The savanna shrew feeds primarily on insects, but will also eat any fresh carrion, including that of small mammals, amphibians and reptiles (2). It finds its prey by foraging through leaf litter, under fallen trees, and under piles of stones or branches. If it feels threatened, the savanna shrew will stoop low to the ground, raise its head, display its white teeth, and produce a quick shriek (2).
Although the litter size of the savanna shrew is not known, the average litter size for white-toothed shrew species is one to ten young, with each weighing about one gram at birth (2). Typically, white-toothed shrews do not dig their own burrows, but instead occupy those abandoned by other burrowing animals, where they will build a nest from twigs and leaves (2). The young, which are hairless and blind for the first week of life, are weaned after about 20 days and are sexually mature by around two to three months (2).
All white-toothed shrews have scent glands on the sides of the body, which produce a strong, musky odour, hence their other common name, musk shrews (2). This strong odour appears to play a role in deterring predators, or may have a sexual function (3). Male white-toothed shrews possess larger glands than females (2), and leave a musky trail behind them, possibly to deter other males from following. The female leaves a strong trail behind when not in season, possibly to discourage any male from following, but when breeding, the female ceases leaving any odour trail, which may be to hide the nest and young from potential predators (3).