Black-backed Jackal
Botswana Wildlife Guide

Black-backed Jackal [Canis mesomelas]

Best places to see Black-backed Jackal in Botswana

Common in most parks and reserves in Botswana but specifically prevalent in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.


The Black-backed Jackal, or Silver-backed Jackal as it is known in places, is one of the hardiest creatures of Africa, surviving in a wide range of habitats from arid desert to Delta.

One of Africa's most amazing sounds is the call of the Black-backed Jackal, usually shattering the air around sunset, and it is no more dramatic than in the valleys of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Referred to as the Cry of the Kalahari, the call carries across the wilderness, and often a chorus breaks out when other males join in.

The Black-backed Jackal is an opportunistic feeder, often seen around carcasses and kills, and is often observed slipping in and stealing a morsel from a lion kill while the pride is still eating.

Although small in comparison to other predators, the Black-backed Jackal is known to stand its ground against other predators such as hyena and leopard. In fact during my personal observations I have seen two jackals actually driving a cheetah off a kill and take over.

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