Top 10 Most Dangerous Animals in Africa

5 min


Africa is one continent full of diverse animals and plant species. Some of these species are only found in the continent making our motherland a unique place to live in. Unique, however, does not mean safe. These animals have been known to be a threat to human beings. Our advice is to be wary of these animals as we list down the top 10 most dangerous animals in Africa.

Read More: Top 10 Unique Animals Found in Africa

10. The African Elephant

The largest existing land animal on earth is a potential threat to human life. Yes, these cute animals with their flappy ears and long trunks can kill you. The African elephant, which can be found across sub-Saharan Africa, is listed as a vulnerable species due to poaching. This, however, doesn’t mean that they can’t be the aggressors.

There was a report in Zimbabwe about an elephant trampling a German tourist to death in 2018. Authorities were unable to establish what irritated the animal to attack the tourist but they urged tourists to keep a safe distance from them. It is also reported elephant attacks are common in the country when they invade people’s farms.

9. African Rhino

These endangered species, native to Southern and Eastern regions of Africa, have a reputation for being extremely aggressive and charge readily at perceived threats. While rhino attacks aren’t common as other animals in this list, that doesn’t mean that you can try to be friendly with them. Come on, it has a huge horn at the tip of its nose. Why would you want to get near it?

8. African Lion

Do I really need to tell you why lions are dangerous? The apex predator? King of the jungle? Do those terms ring a bell? They should. While it is true that these big cats sleep up to 20 hours every day, they attack any animal within their reach.

The most infamous story about lions attacking humans is that of the Tsavo man-eaters. The TLDR is that a pair of lions were attacking construction workers of the Kenya-Uganda railway between March and December 1898. What made them infamous is their unusual thirst for humans and their manner of attacks.

7. Black Mamba

It’s a snake. You already know that getting near snakes is a bad idea. So, what more do you want to know? Well, it is the most feared snake in Africa because of its size, aggression, venom toxicity, and speed of onset of the venom’s symptoms.

The only good thing about the snake is that it doesn’t attack humans unless it feels threatened. When it does feel threatened, it will hiss and open its mouth signalling you to back away. For your own good, heed its warning. It is reported that one single venom bite can kill up to ten people.

6. Great White Shark

Great white shark smiling in the blue ocean

Yes, there are sharks in the African waters. More specifically, South African waters. This is both a good and bad thing for South Africa’s economy. Good for tourism where you get to see them one of one (no, thank you). Bad news because there have been numerous attacks and deaths of people along some beaches forcing the government to close down businesses in those areas.

Shark attacks on humans are not uncommon in those regions so take caution if you’re thinking of surfing.

5. African Buffalo

This Big-Five animal is reported to kill an average of 200 people every year. This figure might be an exaggeration in some countries like Kenya where such attacks are rarely reported. The same, however, isn’t true for Uganda where attacks are common.

We should just consider buffalos as angrier versions of bulls.

4. Puff Adder

This type of snake is mainly found in Morocco. Yikes. I actually did a post on the tourist attractions in the country. People should take caution of the Puff Adder. While it is not as dangerous as the Black Mamba, it has a higher kill ratio making it a concern.

What’s even worse is its form of defense. Unlike Black Mambas, Puff Adders might strike without notice. Long story short, keep away from them.

Read More: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Morocco

3. Nile Crocodile

Look at this image. Look at it. The animal just looks dangerous. It’s even worse with the Nile crocodiles as they are more aggressive than other species of crocodiles and are capable of preying on almost any animal within their range.

The most intriguing thing about crocodiles is their patience to pounce on their prey. They can wait for hours, days or even weeks just to get one opportunity to pounce. Attacks on humans aren’t well documented but have been noted to happen to communities living near water bodies where they reside in.

2. Hippopotamus

These herbivores are considered aggressive and have been reported charging and attacking boats. This is because of their territorial nature. Cross their territory and you are in for a world of hurt. And no, running away doesn’t help things. It is reported that they run a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour. That’s pretty impressive for an animal of that size.

To make matters worse, can you imagine the force of its teeth when it attacks someone? 2000 pounds per inch. That’s the force it will crush you with. I haven’t mentioned the fact that they can open their mouths up to 180 degrees.

1. Mosquitoes

This might be anti-climatic. I’ve just discussed how strong a hippo is. So, how is a tiny mosquito more dangerous than a hippo? One simple answer, malaria. Mosquito-borne diseases are a great nuisance in Africa. In 2015, 90% of the worldwide cases of malaria and 92% of deaths resulting from malaria were reported from the WHO African Region.

An estimated loss of $12 billion USD in Africa’s economic productivity is assigned to these insects. 40% of the government expenditure in the malaria-stricken African nations goes towards disease management.

Which of these animals have you encountered before? Let us know in the comments below.


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Elvis Mwangi

Just an ordinary human being like you telling you facts that will shock and amaze you. I'm also a lover of music and life.

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