Kenya’s Loisaba Conservancy recently discovery a previously unknown inhabitant — the Desert Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus).

This arid-climate swine is one of Africa’s least studied and most poorly known large mammals. Although described in 1766, confusion concerning its taxonomy resulted in the recognition of only one species of warthog (Phacochoerus africanus). Or “Pumbaa” as it’s known to millions of Lion King fans around the globe.

“Rediscovered” in 1991, the desert warthog differs most noticeably from the common warthog in its warts (hook-shaped rather than cone-shaped) and ears (bent back at the tip rather than erect).

Now found only in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the distribution, abundance, ecology, behavior and conservation status of the desert warthog remain poorly known. A better understanding is not only of considerable scientific interest, it’s important for the development of effective conservation and management plans for the species.

The conservancy that a second warthog species was running around until this past February, when researchers Yvonne de Jong and Tom Butynski visited Loisaba as part of their study of the distribution and conservation status of the desert warthog.

Have you or any of your clients spotted a desert warthog during a stay at the Loisaba Tented Camp, Loisaba Star Beds or Loisaba Lodo Springs? Details and photographs of your encounter are highly appreciated.

The following information is most helpful: Date of sighting; name of nearest village or town; latitude and longitude; elevation; and habitat. Please send the details and images to or