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Wild Dogs in Selous

A thrilling Wild Dog hunt in the Selous



Uganda & Rwanda Expert
Published on

29 Jan 2018

Updated on

22 Jun 2020

Wild Dogs Tanzania Tourist Board

What an amazing morning we had at Siwandu Camp in Selous Game Reserve. I was invited to join a honeymoon couple from London during their early morning game drive. Not even 5 minutes into the drive, Walter, our experienced guide, located tracks of the desperately endangered African wild (painted) dog on a dusty road leading out of the camp. The next 2 hours were probably the most exciting game drive experience that I have yet experienced during 8 years of visiting East Africa's protected areas.

After 10 minutes of following the tracks, we located the pack!. Not only had we found the wild dogs, but this pack of seven were on the hunt for their food for the day, after the likes of impala, warthogs, baby giraffe and zebra. We were near Lake Nzelekela.

Selous Wild Dogs  - Craig Kaufman
Endangered African Wild dogs in Selous

What amazed me, was the swift pace and amount of ground these wild dog covered to capture prey. Never had I moved so much and so fast in a vehicle to follow predators in action. Watching the dogs working as an entire unit was riveting. After an hour, during which we were the sole vehicle following the pack, dominant male and female had singled out a target, an impala. The chase was on and through the evocative African bush we rushed. We drove frantically to keep up with the pack, weaving in and out and avoiding the Acacia thorns by inches. A single scream and a whiff of dry mud marked the point at which the kill had been made. The pack retreated deep into the bush to eat.

Minutes later, two of the dogs were still on the hunt while the other five were feeding. We followed the two remaining hunters for the next while but they didn't catch anything else. A bit later on, the other five which had fed, regurgitated some of the kill to the two which had not fed. All seven dogs were now reunited. Later, another chase was on. The excitement built as we wove through the woodland passing elephants, giraffe, baboons in our wake. This time, the dogs chased after a number of impala. which were sprinting for their lives in all directions. As the bush was too dense, we stopped trying to follow the dogs. Another incredible safari in Tanzania!

Fifteen minutes later, we were contacted by radio - the Wild dogs had been spotted with a fresh kill. Another impala. Within 15 minutes the entire impala had been consumed, except for its head.