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July 2016 – Wild Dogs Denning

Posted by on July 12th, 2016

Category: Botswana, Zimbabwe

Wild dog mum & puppies

This month it seems wholly appropriate to talk about one of Africa’s rarest and most enigmatic creatures – the African Wild Dog.  Whilst wild dogs can den at any time of year, July has become a particularly reliable month to see them denning in northern Botswana.  This year two of our favourite camps in Linyanti are excitedly reporting that they now have two dens – one at each camp.  At Lagoon, the larger pack of 14 wild dogs have a den 10 minutes from camp while at Lebala, the pack of 13 have a den north of the air strip.

Right now lucky safari travelers are enjoying sightings of puppies at dens that were only discovered a few weeks ago by the sharp eyed camp guides.

Once out of the den, Wild dog puppies are curious by nature and it is not uncommon for them to approach us, as happened in Mana Pools where one with his Mickey Mouse ears could not quite figure out what that thing lying on the ground with a video camera was!

 

wd+leigh_1

The adults are fast and sure pack hunters and I’ve been lucky enough during my African travels to find wild dogs in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa.  Sometimes just lying underneath a tree in the heat of the day and at other times witnessing them in full flow as they chase down an impala which seems to be a preferred prey.  Although on occasion the kill has been quickly stolen by a scavenging hyenas after an easy meal!

 

Hyenas steal impala kill from African painted dogs

The magnificent South Luangwa in Zambia has recently enjoyed truly spectacular sightings where the wild dog has made an amazing come back. They travel over huge distances so sightings are not guaranteed, but based on current sighting reports your chances of seeing them are good and particularly in the green season – November to March.  We can recommend excellent camps to stay at and where you can even join in with a carnivore research programme.

So if we have inspired you to go in search of these rare and endangered animals, then please give us a call or make an enquiry and our experts will be pleased to put a trip together for you.

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