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The answer to this week’s Tanda Tula #trackitthursday challenge is… the black-backed jackal! As you can see, the black-backed jackal has neat, small, dog-like tracks which are usually around 5cm long. 

black-backed jackal

With a much smaller print than previous tracks run during #trackitthursday, this one produced a much wider mix of guesses.

The black-backed jackal is generally found in two regions. The first is in the Southern Africa area, around South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana. The second is along the East of Africa, around Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

This jackal, easily identified by its reddish coat and a black ‘saddle’ that runs from the tail to its shoulders, feeds on small to medium sized animals and even some plants. It has a slender body, long legs and large ears, all the better to hear you with!

black-backed jackal
© Tanda Tula

Mainly nocturnal but regularly seen during the day, they belong to the dog family and are small and lightweight, with males averaging around 8kg.

The black-backed jackal is a daring and very cunning animal and has been known to very quickly dart in to steal morsels from lions after a kill.

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Tanda Tula

Located in the Timbavati Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park. Tanda Tula Safari Camp features 12 luxury tents nestled in riverine forest overlooking a riverbed while the Tanda Tula Field Camp is an exclusive use 4 tented walking safari camp, modelled on the early explorer camps with modern comfort. The Tanda Tula camps are owner-managed.