Deborah Calmeyer, CEO of ROAR AFRICA was staying at Zarafa for the safari of a lifetime, when she had the most amazing (and nerve wracking) experience right in camp in broad daylight. This is her story of a face-to-face meeting with wild dogs whilst on her way to her room.
“On arrival at the amazing Zarafa camp, we dashed out on a game drive as wild dogs were about – as it’s such a special and sought-after sight. We found them quickly and followed them for a while, which was a huge treat. They were hunting, moving fast and they eventually disappeared into the bushes, so we returned to camp. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next…
I was walking back to room 3 alone, when I suddenly heard a scuffle and frenzy happening behind me. I turned around to see an impala in flat-out sprint careering directly towards me. It jumped the bridged walkway, like an A-grade eventer, coming right at me. Not more than a few feet behind were the wild dogs in frantic pursuit. Frozen to the path I let out a terrified scream as impala and dogs flew right past my shoulder. It was over in a flash when the dogs killed the impala on the path only a few feet past me.
You could not have scripted such a scene and never in my life would I have ever expected to need to deal with such an experience. I know that wild dogs have never killed a human before – but in my mind in that moment, I was to be the first case!!! What a feeling to wonder in that split second, would they pick me, the frozen duck on the path or the bolting impala. As luck would have it the impala was on the menu and not me!
We were able to watch the dogs from this remarkable viewpoint while my heart rate slowly dropped back to normal. As safari experiences go, this was one that I will most certainly never forget!”