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Seeing Wild Dogs in Africa

The experience of spotting wild dogs

Try to see wild dogs if you get a chance. It is such a lovely sight. 

Of course the wild dogs in Africa are an endangered species, so it's actually a very special wildlife sighting too. Wild dogs are pack animals so when you see one, you usually see many more. Packs of up to 40 individuals are not unheard of. The exciting thing about a wild dogs safari is the interaction between all the pack. They 'talk' to each other, they play together, they share hunting and any food they catch, they look after the young and the old members of their pack. It is truly enthralling to watch. 

The best places to see wild dogs in Africa

Dogs had a pretty bad time a few years ago as disease wiped many of them out. They are also not really liked by farmers of course. Currently they are doing relatively well in many places so there are now a few regions where you might be lucky enough to see them. Here are our top recommendations:
  • Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania : Selous has the largest population of wild dogs in Africa. Neaby Ruaha is also a good bet for seeing the dogs. 
  • Selinda, Linyanti and Kwando Reserves, Botswana : These are some of the very best places to see the dogs. 
  • Madikwe Reserve, South Africa : There is a decent population of dogs here so sightings are relatively common as the park is quite small in comparison to the Selous for example. 
  • Samburu and Laikipia Plateau, Kenya : There is an important wild dog project in this region so it is now becoming an increasing stronghold for the dogs. 
  • South Luangwa National Park, Zambia: You can see wild dogs here, and excitingly, there is a carnivore project which allows you to go out with researchers once a year, so you might be able to see wild dogs whilst with the researchers. 

The best time to see wild dogs

As for the best time to see wild dogs, you generally stand a better chance of spotting them around denning time and when they have young pups, as they tend to stay in one spot for longer. Whilst they can have pups at any time, the most common time is from around late June to September, so this is a good time to consider. 

holiday itineraries

Elephant at Mfuwe Lodge
Bushcamp Company Emerald Safari
A green season safari in South Luangwa using Bushcamp Company camps.
Carnivore Week
Carnivore Week in South Luangwa
A rare chance to accompany members of the Zambian Carnivore Programme as they track lions, hyenas and wild dogs in the Luangwa Valley, intersperced with safari activities.
Hippos in South Luangwa
Classic Norman Carr Safaris
An in-depth South Luangwa safari using Norman Carr Safaris lodge & bushcamps.
Wild dogs in Botswana
Falling for Wild Dogs
Amazing accommodation & guiding, coupled with the chance of some of the best wild dog sightings in the world. It's too good to resist.
Helping Rhinos
Helping Rhinos
A 3-centre safari holiday showcasing Botswana's diverse flora and fauna, offering you the chance to support vital rhino conservation projects.
Chobe Lions
Livingstone Safari
Get to the heart of Botswana with this wonderful, small group safari visiting some of the best game viewing destinations. 
Enjoy luxurious accommodation on this Botswana safari
Luxury Botswana
A varied safari taking in prime game locations and staying in top-of-the-range accommodation
Meet the meerkats
Meerkats and Much More
A traditional game viewing safari with the thrill of Vic Falls, nature walks and, of course, entrancing encounters with meerkats.
Northern Highlights with Letaka Safaris
Northern Highlights
A high quality, fully serviced mobile Botswana safari including Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe National Park.
Crossing the Luangwa with Remote Africa Safaris
Remote Africa Safaris
A Remote Africa Safaris wildlife and wilderness experience in South Luangwa.
Robin Pope Safaris walking mobile
Robin Pope Safaris Walking Mobile
Robin Pope Safaris' famed walking mobile safari in South Luangwa, Zambia.
Rustic Luxury in Zambia
Rustic Luxury in Zambia
Wildlife and wilderness in South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks.
Hippo in South Luangwa
Shenton Safaris' Wild Luangwa
An excellent week's safari in South Luangwa with owner-run Shenton Safaris camps. 
Vehicle on the Buffalo Safari
The Buffalo Safari
A great value Botswana camping safari combining excellent game viewing with Victoria Falls.
Fish Eagle Safari
The Fish Eagle Safari
An adventure camping safari with some of Botswana's best wilderness, ending at Vic Falls. 
Beach at Kaya Mawa in Lake Malawi
Zambia & Malawi: Safari & Beach
Safari in Zambia's superb South Luangwa then relax on an uninhabited island in Lake Malawi.
Zambia Safari and Victoria Falls
Zambia Safari & Victoria Falls
A Zambia safari in South Luangwa combined with time at Victoria Falls. 
Amanda Marks
Sinead Bailey
Paul Cook

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customer memories

Barbara Barker

One of the best moments was the sighting of a pack of 9 wild dogs, something we'd hoped for but not overly optimistically. Some of our fellow travellers had seen them hunt and kill the previous day on a Sable Mountain game drive but we were moving on the next day to Lake Manze. We needn't have worried because we came upon them en-route. They weren't hunting, but they just trotted along happily to a muddy, shady spot to 'chill out'. We saw them again the next day, and another group of 6, and on our last game drive there was one lost pup, wandering around on it's own, calling for it's family. We will never know if he found them.

Kenny Ross

We met a family of wild dogs – exciting enough – but then 17 puppies erupted from the den when the alpha male came to feed them.

YY Chin

The sighting of the wild dogs - almost every alternate day. One sighting in particular will linger in my memory for a long time to come. We chance upon a pack of wild dogs beneath a tree with a leopard on top of the tree and the carcass of a Nyala, which was killed by the Leopard dangling at the fork of the tree. The dogs were jumping to get a bite of the carcass. Eventually they did manage to eat half of the carcass.


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