AK, Nkonzo and Jungle, the Peace Parks dogs you have come to know and love, are moving to their new home in Nyika National Park. After nearly two years of training in Limpopo National Park, the dogs have been deemed trained, fighting fit and ready to form a canine unit in Nyika National Park.

Back in 2019, Peace Parks brought in these three bloodhound-doberman-crosses, to Limpopo National Park where they furthered their training by working as tracking dogs. In the past few years, they have been under the careful and compassionate eye of Gabriel Mpala, a Peace Parks dog handler and trainer. They have been trained in free-running capabilities as well as on-leash work, versatility being key to cover the different types of situations they might find themselves in.  Peace Parks Foundation’s highly trained hounds form incredibly close bonds with their handlers, and absolutely love their days out with anti-poaching units.

When field rangers find a fresh track – anything up to 2 to 3 hours old –

all three dogs can be released off the leash. Working as a pack, they are trained to follow the tracks with rangers in a helicopter close behind. Cross-trained to also work on a 10m leash, the dogs can also follow older tracks, up to 9 hours old. In this situation the handler follows behind, so that the canine leads the team of field rangers on foot.

For now, there is a long journey ahead, crossing two borders, sorting export and import permits, vaccinations and the endless paperwork that comes with moving animals across country borders.

The dogs are readied for their flight to Lilongwe where Gabriel will be waiting to greet them. From there it will be a long journey by road.

Will all the dogs make it to Malawi? Tune in tomorrow to find out.