Optimism strikes again …

If you had to ask anyone heading to the bush on safari which animal they want to see, I bet African wild dogs would be in the top three. A couple of days ago we were driving in the western part of the reserve and what started out as a cold, misty and very quiet morning, did a full 180 degree turn and my guests and I were treated to something incredibly special.

While driving down the road heading west in the direction of the Drakensberg Mountains, I knew there was a dam called Flat Dam that I really wanted to check. As we rounded the corner just east of the dam, we were treated to a wild dog running down the road. I didn’t think much of it except to be really happy to see one of these incredibly rare animals. As we stopped around Flat Dam, the wild dog picked up on something quite close to the vehicle. It was a young impala ram and, in a completely optimistic moment, the wild dog took off and the chase was on!

The wild dog proceeded to chase this impala around Flat Dam in an epic golden morning light. At one stage my guests and I thought the chase was over and that the dog had lost the impala as it was so far behind. The next moment the impala came hurtling past our vehicle with the wild dog hot on its tail.

We were in the perfect position because the wild dog managed to bring the impala down right next to our vehicle, which gave my guests and me an unforgettable experience and front row seats to one of the most rare things to see in the bush.

Report and images by ranger Matt