Once wide-spread throughout Africa, African Wild Dogs are now found in just 4 countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Botswana.
With their oversized ears, calico coats and familiar dog-like faces; it’s not hard to understand why African Wild Dogs, also called Painted Dogs, are such a favourite with wildlife lovers. Unfortunately, though, due to extreme conflict with farming communities and their home ranges continuously being curtailed by human development, Wild Dogs are considered ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Home to approximately 30% the world’s remaining Wild Dog population, northern Botswana is one of the last areas of refuge for this endangered species. With its large, protected and unfenced environment, as well as year-round water resources, Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango, and the surrounding area, is considered to be one of the best places to see Wild Dogs in the country.
Situated just outside of the Moremi Game Reserve, African Horseback Safaris is often treated to sightings of these formidable predators. Just a few weeks ago, a pack of Wild Dogs crossed the water right in front of camp just as guests were about to start breakfast!
They had 11 puppies with them that were soaking wet from the swim and the guests were able to view them on foot between the tents before the pack moved off into the bush. Thrilled to see so many puppies, the guides quickly took the guests by vehicle to get a better view of them before returning to camp for the morning ride.
While their den hasn’t been found yet, the team at African Horseback Safaris has spotted them a few times relaxing by a water hole while out on rides. It’s always exciting to see such an endangered species and particularly when they are successfully breeding.
A little more about African Horseback Safaris
Set in the heart of Okavango Delta in Botswana, African Horseback Safaris offers a unique and thrilling horseback adventure. Fed by seasonal rains, the Okavango river fans out into the Kalahari Desert to create the world’s largest inland delta. During the annual floods, large areas become inaccessible to vehicles, making horseback the best means to explore this mosaic of palm islands, grassy flood plains, mopane forest and streams.
The camp, Macatoo, consists of 8 classic tented suites that provide a comfortable place to relax after a thrilling day in the saddle. The tents are each set on their own raised platform, providing spectacular views of the floodplain.