Research house

About us

The base

The research station is located on the Eastern rim of the Crater. It was built by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) close to a rangers camp and is situated close to Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge; the nearest Maasai village is about 5 km away. Equipment and food can be bought a one-hour drive away in Karatu.

The station is run with solar power and access to the internet goes via a satellite dish. The station is equipped like any fully functional office with computers, printers, scanners etc.  One room is dedicated to sample processing and storage, and is equipped with a centrifuge, a liquid nitrogen container and equipment to perform dissections.

The project

The Spotted Hyena Project of the Ngorongoro Crater is a long-term research project on the spotted hyenas of the Crater from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany, an institute of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft and the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. The project was initiated in April 1996 by Dr. Oliver Höner, Dr. Bettina Wachter, Prof. Dr. Heribert Hofer and Dr. Marion East.

Our research is done in close cooperation with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA). Scientific data are taken by scientists of the IZW, cooperation partners of international research institutions and our assistants.

Current team members

Tegela Karya and Loltogom OltumoTegela Karya and Loltogom Oltumo: Joined the project in 2007. They guard the research cabin and assist in taking care of the equipment. They also help exchanging important information with rangers and Maasai people from nearby villages. They belong to the Maasai tribe.
Philemon NamanPhilemon Naman: Assists the project since 2015. He collects demographic data and samples and also takes care of our equipment. He belongs to the Iraqw tribe.
Eve DavidianEve Davidian: Joined the hyena team in 2010. For her PhD she studies dispersal behaviour and reproductive tactics of hyena males. She belongs to both the French and the US American tribe.
09_05_About us-Arjun DheerArjun Dheer: Joined the hyena team in 2017. For his PhD he studies the adaptability of hyenas to anthropogenic change and human-carnivore conflict. He is a member of the IUCN Hyena Specialist Group. He belongs to the US American tribe.
Oliver HönerOliver Höner: Co-founder and scientific head of the Hyena Project Ngorongoro Crater. He is a member of the IUCN Hyena Specialist Group. He belongs to both the Swiss and the Brazilian tribe.
Bettina WachterBettina Wachter: Co-founder of the Hyena Project Ngorongoro Crater. She is scientific head of the Cheetah Project in Namibia and is a member of the IUCN Hyena Specialist Group. She belongs to both the Swiss and the German tribe.
Dagmar Thierer and Stephan KarlDagmar Thierer and Stephan Karl: Support the Hyena Project from our base in Berlin by performing paternity analyses in the lab and helping with the administrative load. They both belong to the German tribe.

Former team members (in alphabetical order)

Malvina Andris, technical assistant, Nelly Boyer, technical assistant, Nicole Burgener, technical assistant, Noon Bushra Eltahir, student helper, Anne Hertel, scientific helper, Lekoko Kimaay, assistant, Berit Kostka, technical assistant, Michelle Lindson, technical assistant, Angelika Mai, technical assistant, Tapwaa Ndooto, assistant, Sylvia Schulz van Endert, scientific helper, Melanie Szameitat, scientific helper, Kerstin Wilhelm, technical assistant.


Hyena Project Ngorongoro Crater
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17
10315 Berlin