Ticks are important vectors of pathogens of medical and veterinary importance worldwide. Despite their economic importance our current knowledge about the factors affecting tick prevalence and abundance in tropical and subtropical regions is rather limited. Both abiotic (e.g. temperature) as well as biotic variables (e.g. host sex) have been identified as key determinants of distributions. Eastern rock sengis or elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus, Thomas & Schwann) are widely distributed throughout Africa and can harbour a large number of tick species and substantial tick burdens. In the current study we evaluated the contribution of climate and host factors on tick burdens of sengis. Throughout the year sengis carried high abundances of immature stages of a single tick species, Rhipicephalus sp. near warburtoni. There was no evidence that host parameters affected tick burdens. However, larval abundance decreased with increasing ambient temperatures and both larvae and nymphs were negatively affected by rainfall two months prior to the sampling month. In addition, nymphal burdens decreased with increasing minimum temperatures. Our results suggest that climate factors are the largest constraint for the immature stages of R. sp. near warburtoni and that eastern rock sengis could play a crucial role in the dynamics of tick-borne diseases due to the large tick burdens they can sustain.