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Striped Hyena
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Striped Hyena

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.

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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)

90–91 days:

Gestation period

Africa's top camps for seeing striped hyenas

Based on 122 reports by our travellers since May 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting striped hyenas. Simply follow the key below.

Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

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Top 10 camps for striped hyena

% of travellers who saw striped hyena

Top 10 camps for striped hyena

% of travellers who saw striped hyena

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

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African Finfoot Fly-in Safari

7 days • 3 locations

After a unique start in Nairobi National Park, classic, luxurious camps combine for a high-end and exclusive safari in fantastic wildlife destinations.

US$9,900 - US$16,050 per person

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Hamerkop Fly-In Safari

8 days • 2 locations

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$6,350 - US$10,960 per person

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Rothschild Giraffe Safari

8 days • 3 locations

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$11,720 - US$16,510 per person

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Avocet Fly-in Safari

7 days • 3 locations

This luxurious safari explores three iconic African reserves from exclusive lodges in unbeatable locations. A very high standard of food, care and guiding ensure that you can focus on this amazing experience.

US$9,280 - US$14,680 per person

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Dik Dik Safari

12 days • 4 locations

Combine safari with peace and relaxation on Zanzibar’s white-sand shores during this exploration of Tanzania. Stay in three high-quality sister camps within Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park before concluding with a stay on Michamvi Peninsula.

US$8,750 - US$14,010 per person

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Regal Sunbird Fly-in Safari

12 days • 5 locations

Experience the highlights of Tanzania with a safari in the country’s famous northern parks followed by historic Stone Town and the palm-fringed beaches of Zanzibar, staying in high-quality accommodation throughout.

US$9,320 - US$15,160 per person

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Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land- and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$17,280 - US$25,560 per person

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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.

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