Southern Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve is as wild and remote as it gets. I was exploring this area of the Lukula Concession – a private 300,000-acre tract of wilderness in the southern region of the reserve – for future safaris. At the end of a hot October, just before the first rains, we’d set out from Lukula Camp to follow a pair of wild dogs heading for the river.

Scanning the wide sweep of the Luwegu River’s trickling channels, we heard splashes and a commotion in one of the pools ahead. The dogs hung on for grim death to the hindquarters of a waterbuck whilst several crocodiles argued the kill from the other end. Incredible. Precisely then, Murphy stepped in!

Deliberately thwarting us, our game viewing vehicle dug itself stubbornly into the sand. A once-in-a-lifetime sighting was happening in front of us and we were stuck! Eventually we freed ourselves and got closer. The contest was now dominated by a seething mass of crocodiles, spinning and tearing at the carcass while the dogs watched grimly from the river bank, reluctant to enter the water.

The wild dogs’ hunting method of chasing their quarry into water is fairly common. I’ve seen it before in other areas, particularly in Botswana’s Linyanti-Savuti region. It was a pity that we couldn’t get closer to the action, but even from a distance, the sound and force of the attacking crocodiles was brutal.