Elusive and increasingly threatened, the African wild dog is a coveted sighting while on safari. Some of our favorite safari camps throughout eastern and southern Africa are among the top places to see African wild dog and partake in African wild dog safaris.
Finding animals that roam such large territories can be a challenge, and it’s important to remember that sightings are never guaranteed. Visiting these select parks and camps puts the odds of seeing wild dog in your favor, especially during the dry season. Learn where to see African wild dogs below.
Top Places to See African Wild Dog
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Madikwe is home to a wild dog family nicknamed the “southern pack” because of their initial tendency to stay in the park’s south. Over the seasons they’ve increased their range and have been glimpsed throughout the reserve by the rangers and guides of Mateya Safari Lodge. Limited to just four guests at a time, game drives at Mateya showcase the thrill of tracking over large distances. Read about incredible encounters with African wild dog from Francois van Heerden, Senior Game Ranger at Mateya Lodge.
Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
The ever-present Zambezi River is the life source for game in Mana Pools. Safari-goers at Ruckomechi Camp benefit greatly from this constant activity, and elephants often venture close to main camp to nab tasty bites of leaves from the albida trees. There is splendid game viewing year-round, and when activity picks up during the dry season, even more places to see African wild dog are discovered. The sightings can be quite emotional, as experienced by past guest Marian Myers:
“The demeanour of the hunters changed from ‘lovable Labrador’ to serious hunter – their trot had purpose, their heads lowered to form a straight line from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tails, eyes yellow and focused – and then there was an almighty explosion. Dust, impala, dogs, running, kicking, hooves, fur, claws, teeth – a blur – more dogs, impala, dust, dogs, impala, dust – outlines now disappeared into the fading light and the bush.”
Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Blessed with year-round wildlife traffic and free from mass tourism, the Moremi Game Reserve is known as a photographer’s delight. From the cozy confines of Okuti, game drives get you into some of the best areas for African wild dog viewing. Safari vehicles have been designed specifically for greater visibility, so your game watching and photography comes without frequent repositioning.
Selinda Spillway, Botswana
Perennial access to water in the abundant floodplains of the Selinda Reserve creates a superhighway of safari activity for wildlife and African wild dog packs. Right in the middle of this activity is Zarafa Camp, overlooking the waters of Zibadianja Lagoon. A local pack have been known to den very close to camp in the dry season, making Zarafa Camp one of the very best places to see African wild dog. They share space with plains animals, other predators, and over 300 different varieties of birds.
Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Ruaha is one of the largest national parks in Africa, and home to the third largest population of African wild dogs and more than 10 percent of the world’s remaining lions. The Mwagusi sand river near Kwihala Camp is a draw for wildlife, including families of African wild dog. Open plains, woodland valleys, and baobab forests offer an attractive and diverse landscape for these packs to rest and hunt. The variety makes it a beautiful safari location too, experienced on game drives and intimate walking excursions with skilled guides and trackers.
Consider these places to see African wild dog when planning your next luxury safari. For more information about an African safari, contact your Ker & Downey Travel Professional. To stay up to date on all of our online content, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.