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Reigning Cats and Dogs

3 min read

Updated 01 May 2022

Wild dogs at King Lewanika Lodge, Liuwa Plain
Picture of Chris McIntyre

By Chris McIntyre

Managing Director

*A version of this article originally appeared in the May 2022 Bush Telegraph newsletter. You can read our recent newsletters and sign-up to receive these in your inbox on our Bush Telegraph newsletter page.

We have frequently featured stories of wildlife translocation and conservationists’ valiant efforts to protect biodiversity across Africa. So it’s enormously cheering to able to provide positive updates on the successes of missions that we’ve previously covered.

The 11 African Wild dogs that were translocated to Zambia’s Liuwa Plain National Park at the end of 2021 have settled in extremely well, resulting in their release from the boma (enclosure) into the national park in April 2022. Originally moved from Kafue National Park and South Africa, the dogs have spent recent months in adjacent bomas to facilitate social bonding before their long-awaited release. This slow and carefully process has been imperative to success and, given that the 11 animals moved as one pack immediately upon release, the patient strategy paid off. And what a wilderness playground they now find themselves in! We can’t wait to see them on our next Liuwa safari.

Meanwhile, across the border in Malawi, the 6 dogs released into Majete and the 8 into Liwonde are thriving. Camera traps show that the Liwonde pack welcomed nine pups shortly after arrival, and the extended family are now regularly putting in appearances on game drives. Take a moment to enjoy the pack ‘at home’

Etosha Heights, on the border of the wonderful Etosha National Park, covers 600km², making it one of Namibia’s largest private reserves. Here big cats have been firmly in focus as, thanks to the considerable environmental care, the area is perfect cheetah territory. The reserve recently introduced two male cheetahs, rescued from farmland by the Cheetah Conservation Foundation, and embarked on a long-term research programme to collect data on the interactions between predators and prey on the reserve and in the neighbouring national park. Analysing the preferred prey and habitat of cheetahs is critical to ensuring the protection and survival of the species. Cheetahs are currently classified as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN, though there is a call by some to have the status upgraded to ‘Endangered’ due to declining global populations.

For a chance to see cheetahs and a wide range of other wildlife, we highly recommend a trip to stay with the super teams at Safarihoek or Mountain Lodge in this wild and wonderful reserve.

If you’ve been inspired and want to find out more, give us a call or enquire now to speak to an expert.

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