Giant Forest Hogs


Giant Forest Hog, Hylochoerus meinertzhageni, Aberdare National Park

I’ve been to Kenya twice. For a week in 2011, and in 1.5 weeks in 2021.

Aberdare National Park

Giant Forest Hogs, Hylochoerus meinertzhageni

In 2011 I spent a night at the Ark Lodge and another night camping in the park. We saw lots of Giant Forest HogsBuffalo, Elephants, Bushbuck, Warthogs, Olive Baboons, Guerza Colobus, Reedbuck, three duiker species (Bush, Kivu and Harvey’s/Natal Red) and a Savannah Hare. Probably the most unusual sighting was a pack of Wild Dogs in the moorland.

African Wild Dog, Lycaon pictus

At the Ark I saw some of the above including the hogs, plus Ochre Bush Squirrels, Suni, East African Giant Pouched Rat, Small-eared GalagosSpotted Hyenas and a Blotched Genet.

In 2021 I returned for a full day in the park and saw some of these species again, together with East African (King) Root Rat and a Typical Zebra Mouse.

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest National Park & Malindi

Golden-rumped Elephant-Shrew, Rhynchocyon chrysopygus

A night here in 2011 produced fabulous Golden-rumped Elephant Shrews, Zanj Sun Squirrel, Red-bellied Coast Squirrels, Blue Monkeys and Yellow Baboons and Northern Greater Galagos.

Heart-nosed Bat, Cardioderma cor

In two caves near by we saw Heart-nosed Bats, African Sheath-tailed Bats and Egyptian Rousette Fruit Bats.

African Trident Bats, Trianeops afer

In 2021 I visited Makahuru cave near Watamu, and saw two undescribed Bentwing Bats (Clade 5 & Clade 2), African Trident BatsHildegarde’s Tomb Bat,s Sundevall’s Roundleaf Bats (Clade 5) and more African Sheathtail Bats. There were Straw-coloured Fruit Bats over Malindi Airport at dusk.

Diani Beach & Shimoni

Kenya Dwarf Coastal Galago, Paragalago cocos

During a night at Diani Beach in 2021 I saw Kenyan Dwarf Coastal Galagos and Small-eared Greater Galagos, Blue Monkeys and Suni. In two bat caves close to Shimoni, an hour south of Diani Beach, we saw both Giant and Commerson’s Leaf-nosed Bats, Hildegarde’s Tomb Bats, Least Bentwing Bats and Egyptian Fruit Bats.

Lake Naivasha

Eloquent Horsehoe Bat, Rhinolophus eloquens. Soysambu Conservancy.

A few hours in two bat caves near Lake Naivasha in 2021 produced Persian Trident Bat, Mahgreb Leaf-nosed Bat, Eloquent and Lander’s Horseshoe Bats., two undescribed Bentwing Bats (Clades 7 and 8) and Egyptian Slit-faced Bats. In park and conservancy land near the caves we saw Impala,
Grant’s Gazelle, Thomson’s Gazelle, Plains Zebra and Giraffe.

Masai Mara

Cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus

Over two nights in 2021 we saw 31 species here: Southern Tree HyraxElephant, African Grass Rat, Thick-tailed Greater Galago, Olive Baboon, Vervet, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Common Genet, Spotted Hyaena, Marsh Mongoose, Common Dwarf Mongoose, Banded Mongoose and Black-backed Jackal.

COVID test, safari style.

Along with Plains Zebra, Common Warthog, Hippopotamus, African Buffalo, Common Eland, Bushbuck, Impala, Steenbok, Grant’s Gazelle, Thomson’s Gazelle, Cavendish’s Dik-dik, Waterbuck, Hartebeest, Topi, Common Wildebeest and Masai Giraffe.

Meru National Park

Naked Mole Rat, Heterocephalus glaber

Two nights here in 2021 produced African Elephant, Naked Mole Rat, Unstriped Ground Squirrel, Somali Grass Rat, Olive Baboon, Vervet, Voi Shrew, Yellow-winged BatLionBlack-backed Jackal and Somali Dwarf Mongoose.

Somali Dwarf Mongoose, Helogale hirtula

We also saw Plains Zebra, African Buffalo, Lesser Kudu, Impala, Gerenuk, Bright’s Gazelle,Waterbuck and Giraffe.

Mount Suswa Conservancy

Harrison’s Large-eared Giant Mastiff Bats, Otomops harrisoni

I visited here in 2021 to see the huge colony of spectacular Harrison’s Large-eared Giant Mastiff Bats. There were Rock Hyraxes at the cave entrance too.

