Interesting Animals In Botswana You May Not Know

Have you ever wondered what kinds of animals inhabit Botswana?

From majestic elephants to fascinating tarantula hawks, this African country is home to an array of interesting creatures. 

Interesting Animals In Botswana You May Not Know

If you’re curious about the unique wildlife that lives in Botswana, read on to discover some of the most captivating animals you may not have known existed!

1. African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagles are one of the most majestic creatures in Botswana. These large birds with white heads and brown bodies soar through the sky searching for fish.

Their distinct call is a signature sound in the African bush. 

They can grow up to two feet long and have a wingspan of up to six feet!

When it comes to finding food, African Fish Eagles are highly skilled hunters, spotting their prey from as far away as one hundred yards!

They also use their powerful talons to catch fish in mid-air.

These impressive birds also have an important role in their environment.

By eating fish, they help keep populations under control and prevent them from depleting resources elsewhere.

As apex predators, they play a critical part in maintaining balance within the ecosystem.

African Fish Eagles are also important symbols of strength and resilience — traits shared by many other animals living in Botswana’s diverse wildlife areas.

2. African Clawed Frog

African Clawed Frogs are small amphibians that live in rivers, lakes, and ponds and measure up to three inches long!

They’re easily recognizable thanks to their coloration; they have a light brown or gray back with white spots and yellow undersides.

These frogs also have an incredible ability – African Clawed Frogs were used as pregnancy testers from the 1930s to the early 1960s!

The process involved collecting urine samples from women, which were then placed into containers with these frogs.

If the female was pregnant, the hormones in her urine would cause the frog to lay eggs! Talk about amazing biology!

3. Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are an incredible species of insect that you can find in Botswana.

These beautiful creatures have a black and yellow striped body, as well as large wings, which make them look like something straight out of an old-timey sci-fi movie.

But beyond their looks, these insects have a fascinating story to tell.

Tarantula hawks are masterful pollinators who specialize in milkweed flowers and other plants with long tubular shapes.

They also build amazing mounds of dirt up to nine meters tall!

These structures are used as nests for the young tarantula hawk larvae, providing protection from predators and the elements.

So if you’re looking for something special while exploring Botswana, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for tarantula hawks!

Not only are they visually stunning creatures, but they also play an important role in the ecosystem – making them one of nature’s most incredible species.

4. Rock Python

Rock Pythons are a fascinating species of snake that can be found in Botswana.

These large reptiles have an average length of about 8-10 feet and are primarily black and yellow in color.

Rock Pythons prefer to live near water sources, so you may spot them along rivers, lakes, or marshes.

Rock Pythons also love to eat rodents, small mammals, birds, lizards, and amphibians – which makes them incredibly helpful when it comes to controlling pests.

If you’re lucky enough to witness one in the wild, you’ll likely see them strike quickly and swallow their prey whole!

These amazing snakes have made headlines recently due to their ability to interbreed with other python species – specifically escaped Burmese pythons in Florida.

It’s an interesting phenomenon that scientists are still trying to figure out how it occurred – but whatever the case, it’s clear that these creatures have an impressive adaptability and resilience that we can all learn from!

5. Mozambique Spitting Cobra

The Mozambique Spitting Cobra is an incredibly fascinating species of snake that can be found in Botswana.

These venomous reptiles have a distinctively triangular head, and their skin is usually a combination of black and light brown.

While the Mozambique Spitting Cobra may not look particularly intimidating, it’s one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa!

These snakes are known for their ability to ‘spit’ their venom from up to three feet away – making them incredibly dangerous if you’re not careful.

This defensive behavior allows them to deter potential predators, as well as ward off humans who might come too close.

It’s estimated that a single spit from this species can cause permanent blindness if it gets into your eyes, so it’s important to keep your distance if you spot one in the wild!

The Mozambique Spitting Cobra is an incredible creature with impressive adaptations that help it survive in its natural environment. 

6. Wildebeest

Wildebeest are a fascinating species native to Botswana and other parts of Africa.

These animals have a unique appearance, with a long set of horns and a temperamental attitude that gives them their name – “wild beast”. 

Wildebeest gather in large herds during mating and breeding season for protection from predators such as lions, hyenas, cheetahs and African wild dogs.

They can be found in areas with dense bushlands, open grasslands or woodland floodplains.

Females give birth to one calf each year in the center of the herd – after six minutes they’re up on their feet!

When they reach maturity around 4-5 years old, males leave their herd to form bachelor groups before going off on their own.

It’s an amazing sight seeing these majestic creatures roam the land together! 

7. Red-Footed Falcon

The Red-footed Falcon is an interesting looking bird native to Botswana and other parts of Africa.

It has a beautiful rusty red color on its feet, wings and head, with a lighter brown or gray body.

These small birds of prey can be found in open areas such as grasslands, wetlands and woodlands.

They are mainly insectivores but they also eat small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds too.

When it comes to hunting their prey the Red-footed Falcon uses a distinctive technique known as ‘kiting’ where they soar high above their target, then dive down quickly to make a surprise attack.

They nest in colonies but don’t form strong pair bonds which makes them quite unique compared to other birds of prey.

These falcons are very vocal and often communicate with each other using a variety of calls like shrill whistles or loud honks. 

8. Bat-Eared Fox

The Bat-eared Fox is an interesting species of fox found in Botswana and other areas of Africa.

It got its name from its unusually large ears, which are used for thermoregulation just like the fennec fox in North Africa.

These ears make it look a bit like an Egyptian slit-faced bat!

Bat-eared Foxes inhabit arid environments, usually short grasslands and savannas.

They are omnivores and feed on insects, small mammals, fruits, birds’ eggs, lizards and more.

In terms of their behavior they are mostly solitary animals but during breeding season they form small family groups.

These unique looking animals have recently been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List as their population seems to be stable across most parts of their range. 

9. Blue Duiker

The Blue Duiker is a small antelope native to southern and eastern Africa, including Botswana.

It has an unmistakable appearance: Females are larger than males, and both have short spiky horns and dark tails.

It’s also quite a peculiar animal – can you imagine that?

These animals inhabit bushland and thickets in the savannas of Botswana, where they feed on fruits, leaves, grasses and even small invertebrates.

They’re usually solitary animals though during breeding season they form pairs or family groups.

If you spot one of these creatures in Botswana you’ll be in for a treat!

Despite their small size (they grow no bigger than 40 cm) their presence is hard to miss thanks to their distinct coloring and markings. 

10. Red Lechwe

If you’re looking for a truly unique animal to spot on your next safari in Botswana, then the red lechwe is definitely worth seeking out.

Found mainly in the Okavango Delta wetlands, this medium-sized antelope is easily recognisable by its reddish-brown upperparts and distinctive long hooves.

These hooves are specially adapted to cope with the marshy conditions of their habitat – they act like paddles in water, allowing the red lechwe to walk across soft ground without sinking or losing balance.

Despite their aquatic nature, these antelopes actually feed primarily on grasses found around the water’s edge – so keep an eye out for them grazing among semi-aquatic vegetation when exploring the delta!

The red lechwe’s specialized habitat also makes it particularly vulnerable to changes in land use and wetland degradation, so if you’re lucky enough to see one then please remember not to disturb them. 


Botswana is home to a wide variety of fascinating animals, many of which are lesser known to the public.

Botswana offers a unique opportunity to observe and appreciate these animals in their natural habitat.

With the proper education and conservation efforts, we can ensure the future of these creatures for many generations to come.

Olivia Kepner