Not only did we get to gape at several endangered Wild Dogs, shortly after entering Kruger Park, but we were also lucky enough to make two excellent leopard sightings on our Kruger game drives!
African Wild Dogs in Kruger National Park
Apparently, Wild Dogs are rarely spotted, but this was most certainly not the case this past weekend in Kruger. Our safari group was lucky enough to watch a pack of Wild Dogs laze in the shade right next to the road en route to our camp in Kruger Park.
We again sighted these rare African Wild Dogs resting in the same spot the following day on our open-vehicle game drive! On both occasions we got a close look at these Wild Dogs as they were right beside the road, napping in the shade to escape the heat of the day.
On our sunset game drive in the game park, the presence of vultures perched in the shrubs alerted us to some Wild Dogs feeding in the bushes near the road after a kill. This time we listened to these carnivores, tuck into their kill more than seeing them, hearing the sounds of crunching bones.
Wild Dogs, also known as painted dogs or spotted dogs, are classified as IUCN endangered species and are among Africa's most endangered mammals.
Kruger is a stronghold for these rare Wild Dogs, with the total population being estimated at 360 Wild Dogs in Kruger Park. Researchers are reported to have identified 27 packs in the game park.
Read more about the Wild Dogs in Kruger Park and see some more images of the African Wild Dogs.
Leopards in Kruger Park
As luck would have it on our Kruger Safari, we saw leopard sleeping in a tree - twice!
On two of our game drives we looked on as two different leopards slept idly in Marula trees near the road in the southern part of Kruger Park.
What an amazing experience to see these big cats draped in the branches at close range!
Check out some fantastic photographs of Wild Dogs on National Geographic.
See more leopard photographs, as well as videos and facts about these elusive cats on the BBC website.