The Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) is described in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park information guide as:
. . . an extremely opportunistic feeder, eating anything from termites, wild fruit, such as the tsamma melon and gemsbok cucumbers, small mammals such as mice and hares to the young of larger antelope. The jackal is also a scavenger and will feed on left-overs from another predator’s kill. It is able to locate carrion from 11 kilometers downwind.
Jackals defend a territory in pairs. In the Kgalagadi they have become a problem in the camps as they scavenge for food there too. They have been known to steal meat off the fire when humans turn their backs for even a short while.
Many people do not like jackals much, but I think they are quite interesting, busy animals. They often move around at a fast trot, and seem to be very cautious when approaching a waterhole. The jackal in the above photograph kept looking around nervously.
If you like wildlife photography, check out the rest of the Kalahari Series here.