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The Hunt at Leopard Hills

Destination: Leopard Hills in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve

We arrived to a scene where chaos reigned.

A healthy pack of wild dogs were in a heightened state of excitement. They were everywhere you looked, running around and constantly interacting with on one another.

It was magnificent.

Within these moments of constant activity between the pack members of these painted dogs, I looked to single out moments to capture that would highlight the scene before me. I noticed an adult dog galloping over a ridge toward one of the juvenile pups where it proceeded to lower its head, its eyes fix on its point of interest, and its big rounded ears forward.

© Penny Robartes, Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

A play-fight ensured that the rest of the pack where enticed to the interaction and the tension within the pack further accelerated.

Within moments, it seemed that a sudden calm and intent fell upon the dogs. The air switched to a stillness and anticipation of what was to come.

In unison, the dogs started off in a particular direction at a steady pace. The relentless fall of the rain was unnoticed as the dogs kept up their pace.

The hunt had begun.

© Penny Robartes, Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Moving into an open plain amongst the woodland thicket, we waited in anticipation for the dogs. Suddenly, two magnificent Kudu bulls and a group Impala rams darted towards the thickets in alarm. There were the dogs! Streaming around our vehicles, the dogs split up into roughly two groups; one heading for the Kudu and the other for the high-jumping impala.

A few minutes later, the dogs started banding back together after the unsuccessful hunt and made their journey back into the thicket for shelter.

© Penny Robartes, Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

It was an incredible sighting to be witness to! Although we didn’t see more hunts from this pack, we were lucky enough to spend more time with them and I was able play around with different photographic techniques as they rested.

Stay passionate!

Penny Robartes