This is the moment a pack of wild dogs chases an impala into a freezing cold, muddy waterhole, where the impala then finds herself stuck, in amongst Africa's most successful killing machines.
The following incredible ream of footage was sent to us by David Fisher, a 43 year old Chief Operating officer in Information Technology, upon his visit to the Madikwe Game Reserve – situated against the Botswana border, close to the Kalahari Desert. On Father’s day (16 June 2019) he witnessed and captured the amazing footage of a pack of Wild dogs hunting an Impala.
We asked him to explain the scenes leading up to this sighting and in his own words he told us the story.
“We were on our game drive in Madikwe heading towards Tau dam. A large herd of buffalo were seen near the dam the previous day and it is always a great spot this time of year. While on route to the dam, it was mentioned over the radio that Wild dog tracks had been spotted in the vicinity around lunch time. It seemed a little odd to all passengers on our vehicle – as we had just stopped to talk to another vehicle who had been out in search of the wild dogs the entire day and did not make any mention of such a sighting.”
“We therefore had no expectations of getting to see the wild dogs and had enjoyed a number of great sightings already!”
“On arrival at the dam it was relatively quiet and picturesque, a white Rhino was drinking at the waterhole and a lone Kudu bull stood tall on the dam wall blocking another vehicle. We watched for about 20 minutes and then moved on to see if we could find the buffalo or see any dog tracks for ourselves. We scoured the surrounding area but could not find tracks or any signs of either the buffalo or the wild dogs and decided to stop for early sundowners as it was starting to become a beautiful evening.”
“After the sundowners we headed straight back to Tau dam. We were parked near the water inlet to the dam with mountains and the sunset in front of us. It was the most beautiful setting and all were pulling out cameras to capture the sunset with a lone Buffalo bull walking off. At this point Leigh shouted “dogs!”… 7 Wild dogs skimmed around our vehicle in a trot heading to the water inlet to drink. We didn’t even have time to digest as we all tried to get glances of them and take photos”
Within seconds of arriving and starting to drink, they took off full pace in the same direction they arrived – and we knew something was up! As they reached our vehicle they spotted an Impala which had clearly made a fatal choice. The dogs pursued the Impala around our vehicle and back towards the dam. The Impala lunged into the dam in an attempt to save itself and eventually got stuck in the thick mud. At first, the dogs were hesitant due to crocodiles or the cold water, but that was short-lived and two of the dogs were soon onto the Impala.”
“The kill was quick with the full pack of dogs now swarming at the Impala – biting and pulling in all directions at once. The whole event lasted around 10 minutes with nothing left behind to hint of a kill”
“The magnitude of what we had just experienced and the absolute beauty of the sequence of events, still mesmerize me. I’m consumed by questions on how lucky we actually were, everything was perfect… How lucky were we to have stopped where we did? How the sunset was so red? How the wild dogs appeared beside us? How we all had our cameras out waiting for the perfect moment to capture the perfect still? Why the Impala came out when it did? How could the Impala have chosen such an amazing fatal spot for such beautiful silhouettes?”
“While our drive had not been too adventurous to that point, after being in the bush for 3 days already for us the sunset was the highlight – when the dogs caught us by surprise. It really was the top-up on an already special occasion. The bush is all about timing and luck, but we all know that some people make their own luck. In our case, as can be heard on the video, we owe a huge amount of our luck to our ranger Brett, whose knowledge and experience enabled us to script such an experience.”
“This video could not have been scripted any better… Look to nature and wildlife for its beauty and how it encompasses life, don’t just get caught in the event itself. I am still in awe of the sequence of events and the overall experience”