Serengeti: First Sighting of Wild Dogs in 20 Years

Guest Post by Uwe Skrzypczak (photographer)

Stretching by the Lakeshore

When we had followed in vain the gnu herds on Friday for over 6 hours and were about to have lunch. Our Driverguide suddenly rushed into the restaurant at Ndutu Lodge and said that a half hour ago, about 7 wild dogs had been sighted only 3 kilometers away on the way to the Lake Masek.


Wild dogs have been regarded as extinct in the Serengeti for over 20 years, therefore we didn’t really take the information seriously at first. I said to him, ‘certainly tourists may have mixed up the Bat-eared Fox with the Wild Dog’. Nevertheless we left immediately and after 5 minutes we had found the animals infront of the camera. Probably a photographer gets such a stroke of luck only once in his life. This was one of those famous ‘once in a lifetime moment’.

The 7 wild dogs moved first at the edge of the forest. There I shot the first photos freehand from the slow-driving car with a Canon 5.6 800 mm at 1Ds III. Afterwards at the lakeshore, and from the vehicle roof with a cushion with the same optics at a E0S 7 D, which is about 1300 mm  (picture angled, almost like a spotting scope, and animals, holding the viewfinder with extreme concentration). The last photo of the running wild dogs was taken after sunset. The light conditions were modest to critical the whole time, but I think nevertheless, some use came out it.

Afterwards I drove back quite ‘high’ on luck and also completely dehydrated, because we had forgotten the beverages, and with 30 gigabyte of photo data. back to the Ndutu Lodge into the southern Serengeti.

Eventually, I successfully revived myself with a cold Tusker beer. Here are some of the photos I took:

Dong make me bite you


Identify yourself


U-turnI run with my dogs

Make a run for it!

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  1. Christa
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Hallo Uwe,
    gratuliere dir zu deinem “großen Wurf”! Das nennt man die Nähnadel im Heuhafen zu finden. Weiterhin viel Gück und *safari njema*
    liebe Grüsse

  2. Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Great work, Uwe! Congratulations. Very exciting news.

  3. Rebecca, Australia
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that is amazing that dogs have been spotted there. Now I will be keeping an eye out on them when i visit the Serengeti in July.

    By the way.. nice camera gear!

  4. Ron
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant news ! They could do very well there , should they get mating oppurtunities . fingers crossed .
    They look fantastic in the pics


  5. Gareth
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Rare sighting !….we had reports last year of a wild dog pack seen in the south of Kenya in the Magadi area.

  6. Posted February 9, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad our “painted dogs” are back! This is awesome news for both Tanzania and the Serengeti park!

    I wish I were there Uwe… the wild dog is one of the only animals that I still need to add to my personal checklist…lucky bugger…perhaps next time I’ll have to travel with you…

    Keep well,


  7. Posted February 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Paula for the blog posting, it is fantastic that you reported on the photos of my husband in WildlifeDirekt. Thanks for your working to wild animals in Kenya.
    Best regards from Germany

  8. Lucien Alexandre Marion
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful news and pictures. Must have been quite a good feeling to photograph those wild dogs in the Serengeti. Merci-Thank you for sharing with us.

  9. Lynn H
    Posted March 1, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Promising news; hurah to the wild dogs!

  10. Xavier Surinyach
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I’m going there next June. It will be my third time at Ndutu. I’m going from there to Grumeti river following the herds of wildebeests. As I’m a wildlife photographer, to meet with wild dogs in the Serengeti is a dream. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough for taking nice pictures of these wonderfull animals. Congratulations, you were very lucky.

  11. Monique Chauvet
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the wonderful pictures of these beautiful, unique and graceful animals.

  12. olga heijtmajer
    Posted March 19, 2010 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    ~Great news they are back!! This will make all conservationists smile. Like Painted dog conservation organisation in Zimbabwe that is doing so much for these unique predators!

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  1. […] Skrzypczak a photographer based in the Serengeti reports at Wildlife Direct April 26th, 2010 | Tags: African wild dog, Serengeti, tanzania | Category: Serengeti, […]

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