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Wildlife photographer Alison Buttigieg finds canids to make fascinating photographic subjects because of their active and rather cunning personalities. While canids can be observed in many safari destinations, Alison's favourite places for observing and photographing these carnivorous mammals of the Canidae family are the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park that straddles South Africa and Botswana, and Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe.

   The Kgalagadi gives visitors the opportunity to relatively easily observe three different canid species - the black-backed jackal, the Cape fox and the bat-eared fox. Meanwhile, one of the many selling points of Mana Pools is being allowed to observe wildlife on foot. And Alison rates being able to get up close to endangered wild dogs outside the confines of a vehicle as one of the most special experiences you can have on safari.

   Overall, the easiest species to see are the jackals, which are often found hanging around close to the big cats and their meals. Alison likes to observe them plotting how to exploit any opportunity to steal scraps from a kill. As a photographer she finds it a challenge to keep up with the very antics that make them so interesting, as one second they are just standing there, and the next they have exploded into a flurry of unexpected action. But this is what makes observing canids so fascinating - you never know what will happen next.


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To find out more about Alison Buttigieg, head to the last page of this gallery. Some of her fantastic wildlife shots can also be enjoyed in the 2016 Africa Geographic Yearbook.


Cover image of a wild dog in Mana Pools National Park by Alison Buttigieg.