Madikwe National Reserve wasn't on our priority list, but it is said to give great Kruger (which we didn't find exceptionally great) a run for its money, so we gave it a shot. It didn't disappoint. Elephants red from the soil, suckling wildebeest calves, and horny whydah bird males who demonstrated their ability to fly far and with ease never mind a long, heavy, tail – thus proving themselves as strong candidates for mating. The otherworldly creatures of Africa passed by us and I realized, with a smile, that the old trigger finger, though just a tad rusty, still works, and the trained eye, though spoiled by late mornings and days in front of the computer, is still sharp and misses nothing.
It was going to be just a successful rehashing of the old game drive so essential for our little project, but it became a triumphant last hunting expedition, the kind they always have in Discovery Chanel films where only on the last day they find that which has eluded them for months. In our production it was the evasive wild dog, and we got it! A whole pack of them! Fresh after a kill, they were rowdily and eagerly devouring their catch, though strictly in their pecking order, and then set off again in search of their next target.