African Wild Dog: Secret Treasure of The Madikwe Game Reserve
As you venture into Madikwe Game Reserve, your safari guide may suggest keeping an eye out for one of the most protected species in the reserve: the African Wild Dog. Although not members of the exclusive Big Five, these precious canines have been declared an endangered species by the WWF. As a result of its many conservation projects, the Madikwe Game Reserve has managed to sustain and successfully grow its population of African Wild Dog.
This is thanks in no small part to the many visitors to the reserve, who contribute to South Africa’s commitment to responsible tourism.
They are rather sociable, so don’t be surprised to find a few of the more inquisitive of the pack draw near your safari vehicle.
Game Drive Spotting of the African Wild Dog
Despite the animal’s endangered status, sightings of the African Wild Dog in Madikwe Game Reserve are not entirely rare. There are two main packs within the reserve, both covering a large overlapping range of territory. They are rather sociable, so don’t be surprised to find a few of the more inquisitive of the pack draw near your safari vehicle.
The Wild Dog is regarded as an opportunistic predator with a taste for medium-sized ruminant mammals, such as kudu, impala, and springbok, Large packs can bring down something as large as a male buffalo. At a sprint, these formidable predators can reach up to 70 kilometres per hour. They have remarkable stamina – a fact that doesn’t bode well for whatever prey they have in their sights.
The greatest threats to the African Wild Dog include:
- Targeted killing by humans, eg. farmers protecting their livestock
- Viral diseases, eg. rabies and distemper
- Habitat loss
- Competition with larger predators, eg. lions.
Your Visits to Madikwe Game Reserve Can Help Save These Animals
As cute as they may appear, you cannot adopt an African Wild Dog like your typical SPCA rescue. They may look similar to your typical canine companion, but their wild nature makes them better suited to grasslands and savannah than your backyard.
However, you can still do your part to protect this uniquely African species by visiting Madikwe Game Reserve and contributing funds to organisations with a hand in these conservation efforts.
And Since You’re Visiting, Why Not Do It in Style?
While you’re on your species-saving mission into the Madikwe Game Reserve, you might as well make it a visit to remember. A stay at Madikwe Safari Lodge can do just that! Whether you’re travelling with friends, with kids, or with that special someone, a private, luxury suite allows you to get the full experience of the high life with plenty of opportunity to take a walk on the wild side.