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To come across the rare wild dog on a game drive is always a special experience, but to encounter a large pack on foot while they battle it out with a hyena clan over a kill, is simply unheard of.

© Janine Mare
© Janine Mare

It all began at Tanda Tula Field Camp where Tony Park and the prize winners of our recent competition, were spending some time soaking up the African bush.

We had set off early in the morning in the hopes of successfully tracking rhino and possibly some other large game. After a short drive away from camp we set off on foot and it wasn’t long before we came across fresh rhino tracks. The tracks showed we were close and so we cautiously followed them.

Just as we were in close proximity to the rhino, we heard a clan of hyena making a noise not far away. The call was made to quickly head off in the direction of the hyena to see if we could spend a few moments with them, before returning to continue tracking the rhino.

Some calls you make are fruitful, while others can be fairly uneventful. This call was most certainly a good one as shortly after setting off after the hyena our guide went from being very focused on locating them, to very excited! As he explained what was in front of us, so the excitement spread through the group.

© Rob Baird
© Rob Baird

As we moved around thick bush and into the open, we encountered a large pack of wild dog moving in from the right while on the left were a few hyena darting in and out of the pack. The battle between these two strong predators was truly spectacular. From what we could gather, the wild dog had made a kill which had attracted the hyena who came in for a closer look.

© Janine Mare
© Janine Mare
© Rob Baird
© Rob Baird
© Rob Baird
© Rob Baird

After some back and forth, the wild dog eventually decided it was not worth the risk of continuing the battle and so they heading off away from the hyena in search of more food.

© Janine Mare
© Janine Mare

Of all the truly great sightings to encounter on foot this has to be right at the top of the list. Perhaps Tony Park was our lucky charm!

© Rob Baird
© Rob Baird
Travel with us
Tanda Tula

Located in the Timbavati Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park. Tanda Tula Safari Camp features 12 luxury tents nestled in riverine forest overlooking a riverbed while the Tanda Tula Field Camp is an exclusive use 4 tented walking safari camp, modelled on the early explorer camps with modern comfort. The Tanda Tula camps are owner-managed.