Best Game Reserves for Wild Dogs

Dec 30th, 2004, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We first saw wild dogs at Mombo in June 2001 but it was a tiny pack of 3 and not long after we heard that wild dogs were no longer present in the area, to the best knowledge of local guides.

This year we saw a large and healthy pack when staying at Savuti camp (the Wilderness Safaris one). They were actually nearer to King's Pool at the time though their territory is quite large and encompasses both camps. It's quite common for guests to see them, from the sounds of things.

We did return to Mombo this June and didn't see (nor expect to see) wild dogs there but I was delighted to read in a more recent trip report which mentioned that wild dogs were back in the area.

On an unrelated note but one that pops to mind - we saw a small family of brown hyena when staying at Jack's Camp and this sighting was as exciting to us as the wild dog sightings. Beautiful animals.
Kavey is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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I came across this article on Kafue. It mentioned 18 packs of wild dogs!
luangwablondes is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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I came across this article on Kafue. It mentioned 18 packs of wild dogs!
luangwablondes is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 04:01 PM
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When we were at CHITABE TRAILS this September there was a pack with a bunch of lively pups. The most beautiful animals on the planet. And that's the TRUTH.
We had incredible luck, we saw a kill and then the returning back to the pops to feed them. We watched the pack twice again before leaving for Kwando Kwara.
Dogs were at the top of my list too, this is what I finally settled on.
Can't imagine going back to Botswana without returning to Savute with it's hide and watering hole and Chitabe trails.
mzcuriouz is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 04:28 PM
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We just returned from safari, and 10 minutes into our drive to Vundu Camp at Mana Pools, we came across a pack of over 20 dogs, including the alpha female (who broke her leg a year ago, and it is clearly deformed). There were pups about 4 months old included in the pack, and they were quite close to the road. The following day, when we were on foot in the same general area, we unfortunately found the remains of a yearling pup who was killed by lions the night before. There are three packs in the area, and I was quite blessed to spend some time with them!! The canoeing trip was just fabulous (thanks to our guide Nick Murray!!). I just cannot gush enough about our trip- I am planning the next one already!!!
suzic is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 06:21 PM
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Any chance you will feed us starving souls with a trip report of your fabulous sounding safari???

I would love to go to Mana Pools in the near future. It is so frustrating to sit there in Lower Zambezi and not be able to just go across the river into Mana Pools to explore. What is needed is a multinational safari section in Zambia in Lower Zambezi and the other section in Zimbabwe on the Mana Pools side.

Just imagine being able to easily combine Hwange, Mana Pools, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa.

Anyway, hope you decide to post a trip report as I would love to hear more about Mana Pools since so few of us go there.

Roccco is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 07:08 PM
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Been advocating this for a while, including Mana Pools in a visit to Zambia. It is not as difficult as you would think to get a transfer between countries. Chirundu is the border crossing(bridge) between the 2.Chirundu is close to the entrances of both Mana Pools and LZNP. This should fall into your expertise as an agent. Contact Zamsaf in Lusaka and see if they can make ground transportation arrangements.
luangwablondes is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Yes, I am well aware of the Chirundu border crossing. Just speaking as a tourist, however, it is annoying that the Zim and Zam governments do not cooperate with each other to allow border crossings between the parks. I know it may sound simplistic to expect a border crossing between the parks, but I do think it would help promote tourism in both countries.
Roccco is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 07:41 PM
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Who knows how long before there is some sort of agreement. These 2 parks are currently in the works as a Transfrontier Park like Kruger, Gonorezhou and Mozambique. In the meantime, we must go through the motions like the rest and use the current border crossing. The roads between Kayembe and Mana Pools gate has been great for wild dog hunting in the late afternoon.

A note also, it was in the works to set up a pontoon to take vehicles between the Luangwa, Zambia and Kayembe, Zim, but Uncle Bobs antics put the screws to it. That would have been a good border crossing.
luangwablondes is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2005, 05:03 AM
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Maybe there will be a way for me to get over there by next May???!!!

