A highlight of your Linyanti Safari is seeing Wild Dogs which are known for their beautiful patchwork coats. They are one of Africa's rarest creatures. They often pass through the Linyanti region of Botswana and so you may get to see them.
The Wild Dog is more common in the Moremi area of Botswana, which is home to around 30% of the world's remaining Wild Dog population
. The dogs were once common in 39 countries across Africa, but today are found in just 4 countries - Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa.
So why are they called wild dogs? Well this is really a bit of a misnomer and the term painted hunting dogs is probably more appropriate
. The dogs are very efficient hunters and they were perceived to be a big threat to the local farmer's livestock. As they hunt in packs, they are often very successful. In recent years this negative image has been turned around, and now they are much sought after on photographic safaris.
They hunt in large packs over a vast distance and due to more farming and human encroachment they have been slowly declining in number
. Using teamwork and a relay system they hunt down medium sized prey and are just about always achieve a kill. The perceived threat to local livestock meant that they were religiously hunted, this combined with the loss of their vast home ranges, has meant that they have been slowly declining in recent decades.
Wild Dogs can be recognized with their wolf-like appearance and patchwork quilts of black and white, reddish brown patches. They live in family groups lead by a breeding pair called the Alpha pair
. They range over a vast distance and their range will extend way beyond the confines of the Linyanti concession and into the Chobe and Moremi Game Reserves. They can be quite difficult to track and spot as a result, and it is for this reason that they are such a highlight when on your Botswana Safari.