Monday, December 3, 2018

I bless the dogs down in Africa

I've just been watching the latest - and I mean the latest: it's only just been shown in the UK - episode of the sainted David Attenborough's new series, Dynasties. This one was about two packs of African Wild Dogs, or painted wolves as he called them, whose territories are in Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.
Regular readers 😃 will remember that a couple of years ago I spent a few days just across the Zambezi River from Mana Pools, at Royal Zambezi Lodge in Zambia. One of the highlights (and there were SO MANY!) was on safari one day our coming across a small pack of these dogs in the national park alongside the lodge's grounds, and watching them devour the impala one of them had killed. Seeing these cute dogs on the screen, with their big round ears and mottled shaggy coats brought it all back - as did hearing the collared doves warbling in the background, and the distinctive squeaks of the dogs. We were so lucky to see the dogs - there are fewer than 7,000 left in the world, sadly. Usual reasons, sigh.

Naturally, the photography in the series is brilliantly done, and it looked just gorgeous, the colours so rich and the sun so golden and mellow in the hazy sky. I was thinking only yesterday about my African trips and what an edgy place Africa is, and how going there is simultaneously exciting and frightening. I was inclining towards thinking - such a wuss - that I was kind of relieved not to be contemplating another trip there in the foreseeable; but now I'm keen to go again. It certainly is a harsh and dangerous place - ask the wildlife, as well as the people - but it's truly a magical, super-special destination, and I'd go again tomorrow if I could.

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