One can only wish...
cooncat2 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2005, 06:21 AM
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It was this very post that led me to the Fodor's site. I was googling "wild dogs best months reserve" and up popped this.

Never knew this place existed before but I've been reading and posting ever since! So I have divewop to thank.

After designing a trip that gave me what I hoped would be my best shot at wild dogs, and seeing a denning pack in August 05 in Chitabe, here is what I'd recommend. It is not quite the strategy that I actually used, but I think it would improve the odds.

Depending on how many days and of course $$$ available, I'd try to hit as many camps that have a reputation for dogs as possible and I'd probably choose Botswana camps. If you stay 2 nights at each, you will likely be taken once to any denning dogs that have been located.

At this time, the best dog camps seem to be Chitabe, Selinda camps, Linyanti camps, and Kwando camps, and in the future maybe Mombo again.

Mid July to end of August is the time that the pups are most likely to be coming out of the den. But they are still too young to be mobile, making the den easier to find and visit.

Since we are dealing with nature, seeing dogs or anything except maybe impala, is always a crap shoot.

Hopefully the keen interest in dogs by people willing to pay to see them will help keep them alive.

It was kind of fun finally posting on this thread that originally exposed me to this Fodors site.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2005, 03:06 PM
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You're welcome. ;-) So glad you found us and the forum.

Short notice but I've got a chance to go back to Africa this upcoming March ('06) for three weeks to a month.

So my question is, has anyone been lucky enough to see a pack of wild dogs in March anywhere in Africa?

I know they're migratory critters but I still want to try. And I'm wide open to go anywhere they may be based on availability!
divewop is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2005, 03:19 PM
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Here is an update from Robin Pope Safaris website from last March:

South Luangwa would probably be as good as anywhere for the chance to see Wild Dogs in March. Being that the dogs are so nomadic, I don't think it matters where you stay in South Luangwa, but for overall gameviewing I would think that the Mfuwe area (as opposed to the Northern part of the park) would be best.

All this wild dog talk has me green with envy. While I do have a fabulous itinerary planned for late February/early March for Tanzania & Zanzibar, to the best of my knowledge there are no wild dogs to be found in Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater or the Serengeti. Thank God there is something called the "Great Migration" going on!
Roccco is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2005, 03:21 PM
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I gave you a link to the March 21st update on RPS website, but here is a link to the March 28th update...more wild dogs!

Roccco is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2005, 06:04 PM
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I think PredatorBiologist is onto something...wild dogs just move so fast and so far...even when you get a tip, it is often hard to keep up with them. That's why an association with researchers who have collared dogs is so valuable.
Unfortunately March won't be possible for Kafue ( I don't think that Anne Carlson is even there at that time). If Leigh has collared dogs in south Luangwa by then, someone will be monitoring them, so RPS/Nkwali will be the best bet there-- that's where the researchers will be staying and they will have the best info, even if it is not Wild Dog Week.
The Botswana camps are great (and I had a wonderful experience at Chitabe Trails with Wild Dog) but I don't believe they get any info from the researchers in the area. So it is back to luck/fate/and the skill of your guides there.

If you really love dogs, and really want to see them, the Very Best Way, I imagine, is to become a significant donor to wild dog research and conservation. Frankly, money in the conservation world is so difficult to come by, that it would take less than you might think to become a friend of one of these projects, and perhaps an "insiders" view of the action. You don't have to be a Bill Gates or Warren Buffett to do this...Seriously, if you can afford to stay at Mombo and Londolozi, you can swing this!

ddgattina is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2005, 05:43 AM
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This statement was part of a Chiawa newsletter that another thoughtful Fodorite sent to me"

"The best time to see Wild Dogs is mid April into early June and then from October into November and Chiawa Camp remains one of the best places to see them."

Of course Chiawa is going to blow its own horn, but the timing coincides with your trip's timing.
atravelynn is offline  

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