Its late September, nearing the end of a 4 month winter dry season, as summer approaches temperatures are the entering the 40’s. Rain remains weeks away.
The ever flowing Zambezi River is the river of life that sustains the wildlife that roams through the valley from the 500 metre high Zambezi escarpment 80 klm inland.
Within the river flood plain the 4 pools from where the name of the National Park derives support the river as the local watercourses have long since become rivers of sand.
30klm inland the only water source is the spring water that oozes out of an otherwise dry riverbed at Chitake Springs. All animals and insects are drawn to these water sources , the predators and the prey , the mightiest and the smallest. The dangers are great but water means survival so the risks must be taken.
This garden of eden is the place that has attracted our small team of wildlife photographers to sit for hour after hour in the hope to capture this timeless saga
Of all the African predators , the scarcest, the hardest to locate and the most difficult to film is the African Wild Dog,
African wild dogs are among the most effective predators in the world. They use extraordinary cooperation and teamwork to pursue, overhaul and bring down their prey. Some 80% of their hunts end successfully
Hunting in packs of from two to 27 adults and yearling pups.
Highly social they have complex hierarchies in which only the alpha male and female breed. The pack regurgitates food for the young, and will look after their own wounded.
Hunting is normally carried out twice a day at dawn and dusk and the main target species is antelope but they can bring down wildebeest and warthogs.
From reports prior to our trip we learn two packs have been seen hunting on the flood plains of the Mana Pools Park. We are very excited with this news but as a pack territory can range over 200 square miles we know that there are no guarantees.
Even more exciting is that the guides advise us that this seasons cubs are now old enough to travel with the adults on the hunt.