Buffalo VS Wild dogs

Sabi Sand | December 2019

African Wild Dogs are sadly highly endangered due mainly to habitat loss and disease which they contract from feral dogs which enter the conservation areas they call home. Due to this their numbers are low in the Kruger National Park, estimated to be around 400 roaming the 4.5 million acres.

From time to time we get very lucky and see these incredible animals up close and personal, an amazing privilege as we then get to witness their behaviour without deterrence as they are habituated to the vehicles here at Singita Sabi Sand. On one particular recent occasion I witnessed behaviour I had not ever seen before. A pack of these African Wild Dogs were harassing a large herd of Cape Buffalo in what seemed to be an attempt to separate one of the more vulnerable calves. The pack repeatedly tested the herd to look for weakness, but every time one of the larger buffalo would rush out from the group to chase them back.

At one stage the pack succeeded in separating a buffalo cow and her calf, only to be chased off and near gored by her massive horns on several occasions. The pack, unsuccessful, eventually lay down in the shade of a tree as the large herd meandered away toward water. It was amazing to witness such a scene for the first time after several years of guiding, it just shows that you’ve never seen it all and you can never know what to expect.