The African Wild Dog, one of Africa’s most formidable predators, is always high up on the wish list for anyone visiting Africa’s famous national parks and wildlife reserves. The reality, though, is that this fabulous species is often one of the most difficult to find, and is classified as endangered, with only 6,000 odd left on the entire continent!
Sadly, like most of the world’s wildlife, the African Wild Dog population is on a downward spiral, owing largely to habitat fragmentation, persecution by humans and the odd disease outbreak. They are also dominated by Lion and so tend to steer clear of areas where these large cats reside at high density. In a nutshell, Lions rule the savannas, ensuring they have access to the zones where prey species occur at the highest densities, and are a serious threat to both adult and young Wild Dogs. For this reason, Wild Dogs prefer areas of denser bush country where the grasses are not as sweet, soils are not as nutritious and animal densities are far lower. To make up for this, they have become one of the most successful of all the African predators when it comes to hunting. This they do as a pack, and through sheer stamina, strategy and will power, they can generally wear down any prey species that they go after.
The finest locations to try and find African Wild Dog these days are in the Southern African countries of Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which hold the largest numbers. Protected areas such as Moremi, Chobe, Hwange and Kruger all offer breath-taking wildlife viewing opportunities, including some of the best chances of seeing African Wild Dog on the planet. Our recently completed Best of Botswana & Victoria Falls Wildlife Safari showcased the very best wildlife sites in this fabulous country, including Moremi and Chobe, and the tour lived up to all the hype and more. Highlights comprised of some exceptional Lion sightings – including a close male roaring, which is an incredible experience – Leopard on four different occasions – including a mother with two 3-month old cubs feeding on an Impala – numerous Elephant, Spotted Hyena at a den site with small pups, and Bat-eared Fox, together with some rare species such as Aardwolf, Side-striped Jackal, Spotted-necked Otter, Springhare, Honey Badger and African Wild Cat! The group were also royally entertained with two separate African Wild Dog sightings. The first was when a small pack was found on a freshly devoured kill and the second encounter was a pack that we followed on the hunt! Click here to see a video taken by Liz Hides, one of the participants on this year’s trip.
Botswana continues to be one of our most popular safari destinations and the reasons are easy to quantify. Marvellous wildlife, incredible habitats, excellent standard of game drive vehicles and idyllic accommodations and food make this a stand out destination. While we have already received a number of provisional bookings, our 2018 departure still has a few spaces available. Click on the following link to see more about this exceptional tour.
Our next tour to Botswana:
Best of Botswana & Victoria Falls Wildlife Safari 2018
28 June – 09 July 2018 (12 days)