The Day the Painted Wolves Paid Angama Mara a Visit

10 February 2015 | The Mara |

It was a fine April day in 2013, like most other very fine Mara days (why is the weather always so impossibly glorious in this corner of Africa?), when Alexandra Sutton bumped into a pair of wild dogs hanging out on the very site Angama Mara is being built.

Alexandra was going about her day chatting to local Maasai community members about what impact predators were having on their livestock when to her surprise and huge delight she spotted one of Africa’s most endangered creatures. Two in fact, and these wonderful photographs are her proof of what others might have called a figment of her imagination.

Alexandra had come all the way from Duke University in North Carolina to work on her doctorate thesis on predator conservation in East Africa in which she is seeking to find solutions to human-wildlife conflict. This was her first week in Kenya, a country she describes in her blog, A Lion’s Life for Me, as ‘the closest thing to the Garden of Eden that I can imagine’, and this sighting of a pair of wild dogs was surely a gift to her for the work she is doing in this critical field of human-animal interaction.

I must own up and admit this is not a common occurrence and no, our guests won’t be able to watch wild dogs from their decks, but never say never… What we do guarantee however is the following passing parade through the lodge grounds: giraffe, zebra, eland and impala galore. Elephant pass through, as do buffalo, lion and leopard, so absolutely no walking unaccompanied at night, please – our lodge is wide open to the Mara and the animals simply come and go as they see fit.

So to their next visit and we will be ready and waiting with a warm Angama Mara welcome …


Alexandra is a conservation biologist in Wildlife Ecology and Anthropology currently completing her doctorate at Duke University working with Dr Stuart Pimm on predator conservation in East Africa. Please visit her social enterprise endeavor Kedge Conservation dedicated to building business capacity and conservation among rural communities including those surrounding the Maasai Mara.

Author: Nicky Fitzgerald


AUTHOR: Nicky Fitzgerald

After more than 30 years in hospitality, starting with a small hotel at the foot of Africa and followed by a further couple of Cape hotels, most notably The Bay, and sixty plus safari lodges across Africa and India, Nicky has served more meals, puffed more cushions, filled more beds, trained more staff and opened more properties than she cares to remember. Nicky retired as Angama's CEO in July of 2022 and remains an advisor and delightfully opinionated member of the Board.

Charles Kingori
February 10, 2015

I appreciate the vivid flow of this recollection and impact made by Alex. Thanks Nicky for referral to Alex work for further reading!!

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