Searching for African Wild Dogs
Safari365 consultant Matthew O’Brien recently enjoyed an adventure through Botswana and Victoria Falls on a staff educational trip. These two top African safari destinations are filled with exciting activities and memories. Matthew shared his best safari highlight from the trip – one that was truly wild.
“On every safari, some animals are prized more highly than others. Everyone that goes on safari will see an impala or a kudu, but not everyone will see a lion or a leopard. In Botswana, the most prized animal sighting is arguably the African wild dog. The wild dog is the second most endangered carnivore in Africa and Botswana is renowned as the best place to spot them.
By the time we arrived at our last lodge, Savute Safari Lodge, we had seen lions, a leopard, two honey badgers and a sitatunga (a type of antelope), but we still hadn’t found any wild dogs. On our last morning game drive, we all agreed to wake up a painful half an hour earlier than normal to give us more time to find the wild dogs. That turned out to be a miserable mistake because it was freezing and we saw nothing. We drove around Savute for 4 hours and saw nothing but a lonely wildebeest and another honey badger. Eventually our guide told us that we were out of time, we had to head to the airstrip otherwise we would miss our flight home.
When we arrived at the airstrip, we found a pack of wild dogs waiting for us! It was an awesome, and somewhat poetic surprise. It turns out that the dogs, being dogs, like chasing the planes as they try to take off. The airstrip was busy that morning, so we spent a few minutes trying to herd naughty wild dogs off the runway so that the other planes ahead of ours could take off. Then it was finally our turn to say goodbye to this amazing country.”
Are you excited to go tracking wild dogs in Botswana? Start planning your safari today!