parts tend to live in small herds of six to twelve, sometimes more, with one dominant male who defends the territory. We have a small herd of seven waterbuck which live around Sosigi Dam. Two females are pictured here in the early morning light, on the bank of the dam. Only the males have horns.
Buffalo are not very high up on many safari guests list of animals to watch, however they can be an interesting species to observe. This particular afternoon we were off the beaten track looking for rhinos. The roads led us to Lojaan Dam, a quiet little corner in the central east of our property. Just before we got to the dam we bumped into the start of a breeding herd of buffalo, that were heading to the water to drink.