Best Endangered Animal Safaris
Why Endangered: Wild dogs (also known as painted dogs for their distinctive black spots) hunt over wide areas and don’t stick to park boundaries, making them vulnerable to farmers and rural villagers defending their livestock from attack. What’s more, only one alpha male and female breed in a single year so the consequences are especially serious if their pups are killed by predators. There are an estimated 3,000–5,000 alive.
The Viewing: Wild dogs are notoriously difficult to locate, but U.S.-based Aardvark Safaris books wild-dog walking safaris with Robin Pope in Zambia, and at luxury Botswana lodge Mashatu, which recently launched its own wild-dog research project. A trained tracker and researcher accompanies clients on these trips. Aardvark can also arrange nonscheduled customized safaris in Botswana in which wild dogs are located by trackers first, then clients are driven to the specific area to see them.