Game Warden

What camps in what countries for wild dogs.

211 posts in this topic

As far as Botswana is concerned:

 

Linyanti

Lagoon - always good for dogs from June onwards and they had regular sightings this year

Linyanti Bush Camp - September onwards is the best time to see them here.

Savuti/Kingspool/Duma Tau - All had good sightings this year beginning in April

 

Okavango

Kwara - had a denning pack this year and good sightings from April until October

Khwai area (Khwai Tented Camp, Banoka Bush Camp, Sango Tented Camp, Khwai River Lodge & Machaba Camp plus mobiles) - this is a superb area for Dogs and they have denned near the village for the last four years.

Chitabe - The classic area to see Dogs but has been a little sparse over the last two years.

 

Chobe (Kasane area) - Dogs have been seen regualrly over the last few years and i have seen them myself on the transit route 4 or 5 times. (Chobe Under Canvas, Chobe Game Lodge and various other mobile operators)

 

Zimbabwe - Mana Pools is obviously a great place (Ruckomechi, Vundu, Kanga Bush Camp, Chikwenya and various mobile comapnies)

Hwange is good around the Ngweshla Pan (Somalisa Camp, Makololo, Davidsons Camp, The Hide and various mobile companies)

 

South Africa - Pilanesberg National Park is a great place to see dogs, although relatively small.

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Not a PhD biologist by any means here... but generally, dogs are usually where lions ain't. Sure, there are exceptions like Mana Pools, I hear (never been).

 

But its' not surprising that wild dogs are harder to see in S. Luangwa during the denning season (Jun - Sep or so), as they den deep in the woodlands away from the lions who are following their prey towards the river.

 

In southern Kafue for example, wild dogs were seen regularly on the Nanzhila Plains until 2011 when male lions showed up for the first time in many years. The dogs disappeared from June on only to return to the Plains in October with semi-grown-up pups.

 

At Mombo, Botswana, there used to be a pack numbering 30+ denning every year there, until around '97 when a bunch of lions moved in. I don't think there has been a denning pack since (?) It is interesting that Mombo's logo used to be wild dogs.

 

It is interesting that The Golden Pack of dogs moved into Vumbura in Botswana from Kwara. I think Kwara's male lion coalition of 7 had something to do with it. Heck, I would get the heck out of there...

 

Kwando Lagoon is on the edge of the Kwando concession, and I believe lion prides have always been small as a result of it bordering non-wildlife areas. (Please feel free to correct, Hari.) Perhaps therein lies the success of the dogs there.

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In 2010 at Mano Pools ,Ruckomechi, the end of August we saw one dog. We were told that the others were at the den site. Same trip early September in the Selinda area we had four of our best nights ever in Africa. The first night we were at a den site with adults and puppies. Then the next three nights we followed the adults hunting. The rides were wild, hang onto your stuff, and one night they made a kill, an impala. The hyenas were soon on the scene but the dogs got most of the meal. Same trip in September we followed the single dog at Mombo hunting with her jackal family. Interesting.

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Not a PhD biologist by any means here... but generally, dogs are usually where lions ain't. Sure, there are exceptions like Mana Pools, I hear (never been).

 

 

It would indeed be interesting if some research was conducted as to why in Mana such a thriving wild dog population coexists with a good (not huge) number of lions.

 

My extremely wild guess is that there is not much competition for prey, since lions markedly prefer buffalo, whilst the main staple of wild dogs is impala (I have never heard of wild dogs in Mana bringing down larger prey such as zebra, but I may be totally wrong).

 

Generally the dens are situated in rather thick mopane woodlands nevertheless. This may allow the pups to stay safe whilst the adults go hunting on the floodplains.

 

In general, it might be that in Mana hyena pose a bigger threat to wild dog pups than lion.

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The original lagoon pride of lions had quite a few lions until the pride disintegrated in the mid 2000s. Yes, now the dogs den very close to camp every year and have had a very good success rate with the puppies.

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Posted (edited)

What a lovely report that was on LP! Perhaps we need GW to organize this one through ST Travel Club too... Early December 2013...

Edited by Sangeeta

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Just to add to this:

 

Kicheche Laikipia Camp - Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Laikipia, Kenya. Dogs are still denning on Ol Pej and have new pups close by.

