Painted Wolf (Lycaon Pictus)

Painted Wolf, Wild Dog, Cape Hunting Dog are all words describing one of the most successful predators you’ll get to witness on  a safari anywhere in Africa. We at Kapama were lucky enough to view a pack of these incredible animals for the last week now, probably ( hopefully ) seeking new  hunting grounds to include in their massive home ranges.

Unfortunately Wild dog numbers are on the decline and very few wildlife areas still exist where these animals can be seen in a natural environment doing what they are supposed to do. This mostly because they were  invading cattle farms, and being as successful at hunting as they are, thousands of them got shot because of the threats they posed to livestock.

Rather than using stealth, cunning or brute power to bring down prey they hunt in packs and it takes a considerable amount of team effort for them to be successful  With a 90% success rate this tactic obviously serves them very well as they employ cooperation and a good dose of stamina to run down prey and tire it out until such basically collapse out of pure exhaustion.

The pack we see at Kapama probably came through from the conservancy next door to our west, but in all indication it seems like this family is quite happy to be spending some time with us.  Hopefully they will have a couple of successful hunts on the reserve and decide to include Kapama Game Reserve as a part of their home range, which would mean that we get to see them a whole lot more often than we used to.

It is truly a big privilege to have them here as their dwelling numbers everywhere throughout sub- Saharan Africa is a cause of great concern. For now we will just enjoy every single sighting of these amazing predators and hope they will decide to make this a part of their permanent home…


Johan Esterhuizen



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5 Responses to “Painted Wolf (Lycaon Pictus)”

  1. Angelika says:

    Back home in Sweden again I must write about one of the most exiting things I,ve ever seen. On the morning gamedrive the 3 oct we saw a leopard jump in front of our vehicle killing an Impala. We saw her from a distance of maximum 3 m when she slowly killed it. This was BIG for all of us. A big thanks to the ranger Russie and the pointer Magnum.

    Angelika and Mats Persson

  2. Koos Theron says:

    After reading this exciting blog comments about the wild dogs in advance of our visit, shortly after our arrival we asked our ranger about the wild dogs. Our ranger indicated that there were no wild dogs and he did not seem to know about these sightings.

    Other than that, we enjoyed our stay very much.

  3. Billie Phelps says:

    General Comment: Enjoy reading the blogs & sharing them with my friends. On 5/20 we will be with Kapama’s Rangers & trackers. Appreciate the informative & interesting insights into the unique environs of ZA.

    • Hallo Billie

      We are glad that you enjoy our posts here, being here and experiencing what we write about is even better, as you will see when you visit in May.

      Kind Regards

    • Kay James says:

      My husband and I spent last week at Kapama and were lucky enough to see the wild dogs along with the Big 5 and lots lots more. It was exciting to see how overwhelmed our guide was at sighting the wild dogs. The whole experience was wonderful. I am sure you will be as ecstatic as we were for the time we spent there.

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