Where To See Wild Dogs In Maasai Mara

Where To See Wild Dogs In Maasai Mara

Most visit Kenya to capture the Big cats, wildebeests, rare African birds, elephants, rhinos, and so on. Yet, one species that is recently topping the list of tourists is the African wild dogs. The wild dogs in Africa are some of the most intriguing animals. Not only are they efficient hunters, but they also have a fascinating social life. 

African Wild Dogs  

Wild dogs are often mistaken for hyenas but the former is very different from the latter. Wild dogs have a patterned coat which happens to be unique for each of them. This coat has given them a nickname called ‘alternative wolf’. Other distinct features of a wild dog include a white tail tip and big ‘Mickey Mouse’ round ears. 

african wild dog

Wild dogs are known for their intelligence and are one of the most communicative animals. They hunt in packs which creates better co-operation among its members. The members split up and take over their prey that can be twice their size and bring them down with ease. 

African wild dogs are regarded as high-stamina hunters. They have tremendous endurance and can run at 37 miles per hour for more than three miles while pursuing their prey. More often when their prey is exhausted from the chase, these predators do not waste any time leaping over them.

Wild dogs have long legs and large lungs which makes them easier to run at very far off distances without getting tired. They usually prefer the greater kudu, Gazelles, impala, bushbuck, and blue wildebeest for their meal.

The Hardest Challenge

Owing to all these factors, wild dogs are regarded as one of the most successful hunters.

Wild Dogs And Packs 

The African wild dogs are social animals who prefer to live in packs. These wild dogs form a very strong bond and hence solitary hunting or living is extremely rare in these animals.  

Dog live in packs

Their packs range from 2 to 27 which consist of adult wild dogs and their pups. They never stay in one place as they are constantly on the move. Wild dogs don’t like coming face to face with their competitors like lions and spotted hyenas and thus steer clear of them.

Sneeze To Vote 

It has been observed in the Okavango delta that African wild dogs ‘rally’ before they set out on a hunt. This means when the members of the groups are about to move, wild dogs sneeze to determine how many members are ready. 

The more sneezes are heard, the more likely is the pack ready to go for their next hunt. Researchers are not very clear about their sneezing voting system but do acknowledge that democracy runs in their packs.  

No matter how peculiar this sounds, one can’t deny the unity and co-operation that occurs in the wild dogs’ family packs. 

Wild Dogs In Africa 

In Sub-Sahara Africa, wild dogs had a large population. However, over the years the species have been declining in North and West Africa while their numbers have decreased in Central and Northeast Africa. 

Presently, wild dogs can only be seen in Southern and southeast Africa, specifically in countries like Kenya, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. In North Africa,  wild dogs are very rare to find. 

The species of wild dogs are endangered and vulnerable. According to African Wildlife Population, wild dogs have an estimated population of less than 6000 remaining in Africa. The numbers of these predators are decreasing at an alarming rate. 

There are many reasons why wild dogs are a rare species. Aside from humans hunting them, these wild dogs are susceptible to diseases especially canine distemper and rabies. 

Lions also play a huge part in killing wild dogs as they are ruthless at destroying every wild dog pup they come across. Because wild dogs rely on packs and other members, those without a group or with a few members have fewer chances of survival against their rivals.  

To safeguard African Wild Dogs, there are massive conservation drives to protect the endangered species in Africa.  

Where To Spot Wild Dogs In Maasai Mara, Kenya 

There are certain conservancies in Maasai Mara where you can spot wild dogs in their natural habitat.  

Masai Mara Sunset

1. Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp 

Ol Kineyi Adventure Camp is a simple yet budget-friendly conservancy situated at the northern border of Maasai Mara. You can embark on these game drives and have a chance of catching glimpses of the wild dogs.

  • How to get there: 

By road, it will take roughly 4 hours to reach the conservancy from Nairobi.  By Air, the conservancy has its airstrip used for daily scheduled flights between Mara and Nairobi. 

  • Where to stay: 

There are two camps available in the conservancy, the Porini Mara Camp and the Porini Cheetah camp. Each camp has six tents and accommodates only 24 guests at a time.  

2. Elephant Pepper Camp 

Set in the North Mara Conservancy, Elephant Pepper Camp is ideal for a luxurious safari experience. The camp is small and cozy yet offers every service needed by the guests. Here, along with elephants, cheetahs, and the rare black rhinos, you can spot the wild dogs during one of your game drives. 

  • How to get there: 

You can take a flight from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to the Mara Shikar airstrip. Once you land, it is a 20-minute drive to the camp. 

  • Where to stay: 

Elephant pepper camp has eight luxurious and spacious tents. The camp also has honeymoon and family tents for more privacy and space. 

3. Naboisho Camp 

Naboisho Camp is located in the quiet but rich Nabioisho Conservancy. It is one of the most popular game drive camps set against beautiful scenery. A small sighting of the wild dogs can be spotted in the Naboisho camp. Tourists can also aid in the conservation drives set up for the wild dogs in this camp. 

  • How to get there: 

From Nairobi’s Wilson airport to Masaai Mara airstrip, there are one-hour flights scheduled for visitors. These flights depart at particular timings. Once you land, the camp is a 40-minute drive from the airstrip. 

  • Where to stay: 

There are eight tented rooms complete with basic amenities in Nabiosho Camp 

4. Kicheche Bush Camp 

 Kicheche Bushcamp is located in Olare Motorogi Conservancy, a rich wildlife area that borders the Maasai Mara. The exclusivity of the conservancy results in high-quality game drives. You can spot a small percent of wild dogs along with other wild animals.  

  • How to get there: 

 There are 1 hour scheduled flights that operate daily from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Ol Seki Airstrip. From the airstrip to the camp, the duration by road is approximately a 1-hour drive. 

  • Where to Stay: 

Kicehche Bush Camp has six custom-designed tents, which are combined with various other facilities. 


It is a thrilling experience to watch wild dogs hunt in the wilderness. The Maasai Mara makes it one of the best places to spot African Wild dogs and enhance your experience of Safaris. 


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