Wolves are by nature extremely shy, so seeing them in the wild is a truly thrilling experience, that very few people are privileged to witness. Our wolf watching holidays include trips, destinations and locations that offer the finest opportunities to see wolves, such as…
Why our wolf tracking holidays are so successful
Wolf watching: What wolves to see and where
The grey wolf known also as the timber wolf, was once one of the world’s most widespread species, however due to habitat reduction, persecution by humans and other factors, its range is now confined to remote wilderness areas of North America, Eurasia and North Africa. The Eurasian wolf although still under threat, is starting to recover since it’s major decline in the 1950’s.
A native of the highlands, the Ethiopian wolf is similar in size and build to a coyote, and distinguished by its long, narrow skull, and red and white fur. Unlike most large canids, which don’t have a specific diet, this wolf feeds exclusively on Afroalpine rodents and has very specific habitat requirements. The world's rarest canid, it is also Africa's most endangered carnivore.
The grey wolf (Canis lupus), which we see in the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone is the largest of some 41 species of canid found in the wild. They vary in size depending on their habitat – animals from the south are generally smaller than those from the north.
The colour of their fur also varies, ranging from pure white in Arctic populations, to mixtures of white with grey brown, and black to nearly uniform black in some colour phases. A dense layer of underfur layer, provides excellent insulation against cold. They are larger than red wolves (Canis rufus), with a broader snout, and shorter ears.
The Eurasian wolf sub-species (Canis lupus lupus) has recovered since the nadir of its decline in the 1950s, and is found in the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia, Italy, Northern Europe, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Mongolia and China. Across much of this range the wolf was widely hunted due to the threat of predation on livestock populations.
Having evolved under human protection, domesticated animals make easy prey for wolves, as they are unable to defend themselves. Typically wolves resort to attacking livestock when wild prey is depleted.
The Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis) can be found on safari in the high altitude plateau of the Bale Mountains. These wolves live in close-knit territorial packs of between 3 and 13 adults, but generally forage alone. Their diet consists almost exclusively of rodents such as the giant molerat and various species of grass rat that are endemic to their Afro-alpine range, where they stalk their prey in the open or dig them out of burrows.
Adults of a pack gather to patrol and mark the territory at dawn and dusk and repel any intruders, usually curling up together in the open to rest during the night,. Strong social bonds exist and group members greet each other excitedly.