This Friday I’m hosting a great photograph of African Wild Dog pack, taken in Kenya by Kavita Favelle from the Kavey Eats The World Blog.
Born into a travel-loving family, exploring the world has been a huge part of Kavita’s life since childhood.
For over 25 years, she’s been travelling with husband Pete; favourite trips include Botswana, Canada, The Falkland Islands, France, Iceland, Japan, Lebanon, Namibia, Peru, Taiwan, and two magical journeys to Antarctica!
Photo Story: African Wild Dog
But the African wild dog, also known as the painted dog or painted wolf, isn’t on as many wish lists.
Yet seeing this incredible predator has been one of our highlights in visits to both East and Southern Africa safari destinations.
Classified as Endangered by the IUCN, the African wild dog has disappeared from much of its original range, so you will need to research and plan your trips carefully to have a chance of observing a pack in the wild. But seeing a pack on the hunt, supremely coordinated and effective hunters, is a thrill.
So too is the more moving scene of watching adults nurture the pack young back at a den site. These three beautiful animals belonged to a pack we encountered in Samburu National Reserve, in Kenya.
We have also had wonderful sightings in Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve, a fantastic place for close-up, intimate, wildlife sightings of many species.
African wild dogs don’t impress everyone; I vividly recall a fellow traveller in our jeep for one game drive whining about our guide’s decision to stop, turn off the engine and let us watch a pack relaxing and interacting with each other at their den site, insisting these amazing animals were no different to the domesticated dogs he could see “in any backyard, back home”!
Fortunately, the rest of us in the group overruled him and we stayed with the pack until they headed off on a hunt, with us following behind.
The African wild dog, also called Cape hunting dog or painted dog, typically roams the open plains and sparse woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa.
These long-legged canines have only four toes per foot, unlike other dogs, which have five toes on their forefeet. The dog’s Latin name means “painted wolf,” referring to the animal’s irregular, mottled coat, which features patches of red, black, brown, white, and yellow fur.
Each animal has its own unique coat pattern, and all have big, rounded ears.
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