Sosian Ranch African Wild Dogs

African wild dogs on Sosian Ranch in pursuit of a scrub hare. Photo courtesy, ©Marc Mol, a client of The Wild Source

Observing African Wild Dogs in Kenya

In recent years those wanting to see African wild dogs were smart to head to Botswana, as it has been the most reliable location. In fact, this highly charismatic species is frequently observed throughout much of northern Botswana.
However, I have been pleased to see an excellent location for sighting wild dogs develop in Kenya in the Laikipia region, and specifically on Sosian Ranch. The proliferation of wild dog sightings at Sosian has created a tremendous opportunity to plan safari itineraries that have a high probability of experiencing wild dogs in combination with the amazing big cats of the Mara region (staying in one of the conservancies to avoid crowds!) – an ideal safari for those with a big interest in predators.
Wild dogs hunting a hare.
Photo courtesy, © Marc Mol.

African Wild Dogs of Sosian Ranch, Laikipia

The Laikipia region of Kenya is thought to have the fastest growing population of African wild dogs. It is an area of traditional ranches that have been rehabilitated to support wildlife, often side by side with ongoing cattle operations that are managed at low enough densities that the range can support livestock and wildlife.

What I love from a safari point of view is this is an area of low density tourism as the Sosian Ranch is 24,000 acres and only houses Sosian Lodge with a capacity for just 14 guests. This means you get an exclusive experience, which is optimal to track and observe African wild dogs.
Another strength of Sosian is the diversity of activities as it’s a great area for walking, horseback riding, camel safaris and a number of other activities and some of the best wild dog action has actually been observed on foot.
Sosian wild dog pack recently observed from horseback. Photo courtesy of Sosian Lodge.
The wild dogs of Sosian have had a transition in the last couple months but viewing remains outstanding. There were two large packs of 26 and 18 using the area but subsequently the large pack split in two so now there are three packs that overlap in this area.
Following the split, there is the boy pack – 10 males and one female – that have been rough on the Sosian pack that had denned in July the previous two years and a couple pack members were killed. However, the dominant female of the Sosian pack had found a safe den location and disappeared into it at the end of September, and hopefully new pups will emerge soon.
Locating the dogs on game drives and walks is a common occurrence. Sosian also works in conjunction with the neighboring predator research center and as a few dogs in each pack are collared it is generally possible to track them if they disappear for a few days making Sosian as reliable of a year round wild dog destination as there is.
A wild dog dashes by, just 2 meters away from Sosian guests on a walk, as it hunts a dik-dik.
Photo courtesy of Sosian Lodge.
African wild dogs are known for their hunting prowess and exciting pursuit of prey. At Sosian that is certainly the case and the dogs are regularly observed hunting.
One morning in August the pack made six kills near Sosian Lodge. Another day two impala and two dik-dik.
One morning in August the pack made six kills near Sosian Lodge. Another day two impala and two dik-dik.
I will be visiting with a small group in February to observe the wild dogs before guiding my Big Cats and the Migration safari.

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