Fraud Blocker African Wild Dog on Safari (aka Painted Wolf, Cape Hunting Dog)

African Wild Dog

African Wild Dog (Painted Wolf)

This active, gregarious species is a favorite of our guides and biologists. It is thrilling to find and follow the dogs, and fascinating to observe their pack behavior.
This is a highly endangered species, and because it ranges over wide areas it is also one of the most difficult species to plan to see.
The best viewing opportunities are during the denning season, when a pack stays near its den for several weeks while the puppies are young. Outside of denning season, the best strategy is to safari in areas that have strong resident packs throughout the year.

African Wild Dog Itineraries

Botswana: Ready For Action

This remarkable itinerary features locations that represent the best opportunities of Botswana's dry season excitement. The dry season of Botswana is as good as it gets to see large quantities of animals in exclusive wilderness areas. Of special note the rare African wild dog typically is denning with puppies visible from mid-July to the end of August, then September through November remains outstanding as packs with puppies are traveling small distances with a drive to hunt to feed the quickly growing pups.

Bushman’s Botswana

Return to the origins of humanity as you head deep into the heart of Botswana and the world-famous Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert. Experience the Old Way of the Bushmen - the indigenous people of southern Africa.

Into the Botswana Wild with Victoria Falls

Experience the best of Northern Botswana in the Okavango Delta, Kwando Concession and Chobe River, plus the majestic "smoke that thunders" in Victoria Falls.

Intrepid Zimbabwe Explorer: Victoria Falls, Hwange and Canoeing Mana Pools (Origins Collection)

Step back in time to the era of exploration with our Intrepid Zimbabwe Explorers itinerary, customized for remote adventure in some of the most pristine wilderness on Earth.

Big Five of Southern Africa

Southern Africa is an incredibly diverse region with varying weather, landscapes, cultures, and wildlife. This itinerary covers three major highlights of Southern Africa: The Greater Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta.

South African Splendor: Cape Town and Sabi Sands Safari

Southern Africa is an incredibly diverse region with varying weather, landscapes, cultures, and wildlife.

Classic Zimbabwe: Hwange and Mana Pools with Victoria Falls

This adventure-level safari features classic bush camps, thrilling walking safaris, and an excellent value.

Zambia Walking and Waterways Safari

Zambian safaris are distinguished by the vintage expedition-style adventure delivered under the care of exceptional guides in remote wilderness areas teeming with wildlife.

Tanzania Frontier

This safari is the ultimate trip for those who truly want to get away from it all, exploring some of Tanzania's less-visited gems.

Botswana Desert and Delta Safari: Outstanding Value, Top Wildlife and Diverse Landscapes

This safari is customized to take advantage of the best opportunities for the green season in Botswana to observe diverse wildlife.

Wild Origins Safari: Botswana and Zambia

From $9,525 per person Explore the highlights of Botswana's world class Okavango Delta and the wilds of Zambia's South Luangwa.

Ultimate Predators of Botswana

This safari includes our favorite private concession areas which have proven to provide exceptional opportunities to view Botswana's iconic predator species including lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog.

Botswana Exquisite Expedition: Luxury for Less

Explore the great variety of habitats and species Botswana offers. You will likely see between 30 and 35 different mammal species along with a spectacular array of birds and other wildlife.

African Wild Dog Videos

Best Places to See African Wild Dogs on Safari

African Wild Dogs
African Wild Dog
Northern Botswana remains the best geographic area for finding and observing wild dogs in a wilderness setting. We keep tabs on numerous den locations throughout the Okavango Delta and Kwando/Selinda/Linyanti region, and can recommend the best camps from which to observe these dens. Outside of the July – September denning season, the November – December impala lambing season has proven to be outstanding for wild dog viewing. The young lambs make for easy and frequent prey for packs that have fast-growing puppies demanding food.

Other Areas of Note

Luangwa Valley and Greater Kafue, Zambia
The Zambia Carnivore Programme has been instrumental in protecting and growing predator populations throughout the country, and are conducting the longest-running wild dog conservation project from the Luangwa Valley. Zambia is among the remaining six countries in Africa to house viable wild dog populations with the largest numbers in the Kafue and South Luangwa National Parks.
Laikipia, Kenya
The Laikipia area of Kenya has become an excellent area for wild dogs, and many camps are able to use radio-telemetry to track research packs. Sadly, an outbreak of canine distemper disease passed by domestic dogs wiped out almost 90% of the pack in 2017, but the pack has been making a comeback. One female, the alpha female of one of the local packs, lived on by herself for a number of months before meeting a pair of roaming males and denning a few months later. There are several collared males and more that visit the area in search of mates and territory.
Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Mana Pools in Zimbabwe can rival Northern Botswana for outstanding wild dog viewing and they are often viewed on walking safaris. In September, 2019 a pack of 10 African wild dogs was translocated from Hwange National Park to the eastern boundary of Mana Pools National Park where the pack will be farther from human populations and help to grow the numbers in Mana Pools, which Painted Dog Conservation estimates to have 24 packs and over 200 individuals.
Hwange, Zimbabwe
Hwange in Zimbabwe is known for having good sightings. As of 2019, Painted Dog Conservation estimates that there are 32 packs within Hwange National Park.
Madikwe Reserve, South Africa
The Madikwe Game Reserve was founded in 1991 where, over a seven-year period, Operation Phoenix reintroduced more than 8,000 animals (28 species) into the reserve including the African wild dog. It remains the largest and most successful reintroduction program to date. Since their reintroduction, the fenced reserve in South Africa has become a haven and known for it’s wild dog sightings.
Kakesio, Tanzania
The Kakesio area south of the Serengeti can have amazing wild dog action hunting on the open plains during the wildebeest calving season (January through March), but that pack can be challenging to find. By taking a picnic lunch, this can be included as a full day outing from the camps closer to Ndutu for those looking to enjoy the Great Migration calving season as part of their safari experience.
Ruaha, Tanzania
Ruaha National Park is a vital stronghold for keystone species in Tanzania. The park is very large and difficult to explore fully due to the topography and distance, however it holds the third largest population of African wild dogs according to the Ruaha Carnivore Project.
Selous, Tanzania & Niassa Reserve, Mozambique
The Selous region of Tanzania and the Niassa Reserve of Mozambique have some of the largest populations but the areas are large as well, with limited tourism access making sightings unreliable.


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