As Africa's most successful hunters, the Painted dog or African wild dog is a highly persecuted species, even today. This persecution, together with the threat of disease, poaching snares and loss of habitat means conservationists are fighting a heavy battle to save these animals from the brink of extinction. On this journey, you will explore some of Africa's the most pristine wild dog habitat in search of these painted pooches, learn more about their daily lives and hear from the heroes working to protect them.
A few of the many incredible things you'll see and experience while on this journey.
Day 1: Arrival - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
On arrival in Victoria Falls, you will connect to your bush flight into the heart of Hwange National Park, to Somalisa Camp. Hwange is home to the HQ of Painted Dog Conservation (PDC), an NGO who has been enormously successful in protecting Wild Dogs in Zimbabwe and increasing their numbers, bringing them back from the brink of extinction.
Days 2 & 3: Somalisa Camp, Hwange National Park
Explore legendary Hwange through a variety of pursuits include walking safaris, game drives, birding and cultural visits. The elephant pool in front of camp is famous for providing guests with up-close encounters with elephants! Visit the Painted Dog Conservation HQ and tour their informative visitors centre, childrens bush camp, their bomas and laboratory. Head out on an afternoon activity with a PDC researcher to track down a pack of wild dogs and assist the team in monitoring and recording their behaviour.
Days 4-6: Bumi Hills Safari Lodge
Today you will fly by light aircraft from Hwange to Lake Kariba. From its position on a range of remote hills, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is blessed with breathtaking panoramic views over Lake Kariba. Spend your days cruising on the water or meandering the surrounds on a walking safari; discover the ancient secrets within the fossilised dinosaur footprints unique to this area. Meet the Bumi Hills Anti Poaching unit, visit their HQ and learn about their efforts to reduce poaching, especially snaring, in the area.
Days 7-10: Chikwenya Camp, Mana Pools National Park
A short flight will take you from Bumi Hills to Mana Pools National Park, and your next lodge, Chickwenya Camp. Situated on the eastern boundary of Mana Pools National Park, Chikwenya is a photographer’s paradise as it looks out over an open floodplain and the broad Zambezi River, with a backdrop provided by the mountains of the Rift Valley escarpment. Mana is also a stronghold for wild dogs and BBC's Dynasties series cast light on one of the pack's found here. Enjoy Mana Pools' spectacular wildlife through game drives, night drives, boating, kayaking, walking and fishing and spend the day tracking and finding wild dogs to learn more about wild dogs dynamics and conservation efforts in the area.
Days 11 & 12: Victoria Falls River Lodge
After a stunning 4 nights at Mana Pools, you will transfer to the nearby airstrip and fly back to Victoria Falls. End your Zimbabwe safari with two nights exploring the Zambezi National Park and the mighty Zambezi River and Waterfalls. From you secluded Island Treehouse Suite, watch elephants grazing in the shallow water around your room, or head on game drives, morning and evening sunset cruises, and a guided tour of Victoria Falls.
Day 13: Departure - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
After a morning safari and breakfast overlooking the mighty Zambezi, depart from River Lodge and transfer by boat and road to Victoria Falls International Airport. Here you can connect with international onward flights home.
This Impact Safari experience includes:
Join a wild dog research team in the field and track down a pack using telemetry. Find out how anti-snare collars are saving wild dogs and meet an anti poaching team working tirelessly to rid the bush of these wire traps. Follow a pack's journey to Mana Pools and learn more about what is being done to increase the numbers of these incredibly endangered animals in the wild.
We've carefully selected local projects that are doing amazing work for conservation in the area. You can add a visit on to your itinerary which will automatically include a direct donation to their work. Note: Some of these projects may already be included in your itinerary!