Rock & Bush hyrax in Kenya

Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) and bush hyrax (or yellow-spotted rock hyrax, Heterohyrax brucei) are both common species in Kenya.

However, in which popular parks or reserves we can guarantee to see rock hyrax? I know Lake Nakuru National Park and Mount Kenya National Park are for the rocks. Most parks with savana habitat seem to be dominant by bush hyrax.


Post author

Zhou Fangyi


  • JanEbr

    We have seen Rock hyrax in Mt. Elgon NP, at the entrance to one of the big popular caves. As far as I know these are territorial animals and the habitat there is good, so I think there is a good chance of them being resident. They were somewhat timid, but were willing to show themselves in the middle of the day (they are a diurnal species) with some patience.

    • Zhou Fangyi

      Thank you JanEbr! I see, Mt. Elgon is also the right park, and it seems that it is also good for other special species.

  • vnsankar

    In Kenya, Rock Hyrax are a bit localized and mostly associated with volcanic terrain, especially flanking the Rift Valley. In terms of access, yes Nakuru is probably the easiest place for them but they’re also fairly easy to see on kopjes in several of the conservancies in the Laikipia ecosystem, where they co-occur with Bush Hyrax. Should be localized but common in parts of Lewa, Borana Hills, Mpala, etc. I’d say these are generally better places for mammal watching than Nakuru, but can be quite expensive. Keep in mind that the Rock Hyrax on Mt. Kenya are only in rocky outcrops in the alpine zone, so expect a long hike to access them.

    Bush Hyrax are basically in any rocky outcrop in a savanna park. You will see them if you just go to the habitat. But they’re easy in the main savanna parks like Masai Mara (Serena), Nairobi NP, Tsavo E/W (rocky outcrops near Voi) etc.

    • Zhou Fangyi

      Thank you vnsankar, these are very useful information! As for the Rift Valley, I noticed Hell’s Gate NP, do you know the hyrax there is rock or bush? or both?

  • Zhou Fangyi

    I really want to figure out that the hyrax in Hell’s Gate National Park is rock or bush (or both occur). As we will stay at Naivasha area (Chui Lodge, where night games are provided, only 30 mins drive from Hell’s Gate NP). If we can find the rock hyrax at Hell’s Gate NP, we will not need to spend one more day to Lake Nakuru, and move to somewhere better for mammal watching.

    Maybe some one can help me identify the photos on Google Image?


  • Zarek Cockar

    @Zhou Fangyi The hyraxes in Hell’s Gate are Rock Hyraxes.
    One of the most useful tools is iNaturalist. You can select a taxon (in this case Procaviidae) and a location (Nakuru County) and see what records show up. As long as they’re all identified correctly, it’ll give you a good indication. Stick to the ‘Research Grade’ observations.
    From Lake Magadi and the Nguruman escarpment in the south to just north of Lake Nakuru, they’re all Rock. Around Lake Baringo, there seems to be some of both species.
    Maasai Mara has both species, but Bush is, by far, the most common. There are only a few Rock Hyraxes in the very far southeastern part of the Reserve. Laikipia has both. Meru, Tsavo, and Nairobi NPs are all only Bush Hyrax, as far as I know.

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