Shotgun hunting

Pamushana | July 2019

During a morning game drive, we passed through the airstrip heading east on the Orphan Road. As we drove towards Buffalo Fence Road, we were stunned to see an impala in full flight clearing the road in front of us. We knew immediately that some sort of predator was within the proximity, but there’s only one hunter that causes that reaction…

When impala come across other predators like lions, leopards or hyenas they normally move within a safe circle and give an alarm call, telling the predator that they know it is there and the element of surprise is gone. But when it comes to impala getting the scent or sight of wild dogs they are out of there like a bullet; so this morning we knew that dogs were around.

We first saw one member of the pack and all of sudden we were rewarded by seeing all 13 members as they jumped on and playfully nipped each other before trotting down the road in front of us as they resumed their hunt.

During this period, as we move from winter into the dry season, there is an increased concentration of game in the more open areas, and antelope such as impalas will spend their nights in more open areas to be able to see or smell the predators in the dark.

We watched as the dogs later bomb-shelled in all directions to flush out and chase prey, and eventually came back together after another failed hunt.

It was so spectacular, special and wonderful to see the whole pack on the road in front of us with the ever epic morning light. What a pleasure!

A lovely addition to this story is that guests were alerted to wild dogs calling early one morning this month. One of the guests suggested that it sounded like church bells ringing in the distance as the sound echoed through the hills. For many people the wilderness is a cathedral where they practice their religion, so how apt this guest’s observation was.