Waterberg Wild Dogs

One of the last, natural free-roaming populations left in South Africa.

There are currently 23 known African wild dogs in the Waterberg, comprising four different packs and groups. WWDI currently has tracking collars placed on two of the packs, one breeding pack ranging between Vaalwater and Lephalale near the R33 and one male dispersal group currently in Rooiberg. Smaller packs and single-sex dispersal groups have also been reported near Melkrivier, Sterkrivier, and Bulgerivier.

Waterberg Breeding Pack

The only known breeding pack is currently ranging between Vaalwater and Lephalale, near the R33. The pack utilises 50,000ha over 40 different private game farms, hunting and breeding farms, livestock farms, and private nature reserves. WWDI monitors the pack's movements and has established an early-warning mechanism to notify landowners when the pack is near their property, allowing them to take proactive steps to mitigate conflict and keep the pack safe.


Alpha Female

As the only adult female in the pack, she is a strong and courageous mother. She has successfully raised two litters of pups and survived in the mountainous bushveld with an old, severe injury to her front leg that inhibits her movements. She plays a very important role in pack stability.


Alpha Male

A strong and healthy adult male to help lead the pack and navigate through the mountainous terrain. His devotion to his pack has helped the alpha female survive and rear pups.


Beta Male

As the second adult male in the pack, he plays an important role in helping find food for the pack and teaching the young dogs how to live life as a Waterberg Wild Dog.


Yearling #1

She is a remarkable and confident young dog, always taking the time to play with her sisters. She is easily distinguished by the #9 seen on her thigh.


Yearling #2

An observant dog, she is quick to pick up on any changes in the environment and always keeps an eye out, often giving a warning "growl" to scare off potential danger.


Yearling #3

A calm and cautious dog, she is most comfortable alongside the protection of the pack. As the only female with a GPS tracking collar, she is very important to WWDI's tracking efforts.


Yearling #4

A great big sister - she played an important caregiver role during the 2021 denning season and often stayed behind at the den to babysit her new siblings. She is easily identified by the #6 on her thigh.


7 Pups

All born during the 2021 Denning Season. The pups have grown and are no longer remaining at a den site. They are moving with the pack through the bushveld.

2021 Den Site Trail Camera Footage

2021 Den Site Trail Camera Footage

This long video was compiled from many short videos taken by a trail camera that was placed at the den site for the breeding pack of Waterberg Wild Dogs during the 2021 denning season. To limit disturbance at the den site, the WWDI team placed trail cameras to monitor the growth and development of the pups in a minimally invasive way. These cameras were recovered at the conclusion of the denning season, once the pack had left the area.

Rooiberg Males

Currently ranging on Mabula Game Reserve, these two males dispersed from a larger pack in northern Limpopo earlier in 2021. They were first reported in the Waterberg, near Melkrivier, in June 2021. In July 2021, they were found in Rooiberg and were fitted with a GPS tracking collar to allow the WWDI team to monitor their movements. The two males have travelled over 330km in the last few months in search of females.


Male #1


Male #2

Other Reports

WWDI relies on reported sightings, tracks, and predation to fill in our information gaps. Please assist our efforts by reporting any wild dog signs in the Waterberg to waterbergwilddoginitiative@gmail.com.


4-5 Dogs near Melkrivier

A group of 4-5 wild dogs are occasionally reported ranging near the Melkrivier area. The most recent report has confirmed that at least two of the dogs are female and one is male - exciting news about the potential for another breeding pack! WWDI is in need of GPS tracking collars to place on this pack in order to monitor their movements and establish the early-warning mechanism currently in place with the breeding pack just south of Lephalale.


2 Dogs near Bulgerivier

This picture was captured from a camera trap in Nov/Dec 2020. Since then, 1-2 dogs have been occasionally seen in the area. At this time, we do not know the sex of the individuals.


4 Dogs near Sterkrivier

A group of 4 wild dogs was seen near Sterkrivier in January 2021. There have been no reported sighting of them since and WWDI is working to gather more information.