On the trail of Laikipia’s
wild dog

Encounter the elusive wild dog on safari and get up close for an unforgettable safari experience

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The wild dogs of Laikipia

Wild dogs are irrefutably the most rewarding predator that you can encounter on safari; endearingly inquisitive, massively social, yet not large or angry enough to eat you.

Wild dogs are the most ephemeral of mammals – popping-up in area after months or even years of absence to terrorize the local antelope population before disappearing off again as quickly as they arrived. Packs can travel marathon distances day after day. 

Laikipia currently stands out because a couple of the dogs are collared and the guides have access to the tracking equipment, making an encounter an awful lot more likely than merely spending time in the bush. Laikipia is also wonderfully devoid of rules so there’s the freedom to pursue them on foot or off-road and stay out after dusk, meaning that you can work around the dog’s movements, as move they certainly will.

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Why go to Laikipia to see wild dog?

An abundance of dik-dik, the perfect snack-sized treat for a pack of wild dog, together with the relative paucity of lion – their arch adversary – combine to make this perfect dog-country.

Best time to see wild dog

Wild Dogs are present and may be spotted on Laikipia all year round, but the chances of a meaningful encounter with them are greatest in the seven-month window between when the pups emerge from the den and start hunting with the pack, to when the dogs start denning again.

The frequency of breeding is mainly down to their success in evading larger predators, rather than the seasonal rains, and typically runs in roughly 11-month cycles thereby getting earlier by a calendar month each year.

Speak to us about when to visit Laikipia in order to maximise your chances of an incredible Wild Dog experience.

Best time to see wild dog

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“Natural High shines rays of adventurous light into some of the least explore, most exciting corners of the wider world.

Find out more about Laikipia Plateau

Laikipia Plateau Discover More
Highlights
  • Spend part of your safari in private bush houses
  • Epic safaris on private conservancy ranches
  • Great for rhino and wild dog sightings
  • Take to the saddle for a unique riding safari
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Our Favourite Camps & Lodges

Light tented camps, stylish lodges & fly-camps; Africa has it all. Best known for its superb safari camps and lodges – many designed with creativity and a real effort to complement, rather than dominate, their environments.
Laikipia Wilderness Camp

The wildlife in the surrounding area is supreme, being one of the best wild dog spotting sites Kenya has to offer.

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Kicheche Laikipia Camp

Thanks to the initiatives of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, you get an extremely rare opportunity to see Kenya’s largest population of Black Rhino.

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Borana

There’s tons to do and great people to do it with. All round, this probably makes Borana one of the best places to stay in Laikipia.

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Speaking from experience

Of all the wild and continually surprising offerings that Kenya has up her sleeve, Natural High’s Rod Tether (pictured right) experienced an amazing encounter with the wild dogs of Laikipia that will live longest in the memory.

Insatiably curious but not particularly aggressive, wild dog are far and away Rod’s favourite predator to encounter on foot and Laikipia is fast gaining a reputation as the place to encounter see them, blessed by a combination of a healthy well-protected population and the freedom to get out of a vehicle and on to their level.

First-class reading of the dogs behaviour had him sitting on their path as they trotted past en route for an evening hunt, stopping briefly to sniff our socks and peer in to my eyes. Simply extraordinary.

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BEST PLACES OUTSIDE KENYA TO FIND WILD DOG

All the great classic safari countries: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania can all boast good populations – although that doesn’t mean you’ll find them but it’s a good start.

With home-ranges that can be an astonishing 2,000 square kilometres the first requirement for the dog’s survival is wild, empty country – free of highways and fences. To maximise the experience head somewhere it possible, if you do encounter them, you can interact on foot. 

Our two top tips outside Kenya are Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe and the Luangwa Valley in Zambia.

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It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. The Natural High team have unrivalled experience and will take your ideas and turn them into your trip of a lifetime.

Into The Wild Brochure

Need some more inspiration? Request a copy of Into The Wild, our comprehensive anthology of safaris and wilderness travel.

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