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Spotted Hyena
Asset 10

Spotted Hyena

Where to see Spotted Hyena in Malawi

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 Malawi

Based on 2 reports by our travellers since Aug 2018, visitors at these camps in Malawi 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 Malawi holidays for spotted hyena sightings

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


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Hyena Safari

11 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO LILONGWE AIRPORT

Mix relaxation and adventure on a safari combining the South Luangwa with Victoria Falls and the beaches of Lake Malawi. These three locations are among the most iconic in southern Africa.

US$6,580 - US$8,420 per person

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Utaka Cichlid Safari

10 days • 3 locations
BLANTYRE AIRPORT TO LILONGWE AIRPORT

Explore two of Malawi's safari parks - Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park - before finishing your trip with some beach time relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

US$3,730 - US$4,240 per person

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Red Zebra Cichlid Safari

7 days • 2 locations
BLANTYRE AIRPORT TO LILONGWE AIRPORT

Explore two of Malawi's highlights with a safari in rugged, remote Majete Wildlife Reserve before some beach time relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

US$3,350 - US$4,200 per person

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Orange Cap Cichlid Safari

7 days • 2 locations
LILONGWE AIRPORT TO LILONGWE AIRPORT

Combine a safari in the lush and resurgent Liwonde National Park with down time at an island eco-retreat in the middle of Lake Malawi. A great way to explore Malawi.

US$3,860 - US$4,360 per person

View all holidays to Malawi

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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