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Spotted Hyena
Asset 10

Spotted Hyena

Where to see Spotted Hyena in Zambia

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 Zambia

Based on 284 reports by our travellers since Mar 2018, visitors at these camps in Zambia 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 Zambia holidays for spotted hyena sightings

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


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Perekani Walking Trail

10 days • 5 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Five smart but rustic bushcamps are the comfortable staging-posts for this walking safari in South Luangwa. The route offers outstanding seclusion and rich wildlife with top-quality guiding throughout.

US$8,730 - US$10,090 per person

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Duiker Safari

10 days • 3 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Three luxurious bush-camps in stunning riverside locations, split between the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks, offer a wide variety of expert-guided safari activities in stunning game-rich environments.

US$7,670 - US$9,170 per person

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Oribi Safari

10 days • 4 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

This is a great safari for those looking to immerse themselves in true wilderness, with few additional frills yet considerable, authentic comfort. The standard of guiding is consistently impressive and the walking safaris throughout are a real highlight.

US$11,360 - US$11,360 per person

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Civet Safari

9 days • 4 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Combining 3 intimate bush camps in the quieter south of the South Luangwa this safari will appeal to those looking for a nice mix of walking and vehicle safari.

US$7,100 - US$8,680 per person

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Greater Bushbaby Safari

8 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

The perfect safari for a family or group of friends during which to create everlasting memories. Visit Zambia’s two most productive wildlife parks staying in 4-bedroom houses, designed in a unique and fun way.

US$8,540 - US$10,610 per person

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Boehm's Zebra Safari

7 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

This safari combines two high quality owner-run camps in a very productive region of the South Luangwa. The guiding is excellent and with its hides this safari is perfect for serious photographers.

US$6,830 - US$8,110 per person

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Robin Pope Walking Safari

7 days • 3 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

The definitive, original mobile walking safari; explore the remote north of the South Luangwa on foot while staying in a simple mobile camp that moves with the group.

US$6,090 - US$7,020 per person

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Fruit Bat Safari

6 days • 2 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

Offering a highly specialised experienced, this safari uses two simple bases for access to South Luangwa and Kasanka National Parks. Visit between October and December when you will witness the world’s largest mammalian migration of millions of fruit bats.

US$4,520 - US$4,780 per person

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Crawshay's Zebra Safari

10 days • 4 locations
LUSAKA AIRPORT TO LUSAKA AIRPORT

This superb safari combines two of Zambia’s best national parks, the South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi. The camps are small and high quality with excellent safari guides.

US$8,340 - US$11,530 per person

View all holidays to Zambia

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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