The South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is home to several thriving packs of wild dogs. The key is finding them and being in the right place at the right time. For that, you need a great guide! And fortunately, we had one. As early as we were up, our guide Fredrick (Fred) Phiri, and our Tracker John Banda were up even earlier. By 4:30 AM John had confirmed where the pack had bedded down for the night, and we were waiting in the perfect position as the sun came up.
It was the tail end of the dry season, and it had been months since the last rain had fallen. By 6:00 AM it was already starting to heat up, and the pack was ready for the morning hunt. There was very limited shade, and every so often the dogs would wander around a little to shift position. The dogs got more and more active as they came closer to heading out. In the national park the wild dogs are used to people, especially researchers. They occasionally glanced at our truck but did not feel threatened. They were much more interested in playing and socializing with each other. Eventually the alpha female decided it was time, and with a final glance at the truck, the pack left as a group.
I took the image with a Canon 7D Mark II with EF 200-400 mm f/4L IS II USM EXT lens. The exposure settings were 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1250, 560 mm, handheld.