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Wild dog
Asset 11

Wild dog

Wild dogs in Africa

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.


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Quick facts about Wild dog

Scientific name: Lycaon pictus Habitat: Savannah & woodland
IUCN status: Endangered Adult weight: 20–36kg

The African wild dog is sometimes confused with hyenas but is very different, both in appearance and lifestyle. Its patterned coat, unique to each individual, explains its alternative name of ‘painted wolf’. Other unmistakable features include a white tail tip and large Mickey-Mouse ears.

Wild dogs are built for stamina: packs hunt co-operatively, driving their prey to exhaustion and consuming it quickly. Typical targets include medium-sized antelopes such as impala.

Packs, numbering 2 to 27, centre upon a dominant breeding pair, which often raise their pups in an old aardvark burrow. Away from the den, packs are constantly on the move, covering large areas and aiming to steer clear of lions and spotted hyenas, their great competitors.


1.9–5.2kg

Daily meat consumed

±60%

Kill success rate

10

Average litter size

8–10 weeks

Pups abandon den

Africa's top camps for seeing wild dogs

Based on 375 reports by our travellers since Mar 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting wild dogs. Simply follow the key below.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for wild dog

% of travellers who saw wild dog

Top 10 camps for wild dog

% of travellers who saw wild dog

Where to see wild dogs in Africa

African wild dogs wander widely and so are often hard to track down. If you find them, stay with them: they are typically unconcerned and you may witness a hunt.


Top tips for viewing wild dogs

African wild dogs inhabit a variety of terrain, typically with a mixture of bush and open grassland. Today they are rare – victims of persecution and canine distemper – and largely confined to a handful of major conservation areas.

Significant strongholds include the Selous (Tanzania), Okavango (Botswana), Hwange (Zimbabwe) and Laikipia Plateau (Kenya), although wild dogs wander widely and may turn up unexpectedly almost anywhere. In a few locations, including Mana Pools (Zimbabwe), habituated packs allow close viewing, even on foot.

Although largely diurnal, wild dogs rest up during the heat of the day, becoming most active in the early morning and late afternoon. The alertness of prey animals, and their sudden panicking flight, is often your first clue that a pack is on the hunt nearby.

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Our top safaris for observing wild dogs

Based on our travellers experiences, these are the holidays which will give you the best chances of good wild dog sightings


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Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$13,390 - US$18,440 per person

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Large-spotted Genet safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A luxury safari exploring the Okavango Delta and Linyanti-Savuti, two of the best wildlife viewing areas in Botswana, staying at three top camps renowned for their guiding for a first-class experience.

US$8,470 - US$16,610 per person

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Civet Safari

9 days • 4 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Combining 3 intimate bush camps in the quieter south of the South Luangwa this safari will appeal to those looking for a nice mix of walking and vehicle safari.

US$7,100 - US$8,680 per person

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Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$5,250 - US$7,070 per person

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Greater Bushbaby Safari

8 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

The perfect safari for a family or group of friends during which to create everlasting memories. Visit Zambia’s two most productive wildlife parks staying in 4-bedroom houses, designed in a unique and fun way.

US$8,540 - US$10,610 per person

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Banded Mongoose Safari

8 days • 2 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A safari to two beautiful spots in northern Zimbabwe – peaceful Lake Kariba and wild Mana Pools National Park – staying in great value camps with celebrated guiding.

US$6,140 - US$6,950 per person

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Longclaw Fly-in Safari

7 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Explore the varied habitats of Tarangire National Park and the Serengeti from three luxurious and remote bush-camps. Enjoy bush walks and night drives, and keep watch for the great migration as you explore the iconic grasslands.

US$8,080 - US$10,470 per person

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Tawny Eagle Kenya Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Explore Laikipia and the Maasai Mara ecosystem with stays in the Ol Pejeta and Naboisho conservancies. Two smart yet authentically rustic bush camps provide a traditional safari experience, offering a high standard of guiding and excellent level of care.

US$4,810 - US$6,920 per person

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Superb Starling Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Two smartly luxurious sister-camps allow exploration of the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park. Situated in wildlife-rich locations, the camps offer a range of land and water-based activities, a superb standard of guiding and access to beautifully contrasting landscapes.

US$6,930 - US$9,310 per person

View all holidays to Africa

Our top destinations for wild dogs

Click below for detailed information about wild dogs in these countries, including our latest sightings data from the camps and lodges there.


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