Karisia Walking Safaris - Tumaren Ranch - Laikipia, Kenya. not sure if they're still denning, but they had a very permanent den in a cave nearby recently with older pups.

Encounter Mara Camp - Naboisho Conservancy - Masai Mara, Kenya. Somewhat more regular sightings this year with a pack of 14 being seen last month, and a few other groups over the course of the year. It is estimated that from the Loita hills to the Lemek hills, there are probably at least 4 different packs.

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I'm pretty sure it was on here a couple of years ago that someone posted a link or comment on the BBC wildlife magazine that had an article on the best place to see wild dogs and their #1 was Selous. I'm also sure some people didn't quite agree - can't find the post now though :(

 

Well, I think there's a difference between 'The place with the best chance to see wild dogs' and 'The best place to see wild dogs'....

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Scrolling through this I saw Sangeeta's request for Liuwa Plains, Zambia info. There is a large pack of wild dogs there, 20-30. What is nice is that there are researchers who radio track a few collared dogs are are enthused about sharing on the dogs' whereabouts. We benefitted from this arrangement and got to see the pack in action.

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Thanks, Lynn! Waiting to hear all the details from you. Darn it! Should've come with you...

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And I with you!

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Not a PhD biologist by any means here... but generally, dogs are usually where lions ain't. Sure, there are exceptions like Mana Pools, I hear (never been).

 

 

It would indeed be interesting if some research was conducted as to why in Mana such a thriving wild dog population coexists with a good (not huge) number of lions.

 

My extremely wild guess is that there is not much competition for prey, since lions markedly prefer buffalo, whilst the main staple of wild dogs is impala (I have never heard of wild dogs in Mana bringing down larger prey such as zebra, but I may be totally wrong).

 

Generally the dens are situated in rather thick mopane woodlands nevertheless. This may allow the pups to stay safe whilst the adults go hunting on the floodplains.

 

In general, it might be that in Mana hyena pose a bigger threat to wild dog pups than lion.

 

Wild dogs avoid lions (and hyaena) not only in space, but also in time (ie, they hunt at times lions and hyaenas are not usually active). Also canid population naturally fluctuate a lot. Imagine, you can have 50 dogs in an area. But this can be only 2 successful packs. But if those packs break up after losing 1 or both alphas, they can result in 7 (or even more) packs, and if those are successful (say increase by 8 dogs each on average) for 2 years you can have 150+ dogs. That's in just 2 years. The reverse is also true. You can have few big, often seen packs in an area, but if they break up and most of the break-aways leave the area and the new established packs are unlucky raising pups than in a few years dogs disappear from an area. Most lodges conduct their gamedrives in an area which doesn't even fully cover the homerange of a pack. So just by bad luck they can disappear from that area, while the population actually is doing quite well.

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home ranges / territories of wild dog packs can be huge; in Kruger Park some cover 1,000 km²

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Interesting comments on wilddogs & lions. During Aug' - Sept' 2002 I stayed at Selinda / Zib for three weeks. (The camps were close to empty due to 9/11).

 

During this time the lion prides were at the peak of their powers. The Selinda pride was 21 strong (not including the pride males that were up in the Kwando concession), The Bridge pride had at least 15 members and yet the wilddog viewing was mind blowing, the pups had just started running with the pack and i saw a wilddog kill (sometimes two) almost every day for the entire visit.

 

FWIW I've seen wilddog at Selinda, Kwando, Savuti, Chitabe, Hwange, Luiwa, Kafue & Sth Laungwa. My sightings are outdated though, but to me every dog has its day (pun intended) and what has been a good spot for dogs is not always the case.

 

Attached a crappy scan of a slide from back then. Note the pups in the background, at that time too scared to join in the kill...

 

 

post-5120-0-11748900-1359435526_thumb.jpg

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Hi all - just have to add Laikipia Wilderness Camp to this list. They have three packs running around the conservancy right now - each with 20+ dogs! Literally dogs behind whichever bush or thicket you care to look. Two packs have a couple of collared individuals and one does not. Steve is himself passionate about the dogs and guides in the best Zim traditions. A must go for all dog lovers who are looking for a more reasonably priced alternative to Bots high season camps. All the packs are very active right now and have reasonably old pups, but they seem to love the area.

