Striped Hyena in Africa
The striped hyena is the most widespread of the world’s hyenas, but absent from southern Africa and a rare safari sighting anywhere. A nocturnal scavenger, it is shyer and more solitary than its spotted cousin.
Quick facts about Striped Hyena
|Scientific name:||Hyaena hyaena||Habitat:||Semi-desert, savannah|
|IUCN status:||Near Threatened||Adult weight:||22–55kg|
Striped hyenas are smaller than spotted hyenas. They share the front-heavy, sloping profile but differ in their pointed ears, striped coat and thick, erectile mane along the spine.
Solitary scavengers, striped hyenas inhabit open bush, typically in semi-arid and rocky regions, and range widely in search of carcasses – also sometimes eating insects and wild fruits. Like other hyenas, this species marks its territory using pungent ‘pastings’ from the anal gland.
The den is typically an abandoned burrow, cave or crevice. Here the female gives birth to two to four pups, which she nurses for over a year. Striped hyenas defend their kill against other predators and, elsewhere in the world, may forage co-operatively alongside wolves.
Confirmed range countries worldwide
Estimated worldwide population (IUCN)
Max recorded length of den (Israel)
Africa's top camps for seeing striped hyenas
Based on 70 reports by our travellers since May 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting striped hyenas. Simply follow the key below.
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Where to see striped hyenas in Africa
Striped hyenas range well beyond Africa but are hard to see anywhere. On safari, the best locations are in Kenya and northern Tanzania, where night drives on small reserves are often your best bet.
Top tips for viewing striped hyenas
Striped hyenas occur across North and East Africa, the Middle East and India. On safari, however, they are among the least known of Africa’s large carnivores.
Although found in the northern half of Tanzania, including Serengeti, Ruaha and Tarangire National Parks, sightings are perhaps most reliable in central Kenya, including in Meru, Samburu and Shaba National Parks and on the private conservancies of Laikipia. Typically, these involve chance encounters with foraging individuals during a night drive or early in the morning.
In areas with an active den, a discreet stake-out may produce a longer sighting; ask your guide about any recent activity. The striped hyena is more silent than its spotted cousin but a pile of bones near the den site may betray its presence.
Holiday ideas to see striped hyenas
Based on our travellers experiences, these are the holidays which will give you the best chances of good striped hyena sightings
Our top destinations for striped hyenas
Click below for detailed information about striped hyenas in these countries, including our latest sightings data from the camps and lodges there.