There is nothing quite so special as seeing a wild dog on safari. Although they did not make the cut for the Big 5, wild dogs are still a very sought after sighting among safari-goers!
Fondly known as the painted wolves in the safari community, these curious-looking animals have a mottled, irregular coat which is as unique to each individual dog as fingerprints are to us. They are highly sociable as well as intelligent and though they may come across as cute, they are ferocious hunters with outstanding endurance and speed. They have the highest success rates when it comes to hunting with a predicted 70%-80% which is pretty impressive considering the bigger carnivores such as lions have a mere 30% success rate.
Despite these impressive statistics, the wild dog population is at a critical point, and have been on the endangered species list since 2016, with many areas losing their presence completely. Fortunately, in The Luangwa Valley, it is, in fact, the opposite as the wild dog population is thriving and as of 2018, it became home to Zambia’s largest population of Wild Dogs!
Tena Tena has been having regular sightings of the dogs, and although there are several different packs within the area, there has been 1 specific pack consisting of 3-4 adults that have been hanging around lately causing quite a stir. Watch them in action:
The growing wild dog population in the Luangwa Valley is no coincidence but rather due to the hard work put in by the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) who Robin Pope Safaris has supported for many years and even hosted their base camp in South Luangwa. Together with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW)) and Conservation South Luangwa (CSL), ZCP has made great strides in conservation, successfully increasing the wild dog populations in the Luangwa through extensive efforts to reduce the impacts of snaring, which has had devastating impacts on wild dogs in the past.
For the rest of the year, we will be offering free return flights to South Luangwa for 3 or more nights booked at any of our properties! Take advantage of this great deal as well as the chance to see the much loved painted wolves of the Luangwa Valley.