A rarely studied species, relatively little is known about the habits of the African giant shrew. It is predominantly a carnivore, feeding on insects and other invertebrates such as slugs and snails. Like all shrews, it has a voracious appetite and fast metabolism, meaning it needs to eat a large amount every day. It alternates periods of activity and rest throughout the day and night (2), but is most active at dusk and dawn (4).
The African giant shrew is believed to be territorial and largely solitary (2), although mating pairs form during the summer months, from August to April (4). A litter of between one and seven naked and helpless young are born after a gestation period of 28 to 36 days (4). Like many other shrews, this species performs what is known as ‘caravanning’; if the nest becomes unsafe or is disturbed, the mother will move the young to a different location by means of a walking ‘caravan’, with the mother at the front and the young following, each gripping onto the fur of the one in front with its teeth (4). There is no reliable data on life expectancy, but an individual from this genus lived for four years in captivity (5).