• Painted dogs, South Africa

Itinerary Summary

10 Days
Sept 2023
Small Group Safari
Duration Price When Destination Type
10 Days £7995 Sept 2023 Zimbabwe Small Group Safari
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Zimbabwe Painted Dog Safari with Nick Dyer

The painted dogs of Mana Pools National Park are the focus of this exciting small group safari. Led by award-winning wildlife photographer and painted dog expert Nick Dyer this specialist-led safari takes in three key locations within Mana Pools National Park and along the banks of the Zambezi River.

You'll have the chance to go in search of the painted dogs made famous in the BBC Dynasties programme including Blacktip’s daughters Whiskey and Laili who are the new alpha females of the floodplain with their own packs. As well as the park’s painted dogs, you will also track Mana’s iconic bull elephants on foot and connect with a host of other wildlife; from lions, leopards and crocodiles to hippos, zebra, and buffalo.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Benefit from the expertise of wildlife photographer Nick Dyer, who will teach you all about photography, painted dogs and the African experience in general
  • Search for the painted dogs of Mana Pools on game drives in your own private safari vehicle as well as tracking and photographing them on foot
  • Venture into the bush alongside a qualified walking safari guide and photograph the game close up and from a different perspective
  • Walking safaris in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mana Pools with its varied tapestry of landscapes, perfect for photography, birding and attuning the senses

Embedded Video Overview

An 10-day safari in Mana Pools National Park led by painted dog expert Nick Dyer 
from $8,715 per person, excluding international flights

Your Expedition Leader

wildlife photographer and conservationist Nick Dyer

Nick Dyer

Explore Mana Pools with a Painted Dog Expert

Nick is an award-winning wildlife photographer who lives a nomadic lifestyle journeying through eastern and southern Africa. His home is most frequently his tent, supported by his Toyota Land Cruiser which contains everything he needs. Nick’s passion for wildlife and photography began when growing up in Kenya, where he lived until his late teens. On leaving Kenya, he worked in London as a fund manager and subsequently ran a successful marketing business after taking a career break to cross and explore every roadless Australian desert in a Land Cruiser.

In 2013 he visited Zimbabwe's Mana Pools and fell in love with their painted wolves. He has since spent over 400 days in the park photographing them on foot and has developed a deep insight into their nature and a passionate concern for their survival. In 2014 he met Peter Blinston, head of Painted Dog Conservation. Their shared passion developed into a strong friendship and they wrote the highly acclaimed book; Painted Wolves: A Wild Dog’s Life’. Together, they set up the Painted Wolf Foundation, an organisation designed to raise awareness and support wild dog conservation across Africa.

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Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Harare - Mana Pools National Park

On your arrival into Harare you will be met and assisted to the onward light aircraft flight north to Mana Pools. Upon arrival you will be met by your private guide Nick Dyer, and driven to your basecamp for the first two nights. With Nick’s close ties to the Painted Wolf Foundation and his contacts on the ground, you’ll have privileged information as to where and when is best to spot the park’s painted dogs. Throughout the safari you’ll follow a flexible itinerary which will allow you to react to fresh sightings. In addition to the dogs, look out for large game like lions, leopards, elephants, and buffalo. In the afternoon head out on a game activity with Nick. With any luck you’ll come across some lion or leopard which are sighted frequently in the park.

The next 5 days of your safari are dedicated to tracking and photographing the Dogs in action, they hunt every day and can cover quite a distance so be prepared to get out the vehicle and track them on foot through this utterly striking landscape

Overnight: Zambezi Expeditions Camp (D)

Days 2-9

Mana Pools National Park

The African Painted Dog is among the most admired of all African species for their intelligence, hunting strategy, rarity, and even their caring and gentle nature. As one of Africa’s rarest predators Painted Dogs aren’t easy to find. Mana Pools National Park is considered to be one of the top Painted Dog strongholds on the Continent. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, teeming with wildlife, has been the location of numerous painted dog conservation efforts and more recently the filming of the BBC ‘Dynasties’ Painted Dog sensation. Mana Pools is characterised by its sheer beauty, remote wilderness, intimate wildlife encounters, and ethereal light, making Mana Pools a photographer’s dream destination. Our timing coincides with the newest litter of pups playing on the floodplain and learning the ‘tricks of the trade’ from their caring adult mentors.

Our specialist leader, Nick Dyer, worked alongside the BBC’s Natural History Film Unit while they filmed the famous documentary and he was photographing for his book. Nick has spent much of the last 8 years in Mana Pools which led him to co-found the Painted Wolf Foundation. He has developed a unique understanding of the Mana Pools Painted Dogs and prides his guiding on unmatched Painted Dog encounters. You will wake up early each morning and aim to be out tracking the dogs, either in the safari car or on foot by the time the sun starts to rise.

Accommodation: You will move around camps during your time in Mana Pools. Please see full list of accommodation below.

Overnight: Kanga Bushcamp (B, L, D)

Day 10

Manna Pools National Park - Harare

Today you will bid farewell to Nick, as well as Mana Pools National Park. Time permitting, set out on a final game activity in the hopes of hearing the howls of the painted dogs one last time, before transferring by light aircraft back to Harare for your onward international flight.

Overnight: Nyamatusi Camp (B)

Trip Details

Our small group safari departs on a single set date in September 2023, in the company of expert photographic guide Nick Dyer.

Guests travelling alone can avoid paying a single supplement if they are prepared to share a twin room with a fellow guest (applicable based on a minimum of four guests travelling).

Guests may also choose to pay £9,995 to guarantee a single room to themselves.

Trip date Duration Prices from Guests
Sep 26 - Oct 05 2023 10 Days SOLD OUT 6

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