Hyenas are an often misunderstood and much maligned creature, seen as a lowly scavenger, robbing the kills of leopards, wild dogs, cheetah and even lions (given the right circumstances). From all that guides over the years have told me, and my watching many nature documentaries, I know that while they do scavenge a lot, and provide a necessary ecosystem service in that regard, they are also skillful hunters, and have very interesting clan dynamics, led by an alpha female.
Hyenas can be pretty hit and miss on safari though. Unless there is an active den on the property, guides (that I have been with) don’t generally seek them out or follow their tracks. It’s more a situation of randomly running across them, and then stopping to watch for a few minutes before moving on. If there is a den on the property with little ones, it can be a very enjoyable sighting, as the cubs can be quite boisterous and inquisitive. I still recall my first time in the Okavango Delta, sitting just after sunset at a den and a cub came over and started chewing on the tires of the vehicle, getting into it the way my dog used to take to his squeaky toys as a pup.
No such luck with young cubs this past trip, but here are a few of the images I did capture of hyenas.
Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.