Wild Frontiers

Wild dogs give chase in Selous Game Reserve

Written by: Flo Montgomery

The Latin name of the African Wild Dog is Lycaon pictus – which means painted wolf. Anyone who has seen these mottled, long-legged dogs in the wild will not wonder at the name. They look a little like Jackson Pollock was let loose with some cans of brown, yellow, black and white paint.


I have visited Selous Game Reserve on many occasions and have been lucky enough to see wild dogs most times. A favourite memory of mine is a visit I made to Selous Impala Camp.

We arrived at about 4pm and were met at the airstrip by our guides Dennis and Rajabu, who swept us off on a game drive in the warm afternoon light.

Dennis-safari-guide Rajabu-safari-guide game-drive

Quite soon into the drive, we happened on a pack of wild dogs – who seemed fairly comatose, lolling about companionably in a sandy spot.


However, there was a herd of antelope nearby, so it wasn’t long before the alpha female led the pack on a long, rambling foray.

Wild dogs usually start their hunt in an organised manner. When the prey is targeted, some of the dogs run close to the animal, while others follow behind, taking over when the leader gets tired. They can run long distances, and because of their tenacity almost never lose their kill. As we watched, the dogs worked in teams, with the object of tiring out their prey.


We followed them until the hunt was over. Unfortunately for the wild dogs the exercise ended without a kill, with the dogs meeting again and flopping down for a rest, before finally heading off into the dusk.

You can watch the full chase here:

Adventure Camps

Adventure Camps has three fixed camps in the southern wilderness of Tanzania, as well as the only mobile safari and overland transfer operation in the area, who can take you where no-one else can go. We offer a genuine safari experience with few frills but rustic comfort.

  • leopardhyena

    The next morning we all drove out to a friend’s game farm to spend the weekend. Shortly before arriving at the farm gate, we came across a fresh leopard kill of two wild dogs. One was still quivering and taking it’s last few breaths of life. Colin got out of the truck to investigate but quickly got back in after seeing the leopard tracks. Wild dogs and leopards are competing predators and will often kill each other. This time the two wild dogs were no match for the leopard and the fight only lasted a few seconds.

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