Travel & conservation company, since 1991
See how we earn 5 starsTrustpilot - 5 stars
Africa Geographic Travel

The local black-backed jackals of the Kgalagadi have spared their dignity in order to master the art of catching birds at resident watering holes. From dripping wet jackals to face-planting and feathers, it is shear entertainment for all.  

Each morning at the Cubitje Quap water hole it was the same: two resident jackal would be there ready and waiting for the sandgrouse and doves to come and drink, in the hope of grabbing a meal on the wing. They would wonder around the waterhole as if they were just sniffing around, and then next minute, dart off in the direction of the dam to try and catch a sandgrouse. More often than not they were successful and would walk away with breakfast. Other times they missed and would land up in the dam, only to get out on the other side, shake themselves off and look back as if to say how did I miss that!

jackel-grouse-Kgalagadi Kgalagadi-jackel-waterhole Kgalagadi-jackel Kgalagadi Kgalagadi-frankin-waterhole Kgalagadi-hunt-jackel-franklin jackel-grouse

The jackal at Cubitje Quap had a very different strategy to the  jackal I watched at Kwang. The jackal at Kwang (this one was my favourite) was clever. He would watch the watering hole intensely through the shadow of a fallen tree, analysing the best time to strike. When the time was right he would walk very slowly to the end of the tree stump and then run full tilt for his target. When he did miss he would shake off the water and dust, only to get back in the trenches to try again.

Kwang-log-jackel Kwang-black-backed-jackel Kwang-The-hunt Kwang-waterhole Kwang-doves-jackel Kwang-jackel-doves Kwang-dove-wet-dog kwang-jackel-face-plant

What really amazed me about these jackal was their commitment. They would just go back and try over and over again until they succeeded. To me that was a valuable lesson – one can’t just give up after trying something once or even twice.

To comment on this story: To protect you against trolls & misinformation, we only permit comments in our app. See how to DOWNLOAD OUR APP below.


  • Download our APP (mobile phone & desktop) to receive travel discounts, comment on our stories, make safe donations and network with others like you Find out more here.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our best stories in your inbox weekly and for travel discounts. Subscribe here.
  • Travel with us. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Search for your ideal safari here, or contact an Africa Geographic safari consultant to plan your dream vacation.

AG Logo

As a child my father used to take photo's of almost everything and that is where my passion for photography started. Then my husband gave me my first camera, a Minolta that changed my life. As my interest grew in photography, I upgraded to new and better equipment. I hope my shots elicit an emotional response in the viewer. My favourite place in the world is the Kgalagadi. To me this place just has some magic in its bones and many of my photos, as well as much of my blog content, is born there. This deep connection to the animals and bush, is quite simply the love of my life. My hope is that you will feel my deep love and respect for animals and nature through my photographs and in reading some of my blogs you can experience a little what I see when I am out there, doing the thing I love most. You can read more on my adventures and see more of my photography on my website

Africa Geographic Travel