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Striped Hyena
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Striped Hyena

Where to see Striped Hyena in Kenya

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

The top camps for seeing striped hyena in Kenya

Based on 74 reports by our travellers since May 2018, visitors at these camps in Kenya have the best chances of sighting striped hyena.

Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

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.


Our best Kenya holidays for striped hyena sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Kenya safaris are likely to give the best 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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Greater Kudu Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations

Experience a truly authentic bush experience on this safari at two classic tented camps, in Laikipia and the Maasai Mara. These are some of the best places to spot wild dogs and big cats.

US$7,170 - US$8,410 per person

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Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations

Experience Amboseli, the Maasai Mara ecosystem and Laikipia during this economically priced safari. Two simple camps offer adventure before a stopover in Nairobi and a final stay in the charming, wildlife-rich Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge.

US$5,800 - US$6,090 per person

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Golden Weaver Fly-In Safari

6 days • 2 locations

A rustic, adventurous week on safari with great community involvement that offers incredible value for money in two very different locations – the Amboseli and Maasai Mara ecosystems.

US$3,280 - US$3,440 per person

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Black Kite Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations

Explore Kenya in-depth with visits to Nairobi and Meru national parks, the Mara Conservancies and Amboseli. Nestled in remoter regions, four camps provide fantastic access to rich game, a range of activities and beautifully diverse landscapes.

US$9,260 - US$11,960 per person

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Lanner Falcon Fly-In Safari

8 days • 3 locations

Three sister camps offer access to wonderfully remote regions across northern Kenya and the Maasai Mara ecosystem. Enjoy an exclusive safari experience focused on great wildlife, superb guiding and considerable comfort, with a range of activities.

US$6,620 - US$8,400 per person

View all holidays to Kenya

More information about striped hyena in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about striped hyena in other countries, including the places for sighting striped hyena.

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