It was a normal day at Kafunta River Lodge with a wake up call at 05h15, followed by breakfast on the deck overlooking the flood plains of the Luangwa River. The guests were eager for their morning game drive.
In the meantime, having just returned from Australia, owners Anke and Ron Cowan were adjusting to jet lag by sipping coffee with their son Luke, while enjoying the sunrise from their private patio.
It was a beautiful morning. And then all hell broke loose.
Pukus, impalas, baboons and monkeys all starting calling in alarm, rushing out from the plains. A pack of eight wild dogs had just crossed the river and were running towards the lodge. Half of the pack split right and headed straight for Anke and Ron’s house, while the other half sprinted left, running past the deck where guests were still trying to understand what the commotion was all about.
Anke, Ron and Luke left their coffee behind and jumped into their vehicle in pursuit of the dogs. Meanwhile at the lodge, guide Josephat gathered his guests in his vehicle, leaving behind toasts and muffins.
Both vehicles joined up on the dried-out lagoon to find six dogs ripping apart an unlucky impala. Wild dogs are very successful hunters and savage eaters – it only takes a few minutes for them to consume a fully-grown impala, in a haze of yaps and bouts.
What a sighting it was, a bit gruesome for an early start, but what a privilege to observe wild dogs at their best. The dogs played around for a bit longer, and eventually moved off into the ticket.
And then things went back to normal. Ron, Anke and Luke went back to their patio and cold coffee, while Josephat took his guests back to the dining deck to finish up their breakfast before heading out for the rest of their morning safari. A good start to the morning!