Spotting Wild Dogs in the Masai Mara with Govenors’ Camp
The last time Governors’ Camp saw wild dogs in the Mara was nearly two years ago and even then it was a very unusual sighting. Luckily, Harrison managed to snap a few pictures on his phone before the pack moved off.
Exceedingly intelligent, highly social and built for speed, wild dogs have a reputation for being Africa’s most formidable predators. While lions may be considered the ‘King of the Jungle’, when it comes down to who’s the best hunter, the dogs far outrank the cats.
Often referred to as ‘painted dogs’, due to their unique three hued markings, wild dogs work in packs to bring down prey and have an 85% hunting success rate, which is much higher than other predators. However, despite their superior hunting abilities, wild dogs are considered to be Endangered by the IUCN and population numbers have been steadily decreasing since the 1980’s. Habitat loss, conflict with humans and diseases such as canine distemper and rabies have been, and continue to be, the biggest threats to the species.
In the early 1990’s, wild dogs disappeared entirely from the Masai Mara and were presumed extinct. Ten years later, however, they started showing up again on Masaai lands and genetic testing revealed that these dogs were from the same population as those that vanished from the park years before. No one could quite explain where the dogs had gone or why they’d decided to return, however they were welcomed back with open arms and measures were put in place to protect the population.
Given the turbulent history of the wild dogs in the Mara, combined with the fact they are incredibly elusive animals by nature, a sighting of them is always a very special and exciting experience.
A little more about Governors’ Camp
“The setting is magical. So much so that almost a century ago it was reserved, exclusively, for Kenya’s colonial Governors.”- Governors’ Camp
Situated in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park, Governors’ Camp boasts 37 luxury tented suites. Poised along the winding banks of the mighty Mara River and tucked into the forest, each suite has breath-taking views of the spectacular surrounding scenery. The entire camp is under canvas and offers all the creature comforts of a luxury hotel with a twist of safari magic. With over 40 years of experience in the safari industry, Governors’ Camp promises to impress even the most discerning travellers.
Contact Governors’ Camp
Tel: +254 733 616204
Originally published on the Classic Safari Africa blog by Claire Birtwhistle.
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