Kwando’s Lagoon Camp is one of the specific camps in Botswana where you can often see wild dogs. I have had really amazing wild dog sightings here previously and I had high hopes for this visit too, even though we only had about 4 hours to find them.
We were a group of 10 travelling together so we split between 2 cars. Strangely on this occasion all the ‘boys’ were in one car and all the ‘girls’ in another. Kwando Safaris are in a private concession and are allowed to drive off-road. We headed of in different directions, both cars focussed on finding the dogs.
We found the tracks quickly, but the dogs were on the move. It was here that the Kwando system of having a driver/guide plus a tracker could be seen to be so strong. The girls’ car found the most recent tracks, but we had to go well off-road to keep the dog tracks in sight. Our tracker was on the ground and we hacked through the bush after him. Small mopane bushes crumpled under our vehicle and bounced back behind us. We hurtled past trees, through tall grasses higher than the cars, over logs … it was a rough, but very exciting ride!
We knew we were close, very close, but our plane was leaving in about one hour, and we still had to get back to camp to grab our belongings. The girls’ car gave up and headed home. We radioed the boys’ car, and they too decided to head home. We were all a bit disappointed of course, but we had tried hard, and had a wonderful, thrilling morning in the bush.
Back at camp, about 15 minutes after the girls car arrived back, the boys came back – beaming! In the last few minutes they had spotted the dogs. They sadly didn’t have long to watch them, but they had found them. It felt like a real achievement after a morning of bush-bashing.
The next day, in Moremi Game Reserve, we had a whole hour watching a family of dogs we simply came across by accident!