It started with a rude awakening at 5:20 Monday morning. A cacophony of bush-noises alerted us to the unfolding drama in front of the Siwandu management house. We knew from our guides that the wild dogs were in the area around Siwandu (in fact, they watched them hunt on the airstrip the previous afternoon) and now we found ourselves standing in our pyjamas on our veranda watching these extremely elusive predators rip apart an impala they'd just chased down.
The days that followed delivered some of the best wilddog viewing we've ever heard of. Successful hunts, unsuccessful hunts, adults taking food back to the pups, playing, sleeping... our guests saw it all. The astonishing bit was how little the dogs cared about Siwandu and all the hustle and bustle that go along with a camp. One afternoon they even invaded the staff's football pitch.
And when, on my walk to the office this morning still craving my first sip of freshly brewed Tanzanian coffee, a herd of impala came rushing past, leaping and bouncing their way out of harm's way, I knew exactly what they were fleeing from. The dogs were at it again, this time calling off their hunt when suddenly they saw a two-legged "animal" between them and their breakfast.
Wild dogs are extremely rare and there are a little more than 5000 of them left in the wild. Sharing territory with them for the past week and getting to show our guests these fascinating creatures have been an absolute privilege.