The African Wild Dogs of Madikwe

On my last trips to Africa (Kenya), we did not see the African Wild Dog … we saw them a few days ago Madikwe (South Africa) and it was a great sighting! The pack has an alpha male and an alpha female, and they hunt in packs of 6-20 or more dogs. They hunt small or medium sized wildebeest, warthogs, gazelle, etc and they form a “V”, surround their prey and take him down, then use their strong teeth to pull clamp onto the flesh and just start eating until they are done (you can find all the gore with a YouTube). They are the most successful hunters in Africa, as 80% of their hunts end in a kill (as opposed to lions success rate of only 20%). They are the 2nd-most endangered carnivore in the world, mostly due to habitat loss and disease (rabies, etc.).

Madikwe has just over a dozen wild dogs in a single pack, and we were lucky to spot them late on the 3rd day. We didn’t see them hunting but we watched them sleeping, then playing. Everyone loves pictures of cute baby elephants and lions, but these African Wild Dogs are truly an impressive sight!

Here are some picture and video.

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