Nairobi National Park

White Rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum

I spent an afternoon herein 2011, and saw Striped Ground Squirrel,Thomson’s Gazelle, White Rhinos, Eland, Masai Giraffe, Olive Baboons and Warthogs along with many Buffalo, Red Hartebeest, Plains Zebra, Grant’s Gazelle and Impala. We also saw an Ochre Bush Squirrel, a couple of Kirk’s Dikdiks and a Slender Mongoose.


Crested Rat, Lophiomys imhausi

I spent a night at the Trout Tree Restaurant in 2021 and saw my target Crested Rat, along with Southern Tree Hyraxes, Blue Monkeys and Guerza Colobus.

Samburu National Park

Grevy’s Zebra, Equus grevyi, Samburu National Park

24 hours herein 2011 found Beisa Oryx, Elephant, ImpalaGerenuksKirk’s and Guenther’s Dikdiks.

Guenther’s Dik-dik, Madoqua guentheri, and its longer snout.

Along with Bright’s Gazelles, Giraffes, Waterbucks, Grevy’s ZebraVervet Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Dwarf Mongoose, Common Genet, White-tailed Mongoose, Civet, Unstriped Ground Squirrels, Savannah Hare and a Slender Mongoose

Tana River Primate Reserve

Tana River Mangabey, Cercocebus galeritus

A night herein 2011 produced Hinde’s Dik DikMauritian Tomb Bats, Tana River Crested Mangabeys, Tana River Red Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys ,Yellow Baboons and a Natal Red (Harvey’s) Duiker.

Tsavo East National Park

During two days in 2021 we saw ElephantUnstriped Ground Squirrel, Yellow Baboon, Vervet, Yellow-winged BatSundevall’s Roundleaf Bat (Clade 3), Egyptian Slit-faced Bat, Lion and Black-backed Jackal.

Black-backed Jackal, Lupulella mesomelas

We also had both Grevy’s and Plains ZebrasDesert WarthogImpalaGerenukPeters’s Gazelle, Thomson’s GazelleWaterbuck, Beisa Oryx, Hartebeest, Hirola, Hippos and Masai Giraffe.

Hirola, Beatragus hunteri

Community Reports

Kenya, 2023: Zarek Cockar, 16 days & 102 species including Rufous Sengi, Grey-bellied Pygmy Mouse, Striped Hyena, Egyptian Mongoose, Hirola and Black-fronted Duiker.

Northern Masai Mara, 2023: Ralf Bürglin, 2 weeks & 36 species including Black and White Rhinos and a Marsh Mongoose on an interesting trip that gave participants hands on experience of conservation work instead of a traditional safari.

Kenya, 2022: Ben Chapple’s 10 month mega – no make that MEGA – report including AardvarkNaked Mole RatManed RatHarrison’s Giant Mastiff BatCaracal, AardwolfZorilla,  Weyns’s Duiker and 147 other species!

Gatamaoiyu Reserve and the Masai Mara – Cat Roundup, 2022: Chris D’s report of multiple cat trips and missing Golden Cat and Serval in Kenya.

Mara West & Golden Cat search, 2022Royle Safaris, 10 days & 50 species including ServalManed RatMontane Climbing Mouse and an undescribed Red-legged Sun Squirrel.

Tanzania & Kenya Bovids, 2022: Marcus Burkhardt, 2 weeks with species including Serval and Suni.

Kenya, 2022: Matt & Maureen Steer, 2 weeks & 75 species including Golden-rumped Giant Sengi, Black & Red Giant SengiManed RatNaked Mole Rat and Bushy-tailed Mongoose.

Kenya, 2021/22: Jan Ebr, 25 days & 84 species including Naked MoleratHammer-headed Fruit BatDe Brazza’s Monkey and Weyn’s Duiker.

Kenya 2021: Jon Hall, 1.5 weeks & 84+ species including Maned Rat, Naked Mole Rat, Hirola, Somali Dwarf Mongoose and Harrison’s Giant Mastiff Bat.

Big Mammal Day, 2021: Zarek Cocker’s report of a massive 24 hours in Southern Kenya with 66 species including  Zorilla, Serval and Red-tailed Monkey.

Kenya, October 2021: Andreas Jonsson, 12 days & 58 species including HirolaGolden-rumped Elephant Shrew and Kenya Coastal Galago.

