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Top 5 Safari Destinations to see Wild Dog

Arguably the most iconic for the best chance of spending time with this charismatic carnivore we’ve selected 5 spots where they don’t just occur every now and again but really are regularly encountered:


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. Add to this an on-going research programme that fits telemetric collars to a few of the alphas meaning that the packs can be located with unusual reliability and an absence of National Park rules allowing you to crawl right up to them. A truly top-drawer experience.


Wild Dog are uncommonly successful and efficient hunters and scientist have long-pondered why, given this, they are in decline. The answer lies disappearing habitat and the ever-increasing risk of running in to poacher’s snares or contracting canine distemper from domestic dogs on their long traverses across the savannah. In short what they need is space and nowhere offers more miles of wild Africa than the Selous; 54,600 square kilometres of game reserve in eastern Tanzania.


Wild Dog have to share the limelight somewhat around the Okavango where plentiful sightings of leopard, cheetah and lion add to this embarrassment of riches. Moremi might not be able to boast that it’s the most reliable place to encounter Wild Dog, but if you do there’s nowhere where you’re more likely to see then interacting with another large predator.


While sightings of Wild Dog in Luangwa are classically ephemeral they have been on the rise for the last decade. A big bonus of going on a dog-hunt in Zambia is that you can do so on foot, and there is probably no animal more rewarding to encounter on a walking safari than Wild Dog – playful and inquisitive a cautious approach can bring you within a few feet of a pack – the only downside is that you’re close enough to smell them, and they don’t smell great.


As in Zambia, Zimbabwean Wild Dog can be approached on foot and this is one of the great wildlife encounters – right up there with Great Apes. Another shared feature with Zambia, and Botswana, is that the southern African dogs are more beautiful than their East African counterparts with more gold and white on their coats, truly painted wolves.

Rod Tether
About the Author

Rod Tether

Expert guide, born and raised in wild Africa.

Born in Uganda and guiding since the age of 17, Rod is one of Africa’s leading safari guides. His spiritual home remains Zambia’s North Luangwa where he and his wife Guz created and ran ...

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