This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Spotted Hyena
Asset 10

Spotted Hyena

Where to see Spotted Hyena in Botswana

The spotted hyena has long been reviled in popular culture as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this powerful, versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating, and warrants special attention on any safari.


About image

Quick facts about Spotted Hyena

Scientific name: Crocuta crocuta Habitat: Semi-desert, forest, savannah
IUCN status: Least Concern Adult weight: 40–80kg

The spotted hyena is the largest and most widespread of four hyena species and distinguished by its round ears and spotted coat – bolder in younger individuals. Both a tireless predator, able to run down zebra, and a resourceful scavenger, using powerful jaws to consume every scrap of a carcass, it is Africa’s most efficient large carnivore.

Spotted hyena clans may number over 50 but individuals disperse widely while foraging. Alpha females, larger than males, preside over matriarchal social structures as complex as those of some primates. Cubs are born in burrows.

A highly vocal animal, the spotted hyena’s far-carrying whoop is the very essence of a night in the African bush.


40%

More bite power then leopard

5km

distance carried by contact calls

14.5kg

meat consumed at a sitting

±25%

Cubs killed by siblings during first month

The top camps for seeing spotted hyena in Botswana

Based on 290 reports by our travellers since May 2018, visitors at these camps in Botswana have the best chances of sighting spotted hyena.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for spotted hyena

% of travellers who saw spotted hyena

Top 10 camps for spotted hyena

% of travellers who saw spotted hyena

Where to see spotted hyenas in Africa

Spotted hyenas are fairly easily observed in most major parks, especially where lions are present. Much of their activity occurs after dark, when you’re bound to hear them even if you don’t see them.


Top tips for viewing spotted hyena

Spotted hyenas range widely across sub-Saharan Africa but are best seen in reserves where other predators provide plentiful large carcasses. Prime locations include the Serengeti/Maasai Mara (Kenya/Tanzania), Chobe/Okavango (Botswana), Zambezi and Luangwa Valleys (Zimbabwe/Zambia), and Greater Kruger (South Africa). With no lions around, for example on Malawi’s Nyika Plateau, spotted hyenas become the dominant predator.

At night, their calls often betray a lion or leopard kill. By day, you may find cubs lying out at the den and can observe the complex communications between clan members. On hot days hyenas sometimes cool off in mud wallows. Habituated hyenas may become bold, raiding camps at night and stealing boots or similar. On foot, look out for hyenas’ distinctive tracks and their bone-whitened droppings, known as ‘bush meringues’.

image

Our best Botswana holidays for spotted hyena sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Botswana safaris are likely to give the best spotted hyena sightings


Itinerary image

Black-footed Cat Safari

14 days • 6 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Three of southern Africa's iconic destinations combined into a fascinating trip. Explore the Namib, the world's oldest desert; safari in the Okavango Delta; and gaze in wonder at Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls.

US$13,690 - US$26,200 per person

Itinerary image

Spring Hare Safari

9 days • 3 locations
KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An authentic and diverse safari to Botswana combining the Chobe Forest Reserve, Savuti Marshes and the Okavango Delta. Strong wildlife viewing, a variety of activities and excellent value camps.

US$6,030 - US$10,920 per person

Itinerary image

Red Lechwe Safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Superb guiding from three fabulous camps full of character in three contrasting areas for a fabulous safari to the Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert.

US$13,140 - US$19,610 per person

Itinerary image

Reedbuck Safari

8 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Focussing on the Okavango Delta and combining the crème de la crème of Botswana’s camps – Zarafa, Vumbura Plains and Mombo – this is one of the finest safari experiences in Africa.

US$15,440 - US$30,950 per person

Itinerary image

Kudu Safari

7 days • 2 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A luxury Botswana safari exploring the Okavango Delta staying at Nxebega Camp and the stunning Sandibe Lodge, with excellent guiding and some of the most prolific wildlife viewing anywhere in Africa.

US$7,840 - US$18,400 per person

Itinerary image

Serval Safari

6 days • 2 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A fabulous safari staying at two of the finest luxury camps in Botswana’s Okavango Delta – Vumbura Plains and the legendary Mombo Camp. Untamed wilderness, top guiding and exceptional wildlife.

US$11,260 - US$24,110 per person

Itinerary image

The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$13,340 - US$17,370 per person

Itinerary image

Porcupine Safari

11 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit dramatically contrasting landscapes boasting a variety of species during this exploration of Botswana’s top-safari destinations. A combination of national parks and private reserves allows for a range of activities.

US$7,750 - US$14,040 per person

Itinerary image

Steenbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A classic Botswana safari exploring the Moremi, Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta. Excellent wildlife viewing and a variety of activities from three of our favourite traditional tented camps.

US$6,130 - US$10,400 per person

View all holidays to Botswana

More information about spotted hyena in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about spotted hyena in other countries, including the places for sighting spotted hyena.


Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team