Here is a recount of an excursion last month at Okonjima game reserve.“On a cloudy afternoon we set off from the Grand Villa to look for the elusive Okonjima wild dogs. The pack consists of four dogs that were rescued by AfriCat after their parents and the rest of their pack were poisoned by communal farmers in the north of Namibia. The male, Rex, only has three legs as one had to be amputated after a serious break – kicked by a giraffe mother.
The pack roams the whole 20,000 hectares at Okonjima and tends not to stay in one location but keeps moving around the reserve. After about two hours of searching we finally managed to catch up with the pack.
The first thing we saw was not the wild dogs, but a very big male leopard in a tree. Then we saw the leopard leap from the tree right into the pack of wild dogs.
A male leopard this size should not have a problem dealing with a few orphaned wild dogs – as he outweighs the dogs by almost 30-35 kg. However the wild dogs have a tight-knit social bond and their teamwork is amazing. The leopard could not defend himself against four sets of very powerful jaws. As soon as the leopard tried to fend off the one closest to him, the next dog would bite from the other side and so the leopard ran from tree to tree trying to lose the pack.
The leopard has only one advantage – he can climb up the trees whereas the dogs can’t. We were able to follow this battle for about half an hour until thick bush and difficult terrain made it impossible to keep up with the fray.
We saw the leopard try and make a run for it several times, however every time the pack was too quick and after about forty metres the leopard would have to jump up a tree again and be cornered by the dogs.
What caused the fray was anyone’s guess, but it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever seen on safari.”
Each safari brings a new and exciting first, not always for the guides, but almost always for our visitors. If you want the opportunity of a lifetime, to see for yourself the wonders of a Namibian safari, to see cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs and all types of wild animals –then check out the Okonjima website and book yourself a journey that you will never regret.