Day 5 of 7
Day Tuesday the 22nd of October.
As the alarm wakes me from my rather short sleep, I draw back the curtains to see the unpleasant sight of drops dripping down. This had become an all too familiar sight on this trip! This did not dampen my efforts of waking up the old fogies though! My father was slow out of the blocks this morning on account of last night's Rummikub! My ouma insisted on round after round of her favourite game being played! Every round of the rummikub tiles being handed out revealed more 'ouma rules' as my father and I call them
There is no telling what will and won't be allowed next with the rules of the 'senior burgers'. This meant that my dad could focus more on his beers and less on strategy. In light of these events, it was more of a mission today dragging the fossils out of bed!
We were taking the long way around (about 45km) to Paul Kruger Gate! The theory was still to give the best time of day to this area as the Wild Dogs have been seen here lately! Although this tactic had not paid off in seven drives, you just never know. We were a bit later than usual to the gate this morning, so we had to sit behind this long queue!
I had all wild cards and ID's ready to head up to the office to get an entry into the Park, yet this efficiency did not save us any time, on account of the people behind me moving up to a jog to overtake me to get to reception first! This gave my ouma more than enough time for her first toilet stop of the morning! Finally driving into the Park I was quite convinced that the long procession of cars in front of ours would ensure any great sightings in the road would be driven into the dense Skukuza bush.
Yet when we came to our famous intersection with the S1, there was a clear traffic hold up. I immediately thought – Leopard!! The honeymooners must be there in the ditch again!!
Now the problem was the cars in the way of a clear view of the romancers!
However when I pulled up as the back car in the procession, it turned out that I was in the ideal spot!!!! For on my right hand side, four black broad muzzles accompanied by large rounded ears appeared above the high rise! Their attentive gaze was fixed firmly to the West from whence we came, so I slotted into the reverse gear as the multicoloured coats of the Lycaon pictus began their pacey trot along the ridge!
Translated: “those are wild dogs! Those are wild dogs there!!” my ouma informed us with great excitement!! “can you believe there are wild dogs next to the road!!”. With a jumping jack of an ouma in the back seat, I swung the car around so the dogs would be on my dad's side and he could snap away. Also pointing my car in the direction the canines were heading! There hung a manic excitement in the car waiting to see what would unfold! There was movement to my left and my mom announced: “Here come the young ones!” Yet the smallies just sat there looking confused. Perhaps they had lost sight of their parents in between the sea of cars
We sat with the stranded smallies until one of the adults came over with purpose. The mom selected out one pup to reprimand!
This pup was clearly to blame for the separation, and mom gave puppy a shouting and hiding to match the crime of putting the brothers and sisters in danger!!
my mom spontaneously let out a cry of “hey!!” when the pup let out a squeal! An instinctive reprimand my mom let out as if our domestic cats at home were brawling! I found it hilarious that my mom had put her foot down and told a wild dog enough is enough!
The fullness of this spectacular sighting was now sinking in as I saw painted wolves all over the show!
The full pack in motion now, they took a turn onto the S1!
They looked like they were heading into hunting mode now! Built for the chase with light body and long legs, they looked like greyhounds on a mission! They become to spread out and flank to the left and right!
We could not keep track of their movements, and eventually lost them. Although I suspect the smart hunters probably found themselves some breakfast that morning! What a memorable sighting!!!!!
My ouma turned to my dad and asked: “does that mean we can have coffee now?”