The Ethiopian Wolf
These enigmatic animals are found in the mountains and highlands of Ethiopia. The biggest populations live in the Simien Mountains National Park and Bale Mountains National Park, whose contoured landscapes comprise biodiverse forests on the lower slopes and grassy plains higher up.
The wolves are social animals and tend to live together in packs of 3 to 13 wolves. They tend to hunt alone, and their prey is primarily giant mole rats and common grass rats. The giant mole rats only spend 20 minutes per day outside their holes, so the wolves have to be very enterprising in order to catch one.
Occasionally, however, the wolves will hunt together to bring down larger animals such as antelope.
The wolves live in dens which often form part of an interconnected maze of burrows with several entrances. The wolves give birth to their pups here, and they serve as a place of safety thereafter for young pups. These pups are raised communally by the pack of wolves.
The Ethiopian Wolf is Africa’s most endangered carnivore, and the world's rarest canid, with fewer than 500 remaining in the wild. Their numbers have been diminished by a combination of disease, in particular rabies and canine distemper, and by the expansion of agriculture and the overgrazing of livestock, threatening their habitats.
Tourism, however, can play a role in reversing this. The more tourist revenue is dependent on their survival, the greater the incentive will be for local residents to ensure that their agricultural practices are sustainable.
The best way to spot the Ethiopian Wolf is to head out in the early morning when they tend to be most active.
We offer a number of tours that will take you to the Ethiopian Wolf, and you can stay at lodges or camp out in the mountains depending on your interests. One of our favourite experiences is a multi-day trekking adventure in the Bale Mountains, which involves camping overnight on the beautiful, high-altitude Sanetti Plateau and heading out in the early morning to track the wolves with the help of our expert guides.
The Ethiopian Wolf isn’t the only fascinating species to be found in the country’s highlands. Others include black-maned lions, mountain Nyala, Gelada monkeys and spotted hyenas.
See the Ethiopian Wolf on these trips
Hike across electric landscapes of thick forests, Afro-alpine moorland, peaks and plateaus, and jungle thickets. An extraordinary outdoor adventure, with high altitude hikes unlocking staggering viewpoints, beautiful clearings, and endemic wildlife. At night, the sky is ablaze with starlight in…