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Spotted Hyena
Asset 10

Spotted Hyena

Where to see Spotted Hyena in Zimbabwe

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 Zimbabwe

Based on 57 reports by our travellers since May 2018, visitors at these camps in Zimbabwe 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 Zimbabwe holidays for spotted hyena sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Zimbabwe 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-footed Cat Safari

14 days • 6 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Combine three of southern Africa's most iconic destinations in this exciting and varied safari. Discover the world's oldest desert in Namibia, seek iconic wildlife in Botswana and gaze in wonder at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

US$11,240 - US$19,730 per person

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Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$8,120 - US$11,080 per person

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Great Egret Safari

12 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A wonderfully varied adventure to Botswana and Zimbabwe combining three fantastic safari areas, a luxury river cruise and the mighty Victoria Falls.

US$7,210 - US$11,600 per person

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Nyala Safari

10 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

A superb luxury safari in iconic Hwange and Mana Pools National Parks staying in a pair of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe, with a grand finale at Victoria Falls.

US$8,950 - US$12,070 per person

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Grysbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

Discover three of Zimbabwe’s most iconic destinations in style, flying between Hwange, Mana Pools and Lake Kariba on this varied safari adventure staying at authentic yet luxurious camps.

US$6,640 - US$9,160 per person

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Pied Kingfisher Safari

9 days • 3 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

A luxury safari combining three of Zimbabwe's top highlights. The trip uses some of the finest safari camps in Zimbabwe and is perfect for a family or small group.

US$5,250 - US$7,070 per person

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Tigerfish Safari

6 days • 2 locations
HARARE AIRPORT TO HARARE AIRPORT

Go fully off grid on this adventurous exploration of Mana Pools National Park combining a classic canoe safari along the Zambezi with some excellent walking. Not for the faint-hearted.

US$5,510 - US$6,300 per person

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Lion Safari

7 days • 2 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

The classic Expert Africa Zimbabwe safari. Combining two of our favourite independent camps, each run by celebrated guides, exciting game drives, world-class walks and canoeing in premier wildlife watching destinations.

US$5,910 - US$7,690 per person

View all holidays to Zimbabwe

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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