It was the first thing they called home, a place of refuge for the young wild dog pups with its smell of freshly arranged sand and the lingering scent of its previous inhabitants. At every dangerous looking creature or unsettling sound, the pups would scurry to their den for safety. When the hunger became too much, the adults would leave the pups at the den and go off to hunt. The hunts can often last for hours.
After six months, the pups now follow the elders for long distances, and often at a fast pace, while the adults seek out prey and initiate hunts. With 11 mouths to feed, the alpha female has been more active than ever. It was only yesterday that my guests were blessed enough to see them hunting a warthog, which we later found out was the third warthog they had killed that day. With the latest birth resulting in a pack of 20, the African wild dog sightings at Tswalu promise to be nothing but exhilarating.