 

Also, great concentrations of reticulated giraffe, good ele herds. I was lucky with all the northern species (Grevy's, Beisa Oryx, gerenuk, vulturine guinea fowl, Guenther's dikdik, ret giraffe, Jackson's hartebeest etc) between my 4 day stay at LWC and 2 day stay at Loisaba.

 

My new Kenya rec for anyone in the planning stages - do a mix of Mara & Laikipia.

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Hi all - just have to add Laikipia Wilderness Camp to this list. They have three packs running around the conservancy right now - each with 20+ dogs! Literally dogs behind whichever bush or thicket you care to look. Two packs have a couple of collared individuals and one does not. Steve is himself passionate about the dogs and guides in the best Zim traditions. A must go for all dog lovers who are looking for a more reasonably priced alternative to Bots high season camps. All the packs are very active right now and have reasonably old pups, but they seem to love the area.

 

Also, great concentrations of reticulated giraffe, good ele herds. I was lucky with all the northern species (Grevy's, Beisa Oryx, gerenuk, vulturine guinea fowl, Guenther's dikdik, ret giraffe, Jackson's hartebeest etc) between my 4 day stay at LWC and 2 day stay at Loisaba.

 

My new Kenya rec for anyone in the planning stages - do a mix of Mara & Laikipia.

 

Great to hear - that's exactly what I was thinking of doing combined with Rwanda for gorillas on my next safari!

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My new Kenya rec for anyone in the planning stages - do a mix of Mara & Laikipia.

I totally agree and have been saying this for ages. It is a wonderful combination for all the right reasons.

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Sounds amazing!

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I think @@Anita and I both beat you to adding LWC to the list, up at posts #4 and #6!!

 

Glad to hear you had a great experience though- I'll be there for a week in June. How long did you stay and how many sightings in that time?

 

My priority is the dogs, but I'm hoping to get some walking in too.

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Posted (edited)

Oh Wow - Thanks for the updates @sangeeta

 

Sounds a wonderful trip and can hardly wait to hear all about it.

 

@@stokeygirl would you know the total size of the LWC area in question? I must imagine it's probably a massive area to house 3 large packs?

Edited by madaboutcheetah

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No, I don't know, but you're right- 3 packs in one area is bloody impressive!

 

My dog luck wasn't with me so much in Botswana this year, so I'm hoping LWC will make up for it.

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Oh Wow - Thanks for the updates @sangeeta

 

 

@@stokeygirl would you know the total size of the LWC area in question? I must imagine it's probably a massive area to house 3 large packs?

@@madaboutcheetah

 

Those packs roam a wider area, and LWC has traversing rights with Sosian and M'pala Ranch (I think you have to pay an additional fee to go to M'pala). However, they seem to like LWC area a lot.

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@@Paolo Thanks a lot ....... Would love to go there one of these years.

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Posted (edited)

SG, I was there for 4 nights. Had sightings on 3 days and saw all 3 packs - on two days, sightings were twice/day. Long sightings and multiple hunts.

 

Also, Steve loves walking, so he's sure to be delighted to have another walker in his midst.

 

On my last morning, after a couple of hours with the dogs (car & foot), I finally had to tear myself away because I had a flight to catch. As we were driving off the ranch, 3 dogs came pelting over the horizon in hot pursuit of a dikdik! I actually left LWC with the dust of the chase still visible from the rear windshield...

 

But having said all this, I believe there have been some (rare) occasions when the dogs have vanished for a week at a time, so there are no guarantees of course. Two packs are fairly constant visitors, the 3rd was lucky happenstance. But who knows, they could become regulars too. How the dikdik population survives these dogs is a mystery though! Steve said that a pack of 22 would need to hunt about 10 dikdiks a day.

Edited by Sangeeta

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I think @@Anita and I both beat you to adding LWC to the list, up at posts #4 and #6!!

Yup, and Paolo too :)

 

Another interesting point to note is that these multiple sightings were all outside denning season. The puppies are all mobile and 6+ months old now. The packs have been denning in the Sept-Oct timeframe of late.

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