Where to See African Wild Dogs in Botswana

Author Dominic Chadbon

Big cat sightings are the highlight of any African safari but there’s another predator who always steals the show: the African wild dog.

As sociable as lions, as fleet-footed as cheetah and with a leopard’s dazzle of colours, wild dogs are bewitching creatures. They communicate in bird-like chirps and clicks, their intelligent faces are topped by huge radar ears; their bodies lean and muscled.

With a hunting success rate of 80%, African wild dogs are the continent’s super-predators and a sighting usually means action. And although they are also super-rare, the best place in Africa to see wild dogs is Botswana. From the Chobe River to the Kalahari, the country’s sprawling, unspoilt reserves are home to around a third of Africa’s remaining wild dogs. It’s of course impossible to guarantee a sighting but with a bit of luck, here’s where to see African wild dogs in Botswana.


Botswana is home to a third of Africa’s remaining wild dogs.

Xakanaxa, Moremi Game Reserve

Set where the Okavango Delta meets dry land, Xakanaxa (pronounced Ka Ca Na Ka) is a stunningly beautiful area of tall forest, vast floodplains and yellow grasslands. Resident herds of antelope make it ideal for year-round wild dog sightings, and several packs have been recorded. It’s also great for leopard, the bird watching is excellent and you’ll always encounter elephant, giraffe and hippo.

Stay at Xakanaxa Camp, one of the area’s longest established and most-loved tented camps. It’s good for families with older children and there are water-based activities too.

Khwai River, Private Concession

There is indeed a bridge over the River Khwai and it takes you to a community-run concession that borders Moremi. It’s here that river finally sinks away and its broad green floodplains are packed with game. No wonder there are three large wild dog packs that include them in their hunting territory. And since you’ll be on private land, your guide is allowed to track the dogs off road as they hunt.

Khwai’s affordable option is offered by Sango Safari Camp – a six-tented traditional safari camp that also encourages you to meet the locals; Khwai River Lodge is more luxurious, featuring grand tented suites, massages and a pool.


Wild dogs hunt with a common objective and shared leadership.

Savuti, Chobe National Park

Savuti (also spelled Savute) is the wild heart of Chobe. A sweep of grassland surrounded by trackless woodlands, the area is nurtured by the Savuti Channel whose permanent water assures great game viewing all year round. Savuti’s lions and elephants are the stuff of Nat Geo documentaries but dog-watchers should book a trip in early summer (December to mid-January) when the resident impala give birth en masse and a zebra migration passes through, making Savuti irresistible to wild dogs.

Stay at comfortable Savute Safari Lodge, whose tented and thatched chalets are perched over the channel or treat yourself to an air-conditioned splurge at Savute Elephant Camp, one of Chobe’s most luxurious lodges.


The sight of wild dogs coursing after their prey is one of Africa’s most dramatic.

Linyanti & Kwando, Private Concessions

Follow the Savuti Channel upstream and you’ll find its origins: the Linyanti wetlands. Here there is permanent water but the surrounding savannah heaves with animals and at no time more than during Botswana’s crushing late dry season (August – October). Thirsty herds stick close to the water, turning the Linyanti into prime hunting territory for wild dogs. Private concessions assure safari exclusivity and the area is known for wild dog dens complete with pups.

Stay at Savuti Camp – don’t be puzzled by the name: this classic safari camp lies on the Savuti Channel but in the private Linyanti Reserve. Here you’ll enjoy off-roading as well as night drives and guided walks.


Botswana’s wild dogs are often relaxed in the presence of human observers!

Read more:
Leopards in Botswana & Where to Go
Tips to book an Affordable Botswana Safari
Going Fishing in Botswana

Hands-on Expertise

  • We’re based in Africa
  • We regularly do site inspections
  • Knowledgeable team
  • Expect great customer service

Accredited & Bonded

  • SATSA – Bonded Membership (2061)
  • Travel Safe Certificate
  • Fully Independent & Owner Run
  • Travel Support from Start to Finish


Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional.  Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Above expectations

Excellent communications and service. We dealt with Sabrina and she is awesome. The safari tour was amazing, i can highly recommend going to Elephant Plains. Its a very special place run by awesome people.

Excellent service and support for our Africa vacation

Working with Walter was a great experience. He listened to us and helped us build a vacation that exceeded all of our expectations. We really appreciated his professionalism and attention to detail.


We are six older but experienced travellers who usually do our own planning. Luck led us to Safari Online and Walter. His ideas proved spot on. Throughout our planning Safari Online have been helpful, always answering emailed questions, no matter how basic, straightaway. We’ve had probably our best ever holiday in years of travel, everything went smoothly. Pickups and transfers were on time. Staff in all the places we stayed were friendly and helpful. I can’t think of one adverse remark except maybe seeing a lion that wasn’t asleep, though I think if it could have been arranged Walter would have done so.

They kept us fully informed and updated throughout planning, travel, etc.

It was excellent all around. Everything worked out well. An experience of a lifetime! The game viewing rides were fun and very informative.

Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver. She responded to our requests promptly and gave us several options with links to each option; we ultimately chose Lukimbi. She then coordinated our flights to and from the property, arranged the drivers necessary to get us from the airport to the lodge and back again, and sent the appropriate paperwork to each of us to verify each step of the process. We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

A great tour operator that was a pleasure to deal with.

We used Safari Online to put together a mid-range Botswana trip for a group of four going to three different camps and then onto Vic Falls. We asked several operators to provide options (through this great safari bookings website) and Walter Kohrs from Safari Online was easily the most responsive and quickest to provide different but realistic options and at good prices. In the end it was a no brainer to go with Safari Online. Walter always responded to my queries quickly, with honest and valuable responses that were clear and made sense. From our perspective he tailored a good mix of places for both our budget and standard of facilities that suited us perfectly, with enough information and links to help us make our decisions. In the end each camp was different and had different aspects and strengths that made each unique. We loved it.