9 Common Dangerous Animals in Africa – You May Not Know About

Africa’s diverse and captivating landscapes are full of very dangerous animals. This vast and enchanting continent boasts an unparalleled variety of ecosystems, from lush rainforests to expansive savannas, arid deserts to towering mountains.

Within these landscapes, a range of common dangerous animals in Africa have evolved to survive and thrive. Each adapted to their unique surroundings.

common dangerous animals in africa

In this blog, we will dive into the lives of common dangerous animals in africa. We will explore some rarest and endangered species of dangerous animals in Africa.

Do you know Lions are responsible for an estimated 200 deaths per year. It is one of the top predators and most common dangerous animals in Africa. An interesting fact about these lions is that humans are not their natural prey. But yet, around 200 people are killed each year by these lions. Sick male lions play a massive role in this death rate.

9 Common Dangerous Animals in Africa – (With Pictures)

Cape Buffalo

common dangerous animals in africa

The Cape buffaloes are common dangerous animals in Africa. Moreover, as one of the “Big Five” game animals and a prominent member of the African savanna ecosystem, the Cape buffalo is revered for its strength and resilience.

Cape buffaloes are grazers that consume a wide variety of grasses and other vegetation. They play a crucial role in shaping their ecosystem by controlling grass growth and promoting the health of the land.

They have large, broad heads with a fused base of horns forming a continuous “boss” or shield on top of their heads. These horns can span up to five feet (1.5 meters) in width, and they curve outwards and then inwards, making them an effective defense against predators.

Their coat is usually dark brown or black, and they have sparse hair, which can be quite long on their neck and shoulders. Adult males, known as “bulls,” are typically larger and heavier than females, or “cows.”

African Wild Dog

common dangerous animals in africa

The African wild dogs, scientifically known as Lycaon pictus, are common dangerous animals in africa and endangered carnivores.

On the skin of the African wild dogs, there are mottled coats of various colors, such as white, black, brown, and yellow, arranged in irregular patches. This coloration serves as a natural camouflage, helping the wild dog while hunting.

They have large round ears and a lean, muscular body built for speed and endurance. African wild dogs are known for their long legs, which contribute to their exceptional agility.

African wild dogs are highly social animals, living in packs consisting of around 6 to 20 individuals. These packs are led by an alpha male and an alpha female, which are usually the dominant breeding pair.

The African wild dog is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their population has declined significantly due to various factors, including habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and diseases transmitted by domestic dogs.

African Elephant

common dangerous animals in africa

The African Elephant, scientifically known as Loxodonta africana (African bush elephant) and Loxodonta cyclotis (African forest elephant), is one of the most iconic and majestic creatures that roam the African continent.

African Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth, distinguished by their enormous size, long trunks, and distinctive large ears. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males being larger than females. An adult male can stand up to 13 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh between 4,500 to 6,800 kilograms (10,000 to 15,000 pounds).

While adult females typically reach heights of around 8.2 to 9.8 feet and weigh between 2,700 to 3,600 kilograms (6,000 to 8,000 pounds).

Did you know Their most important feature is their long trunk, which is actually an extended nose and upper lip. The trunk is an incredibly versatile tool that serves various purposes, including grasping objects, communicating, smelling, drinking, and even producing trumpeting sounds.

A major cause in declining of their population. African Elephants are known for their impressive tusks, which are elongated incisor teeth. These tusks continue to grow throughout their lives and can reach remarkable lengths, although poaching for ivory has led to a decline in tusk size in some populations.


common dangerous animals in africa

Baboons are known for their appearance, social behaviors, and adaptability to a wide range of environments across Africa and, to a lesser extent, Arabia. These baboons sometimes attack humans in Africa and are known as common dangerous animals.

Baboons are medium to large-sized primates, with males being generally larger than females. Their bodies are covered in coarse fur that can vary in color from olive-green to brown and in some species, even shades of red or yellow.

These wild animals have hairless faces with long, powerful jaws equipped with sharp canine teeth. These teeth are used for both defense and obtaining food. One of their most unique features is their long, dog-like snout. These wild monkeys are found across various habitats, from grasslands and savannas to forests and mountains.

