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The ITV show launches this weekend, with other contestants including Boris Johnson's father Stanley and former footballer Dennis Wise.
All the other celebrities heading for the jungle were announced on Tuesday.
It is understood Ms Dugdale will donate her MSP salary to charity while she is in Australia.
Boxer Amir Khan, Coronation Street's Jennie McAlpine footballer Jamie Vardy's wife Rebekah, The Saturdays singer Vanessa White and Hollyoaks actor Jamie Lomas will also be taking part.
The personalities will try to last three weeks with each other, and the local wildlife, in the camp.
Scottish Labour is not officially commenting on Ms Dugdale's last minute inclusion in the line-up, but a party source said it would be a "fantastic opportunity" for the MSP to talk about policies and Labour values on a widely watched show.
"She puts other politicians to shame with her work ethic and I'm sure there will be huge support for her from Scottish viewers while she's in the jungle.
"She'll be back in time for the budget and will get straight down to work once again for the people of the Lothians," the source added.
About 10 million people tune in to the show every night.
Ms Dugdale stood down as Scottish Labour leader in August. Her successor will be appointed later.