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Spotted Hyena
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Spotted Hyena

Where to see Spotted Hyena in Kenya

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.


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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 Kenya

Based on 157 reports by our travellers since Jul 2018, visitors at these camps in Kenya 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’.

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Our best Kenya holidays for spotted hyena sightings

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


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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$12,520 - US$15,130 per person

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Black Kite Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Explore Kenya in-depth with visits to Nairobi and Meru National Parks, the Mara Conservancies and Amboseli. Nestled in remoter regions, four camps provide fantastic access to rich game, a range of activities and beautifully diverse landscapes.

US$8,380 - US$9,630 per person

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Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Experience Amboseli, the Maasai Mara ecosystem and Laikipia during this economically priced safari. Two simple camps offer adventure before a stopover in Nairobi and a final stay in the charming, wildlife-rich Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge.

US$4,790 - US$4,790 per person

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Elephant Safari

10 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

This example of a mid-range Kenya safari and beach trip explores the wildlife of Tsavo west's volcanic plains and woodlands, Tsavo East's immense plains and the white sand beaches and lush environment of Diani Beach.

US$4,320 - US$4,630 per person

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De Brazza Monkey Fly-in Safari

9 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Enjoy a range of activities in the remote wilderness of northern Kenya before exploring the wildlife-rich plains of the Mara ecosystem. Private vehicles and guides heighten the personalisation of this highly immersive safari.

US$9,700 - US$11,350 per person

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Martial Eagle Fly-in Safari

9 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

This stylish fly-in safari visits two of Africa’s most iconic parks, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

US$10,500 - US$14,310 per person

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Gorillas and Maasai Mara Safari

9 days • 3 locations
KIGALI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

This trip combines two of Africa's most unforgettable wildlife experiences – Rwanda's mountain gorillas and Kenya's Maasai Mara.

US$9,760 - US$11,620 per person

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Golden Jackal Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A contrasting safari of a lodge and a tented camp, action-packed activities in Laikipia and wildlife-filled game drives in the Maasai Mara, yet overall a consistently high quality experience.

US$8,050 - US$10,300 per person

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Rothschild Giraffe Safari

8 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A example of a luxury Kenyan safari, starting at the iconic Giraffe Manor before fabulous stays on the spectacular Solio Reserve and Sala’s Camp in a remote corner of the Maasai Mara.

US$9,200 - US$12,650 per person

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Hamerkop Fly-In Safari

8 days • 2 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Different wildlife, contrasting camps and a whole host of activities, this is a safari for those wanting to get out and about and not just sit in a vehicle.

US$5,500 - US$8,280 per person

View all holidays to Kenya

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.


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