African baboons are highly adaptable and can survive in a wide range of conditions. There are five recognized species of baboons which include the olive baboon, yellow baboon, chacma baboon, Guinea baboon, andHamadryass baboon.


common dangerous animals in africa

Mosquitoes, often regarded as one of the most notorious pests on the planet. These are one of the most common dangerous animals in Africa.

Mosquitoes in Africa play a significant role in shaping the ecological and public health landscape of the continent. These insects are not only a nuisance due to their itchy bites but are also carriers of deadly diseases that affect both humans and animals.

These mosquitoes are responsible for spreading potentially fatal diseases. Such as Malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, yellow fever, and West Nile virus are just a few of the illnesses that mosquitoes can transmit to humans through their bites.

Did you know that the mosquito bites are responsible for putting an end to over 1,000,000 lives in a year

Nile Crocodile

common dangerous animals in africa

The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is a formidable reptile known for its impressive size, strength, and adaptability. It is one of the largest crocodile species. These dangerous African animals are found throughout various freshwater habitats across sub-Saharan Africa, primarily in and around the Nile River and its surrounding water bodies.

They have robust bodies, powerful jaws, and armored skin. They have a dark olive-green to brownish coloration on their upper bodies, which provides effective camouflage in their aquatic environments. Their bellies are usually lighter in color.

Adult males can grow to lengths of 16 to 20 feet (4.8 to 6 meters) on average, with exceptional individuals reaching even greater lengths. Females are generally smaller, reaching lengths of about 10 to 13 feet (3 to 4 meters).

One interesting physical feature of the Nile crocodile: Their powerful jaws are lined with sharp, conical teeth that are adapted for grabbing and holding onto prey.

Black Mamba

common dangerous animals in africa

These are the most common dangerous animals in Africa and one of the venomous snakes. Their two drops are enough to kill anyone. There are high chances of death if bitten by these dangerous animals, so immediate medical attention is necessary.

This deadly snake has a striking appearance, deadly venom, and swift movements. The Black Mamba is widely considered as one of the most fearsome and dangerous snakes in the world.

This dangerous snake species’ coloration can range from grayish-brown to olive, with a lighter underbelly. The inside of their mouths, however, is jet black, which contributes to their name. Black Mambas are quite long, often reaching lengths of 8 to 10 feet (2.5 to 3 meters), and in some rare cases, they can even exceed 14 feet (4.5 meters).

Fortunately, on the IUCNred list, these deadliest animals in Africa are classified as “Least Concern.”

King Cobra

common dangerous animals in africa

These deadly animals are apex predators in their ecosystem and are known to eat cobras, vipers, and even smaller individuals of their own species. It can also consume other prey, such as birds, rodents, and lizards.

King cobras possess a strong neurotoxic venom that can quickly disable and kill their prey. While their venom is highly dangerous, they are generally not aggressive toward humans unless they feel threatened or cornered. Bites from king cobras can be fatal if left untreated.

King cobras are known for their unique behaviors, such as the ability to stand up vertically and spread their hood to appear larger and more intimidating when threatened. They are also excellent climbers and swimmers, allowing them to explore a variety of habitats.

The king cobra is listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


common dangerous animals in africa

The hippopotamus, often simply referred to as a “hippo,” is a massive semi-aquatic mammal that inhabits rivers, lakes, and swamps throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Hippos are among the largest land mammals, with males weighing anywhere from 3,500 to 9,000 pounds (1,600 to 4,000 kilograms) and females weighing slightly less. They have barrel-shaped bodies, thick skin that can be up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) thick, and virtually no hair.

Their eyes, ears, and nostrils are positioned on the upper side which allows them to stay mostly submerged in water for longer time while keeping these vital sensory organs above the surface.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which animal is considered the most dangerous in Africa?

The most dangerous animal in Africa is the mosquito. While there are larger dangerous animals are also present in Africa. Such as lions, crocodiles, and hippos.

What are the big five dangerous animals in Africa?

The big five dangerous animals in Africa are African elephants, African lions, African leopards, African Buffaloes, and African rhinos.

What are the 3 deadliest animals in Africa?

The 3 deadliest animals are African Elephant, African Cape Buffalo, and African Lion.

What animal attacks humans the most in Africa?

Mosquitoes, African Elephants, and Hippopotamus are some animals that attack humans the most in Africa.

Olivia Kepner