The most Dangerous Animals in Africa

Africa was at one time known as the dark continent because of its deep mysteries and untamed nature. It still is largely untamed today with vast expanses of natural habitat and a huge array of animal life. The massive scale of the continent is also reflected in its fauna, some of the largest animals on the planet are African natives. These mega-fauna species make Africa a treacherous place, but some of its smaller species are also extremely deadly as well.

The continent’s two top predators are both big cats and very dangerous animals. The African Lion is the largest of the two, growing to well over 8 feet long, nose to tail, and weighing in excess of 400 pounds. These giant cats are group hunters, powerful enough to bring down large antelope, and more than capable of posing a major risk to humans. The leopard is smaller and about half the weight of an adult lion, although nose to tail it can be longer. Leopards are solitary ambush hunters and they are just as dangerous as the larger cat.

Africa is a place where deadly animals don’t have to be carnivores; some of the continent’s herbivores are extremely dangerous. The African elephant is the largest land mammal on the planet and can be very dangerous. Generally, however, respecting an elephant’s space and staying away will keep you safe as they tend to be gentle if not provoked. The hippo, on the other hand, is very territorial and aggressive, making it a very dangerous animal. At between 5000 to 8000 pounds, hippos are powerful and can cause serious damage when they attack.

Reptiles in Africa are also very deadly, including several dangerous native snakes and the vicious Nile Crocodile. The crocodile is found in the waterways of the Nile Valley. It can grow as long as 16 feet in length and around 500 pounds in weight. With powerful jaws and ambush tactics, the Nile crocodile will pull any animal into the river that it can get hold of and that can often include humans. The black mamba is the continent’s most venomous snake and is also one of the most deadly in the world. It is a fast moving, slender species which can reach six feet in length. This makes the mamba a big snake, but it is not Africa’s largest. That distinction is held by the African rock python, which can reach 28 feet. Rock pythons are massive, powerful constrictors which have been known to kill small children and are notoriously aggressive and dangerous.