The Londolozi Private Game Reserve is located in the famous Sabi Sands Game Reserve, where there are no fences between their tract of wilderness and the Kruger National Park. This allows for free movement and migration of wild animals. Wildlife enthusiasts, nature photographers and big cat lovers go to the Sabi Sands in the hope of close-up encounters with the Big Five as well as the chance of seeing an abundance of smaller animals, birds and predators. With a great concentration of predators in the area, there is a very good chance you will be able to see these carnivores in action when staying at Londolozi.
Richard Burman (a ranger at Londolozi) had one such unforgettable experience in the park. On a recent five-day photographic expedition with James Dayle and Rex Miller, Burman managed to get some great shots and was ready to head home to examine the footage. On their way home, however, they were coaxed back into the bush by a tip-off from the radio about a great photographic opportunity – African wild dogs devouring an impala for dinner.
Racing to the scene with cameras and fingers at the ready, Burman, Dayle and Miller had no idea what was awaiting them. Like children on Christmas eve, the men snapped away, capturing the kill in all its glory – the only sounds in the bush were the chomping of the feeding dogs and the feverish click of camera shutters.
No sooner had the pack of wild dogs completed the attack, and lay down for a post-meal snooze, a wake of vultures began to circle the highly appetising impala carcass. Scavenging is no easy task, as was witnessed by all three photographers. In a game that resembled cat and mouse, the vultures would pounce on the carcass, only to be chased away by the dogs.
But this incredible wildlife scene got even better when a young, naïve, and evidently hungry leopard thought it was a good idea to steal the carcass for herself. Impressively, she managed to hijack the carcass and made a frantic dash through the bush. Her victory was short-lived, though, as the impala became caught in the bush, and the wild dogs began to close in on her.
They seized her, biting at her back, surely seeing a second meal in her flesh. Amazingly, the feisty young leopard escaped and leaped into a nearby bush willow tree, out of reach from the earth-bound dogs. As the dogs lost interest and began to dissipate, she climbed down, snatched the impala and made her getaway. With her life intact and an impala that would keep her going for a few more days, the leopard proved the ultimate victor.
Some wild dog facts: The African wild dog has quite a fierce reputation world-wide. Labeled as vicious beasts, violent and dirty, these animals are often at the bottom of the list when it comes to conservation. Not many realize, however, that the wild dog is an endangered species and that they have been studied and monitored since 1989 in the Kruger National Park in order to increase their population.
With only 5000 wild dogs left in the wild in Africa, these extremely social animals are slowly disappearing. They are fascinating creatures and are partial to more arid regions – which is why they find the Kruger Park and surrounding areas a fitting home. They are carnivorous animals, feeding mainly on gazelles, antelopes, rats and birds.
Londolozi is a perfect place to witness such exciting scenes and is equipped to handle the discerning traveler’s needs. Londolozi has five beautiful and distinctive camps: Pioneer Camp is private and romantic, whilst Founders Camp is classic in style, laid back and family-friendly. The Granite Suites are exclusive with an emphasis on space and ultimate bush luxury. Varty Camp is the oldest and is steeped in this fascinating safari pioneering family’s history, whilst Tree Camp is elegant and stylish camp, perfect for bespoke travelers.