Kenya Rare Mammals, November 2021Martin Royle, 8 days & 100 species including Naked Mole RatTana River Mangabey and Serval.

Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, 2021Pictus Safaris, 30 days & 81 species including Ader’s DuikerManed Rat and Kipunji.

Kenya 2021: Venkat Sankar, 3 weeks and 126 (that is not a typo!) species including Naked Mole-ratSokoke Dog MongooseManed RatCaracalStriped Hyena, melanistic Serval, and Harrison’s Giant Mastiff Bat. Awesome report.

Kenya, 2021: Samuel Marlin, 3 weeks & 59 species including Hirola, Striped Hyena, Civet, Somali Dwarf Mongoose and Red-tailed Monkey.

Kenya, 2021: Alex Meyer, 10 days & 79 species including Hirola, Desert Warthog, Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew, Striped Leafnosed Bat and Kenya Coastal Galago.

Kenya, 2019: Samuel Marlin, 8 days & 44 species including ServalGerenuk and Desert Warthog.

Masai Mara & Samburu, 2019: Greg Easton, 1 week & 38 species including Grevy’s Zebra and Kirk’s & Gunther’s Dik Diks.

Kenya, 2019: Alan Dahl, 2 weeks & 47 species including Gerenuk, Southern Tree Hyrax and Yellow-winged Bat.

Hell’s Gate National Park & Sokoke Forest, 2016: Zachary Harris’s account of a few days in these lesser-visited parks, with 20 species including Suni and Golden-rumped Elephant Shrews.

Kenya, 2016: Samuel Marlin, 12 days & 52 species including Hirola, Desert Warthog, Giant Forest Hog, Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew and Lesser Cane Rat.

Kenya, 2016: Steve Morgan, 2 weeks and 64 species, including Aardvark, Caracal, Zorilla, Striped Hyena and Hirola.

Laikipia, Kenya, 2016: Mattia Altieri, 9 days & 34 species including ZorillaLeopard, Wild Dogs and White-tailed Mongoose.

Kenya, 2015: Royle Safaris, 19 days & 70 species including Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew, Desert WarthogAfrican Groove-toothed RatKenyan Coastal Dwarf Galago and Hirola.

Kenya & Tanzania, 2013: Venkat Sankar, 2 weeks & 76 species including Red-tailed Monkey, East African Mole Rat, Serval, Bushy-tailed and Marsh Mongooses.

Kenya, 2013: Dominque Brugiere, 10 days with species including Hirola, Desert Warthog,Tana River Mangabey, Black-fronted Duiker and Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew.

Kenya, 2013: Bob Berghaier, 9 days & 48 species including Cane Rat, Marsh Mongoose, Wild Dogs and a Serval.

Kenya, 2013: Indri Tours, 12 days & 35 species including Yellow spotted Hyrax, Serval and Caracal.

Kenya & Tanzania, 2013: Indri Tours, 17 days & 51 species including 3 Honey Badgers, Striped Hyena and Caracal.

Kenya, 2012: Coke Smith, 10 days & 42 species including Desert Warthogs and Greater (Marsh) Cane Rat.

Kenya, 2011: Jon Hall, 1 week & 56 species including Giant Forest Hog, Wild Dogs, Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew and Tana River Mangabeys and Red Colobus.

Tanzania & Kenya, 2011: Indri Tours, 2 weeks & 48 species including Yellow-winged Bat, Giant Forest Hog, Grevy’s Zebra and Gerenuk.

Nairobi National Park, 2008: Bob Berghaier, some brief notes.

Don Roberson’s trip reports for trips to Kenya, Gabon, Uganda and South-West Africa (South Africa, Namibia and the Okavango).

Kenya, 2005: Richard Webb, 2 weeks & 50 mammals including a Giant Forest Hog.

Also See

Northeast Kenya Antelope Survey, March 2024

Where to see Rock and Bush Hyrax in Kenya? June 2023

Where to stay between Nairobi and Samburu? June 2023

Kenya in May/June? Feb 2022

Help with rodent IDs, March 2021

RFI Guides in Arabuko Soroke, February 2021

Striped Weasels on the Western Cape (and Kenya), August 2020

Crested Rat (sometimes seen at Sirkio lodge… look at the comments), August 15

Kenya’s Loima Hills – including Patas Monkeys and Guenther’s Dik Dik but no Desert Warthogs.

Ader’s Duiker – new population in northern Kenya, 2011.

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