On my trip to Zambia and Zimbabwe last year there was one animal I wanted to see and photograph above all others – the Painted Dog/Wild Dog. We missed them in Kafue and in South Luangwa, so Mana Pools was our last shot and we were determined to make it count. We spent many hours driving up and down the few roads looking for these elusive creatures with a couple of near misses but no luck. In the end we found them in the most unconventional way. While we were out looking for the dogs, lions moved into our campsite. This attracted a crowd, despite the fact our campsite was supposed to be private. We came back to our campsite, saw and photographed the lions and got pissed off when a ranger cocked his rifle to take his guests for a closer look at the lions – scaring the lions away. I mean the lions were right there by the side of the road, so I guess they just wanted to smell the lions’ breath and check whether they had flossed. We got even more pissed off when the camping equipment we had left behind – chairs, table & cooking equipment – went missing! We needed the stuff so we set off on a detective adventure in the african bush. After asking around it turns out that for some unfathomable reason a vehicle driver of a well known local camp decided to take our equipment. Anyway, what does all this have to do with the dogs? Well, when we traced our equipment to the camp, out of embarassment one of the guides disclosed the location of the wid dogs to us, and off we went to find them. They were sleeping in thick vegetation quite close to our campsite and were impossible to spot unless you knew they were there or were lucky enough to pass by when one of them moved. It was mid afternoon and they were mostly snoozing – so we had the time to go back to camp & cook pizzas (and eat them on a table and chairs!) and return before they did anything. At some point in the evening they woke up in a bustle of noise and activity and I shot this photo, my favourite of the bunch. I hope to photograph more of these beautiful creatures next year when I will be visiting Mana Pools again.