While they may not be the first kind of dog that springs to mind on World Dog Day, when on safari in Botswana, wild dogs are the canines you want to look out for!
In the heart of the Okavango Delta lies what is widely considered ‘the predator capital of Africa’ – Moremi Game Reserve. It is the watery lagoons, palm-fringed islands and grassy plains in the delta broadly, and Moremi more specifically, that you will find healthy populations of African wild dogs. Sighting them is often a high priority for many wildlife enthusiasts and a good reason to visit this particular region of Botswana on a predator safari.
This World Dog Day, we celebrate the wild dogs of Africa with a short overview of these charming creatures:
Spotting wild dogs
With coats of marbled tan, black and white covering strong yet agile frames, watching these striking dogs navigate the diverse landscape of Moremi is always a special experience. Wild dogs are incredibly strategic and coordinated in how they track and take down prey. As highly sociable pack animals, they not only use vocalization during play and affection but also as communication when hunting.
Tracking wild dogs
No matter how many times you have done it, tracking wild dogs with expert guides is a thrilling adventure every time. While on a game drive at dawn or dusk, a glimpse of these beautiful creatures as the golden light catches their coats is unforgettable. If you manage to catch up to them after a high-speed chase of an impala or perhaps a buffalo calf, you will get to spend time watching how they interact within their social hierarchy.
Conserving wild dogs
For wild dogs to thrive, they need vast territories for considerably numbered packs to be able to freely roam and hunt successfully. With greater human interference and encroachment into various areas around Africa where wild dogs usually live, they have been listed by the IUCN as endangered with only about 1400 mature individuals found across the continent.
Staying near wild dogs
Moremi Game Reserve is an important safe-haven for these fascinating dogs as on-the-ground conservation efforts are supported by Botswana’s ‘low quantity, high quality’ approach to wildlife tourism. Safari camps like Moremi Crossing opposite Chief’s Island and Camp Moremi on Xakanaxa Lagoon, are in protected concessions that ensure minimal intrusion in the natural habitat and social functioning of the wild dogs in their areas.
If you are intrigued by Africa’s wild dogs and big cats, contact us about tailoring a safari that is about predators of all kinds.