Wild dogs were something we had been hoping to see throughout our previous three months in South Africa. On this particular morning, ten of us went out for a morning game drive. While we were on a dirt road, we saw a group of animals running down the road towards us. For a moment, I thought they were hyenas, but then I thought they looked like wild dogs. I didn't say anything at first in case I was wrong, but the animals approached, and sure enough, a pack of 12 wild dogs ran past us. They mostly kept to the road, so we were able to follow them quite easily. Fortunately, our driver was able to phone the other staff members, who roused the remaining people on our program. I'm told they were out of bed and in the vehicles in less than two minutes. We were able to follow the dogs for over an hour as they ran down the road, investigated some construction equipment, and laid down to rest right at the side of the road. Eventually, other cars started joining us, including the remaining people on our program. I really could not have asked for a better wild dog sighting.
I had just exited the Skukuza Tourist Shop. To the right of the exit, hanging from the rafters, were maybe a dozen bats. Return visits showed that this is a common place for them to rest during the day, and that some were even mothers with infants tucked under their wings. I looked them up in the mammal guide in the shop, but I could not distinguish whether the bats were Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bats (Epomophorus wahlbergi) or Gambian epauletted fruit bats (E. gambianus). I know it's unlikely, but if anyone can tell based on the distribution or picture, I would be interested to find out.
Female lions crowding around a cape buffalo kill.