Africa's Most Dangerous Animals - The Top 7 - Africa Point Blog
Below is our list of the seven most dangerous animals in Africa, based on the estimated number of human fatalities they have caused. With some of these examples, exact numbers were hard to obtain since most of the attacks and resultant fatalities happen in remote
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Africa's Most Dangerous Animals - The Top 7


13th September 2007
44
Wildlife, African Elephants, Lion, Crocodile, Hippo

Below is our list of the seven most dangerous animals in Africa, based on the estimated number of human fatalities they have caused. With some of these examples, exact numbers were hard to obtain since most of the attacks and resultant fatalities happen in remote parts of Africa.

 

7. The Desert Locusts

 

Desert Locust

 

It may surprise you to know that insects are also considered to be animals!  The definition of an animal, in several dictionaries, is as follows:  “a living organism characterized by voluntary movement”, so the Locust definitely fits the bill!  Although they do not kill humans directly, the devastation they cause to crops has a direct effect on humans and therefore they warrant a slot in Africa’s top 7 most dangerous animals.

 

The Desert Locust is one of about a dozen species of short-horned grasshoppers that are known to change their behaviour when prevailing conditions are good, such as after particularly good rains when larger than average crops are expected.  They form enormous swarms of adults, or bands of hoppers (wingless nymphs) which spread over a vast area. 

 

The last major Locust plague occurred in the summer of 2004 in West and North Africa, when swarms migrated over the continent causing mass devastation. Large parts of Mali, Niger, Sudan and Mauritania were affected, as well as Morocco and Algeria, once the swarms reached North Africa.  It was also the first time in over 50 years that Egypt, Jordan and Israel were affected.

 

The sheer magnitude of the swarms is staggering – one swarm in Morocco, between Tarfaya and Tan-Tan was 230km long and at least 150m wide and it is estimated that it was made up of over 69 billion individual locusts.  Although they form a major food resource for over 30 bird species, you need a lot of birds to make any in-roads on such a huge swarm and all crops as well as other vegetation (tree foliage, grass, reeds and more) in their path were totally destroyed, causing enormous challenges to food security in West Africa, and to a lesser extent in North Africa.

 

It is estimated that the costs of fighting this scourge could have exceeded US $400 million, and harvest losses were estimated at US $2,5 billion. Without international Aid many Africans would have died of starvation, as well as thousands of animals which were left without grazing.

 

Below is a short video showing swarms of locusts out on the rampage destroying vegetation in their paths

 

 

 

6. Lions

 

Lion and Lionesse

 

The most famous incident of man-eating Lions occurred during the construction of the Kenya-Uganda railroad in 1898.  For reasons that have never been fully understood or explained, a pair of mane-less male Lions known as the Tsavo Man-Eaters started attacking the railway workers and killed several over a nine-month period, until they were both shot.   Lion do not normally attack humans, but occasionally something causes some animals (usually males) to start seeking out human prey.

 

Several studies have been conducted into this behaviour, but the causes are still under debate!  One suggestion is that old Lions who are no longer part of a hunting pack will turn to human prey when they can no longer chase faster animals; another suggestion is that a Rinderpest epidemic (cattle plague) wiped out many of the Lion’s usual prey and they were then forced to seek alternative food.  However it came about, human flesh then became an integral part of the Lions’ regular diet and was actively sought-out.   

 

This could explain the Tanzanian incident, where over 563 people in a large village were attacked, and many were eaten by Lions over a 15 year period; a number far exceeding the earlier Tsavo incidents.

 

 

5. Crocodiles

 

Crocodile

 

African Crocodiles have extremely powerful jaws that clamp shut with an incredible force of 3,700 pounds per square inch, which is about 4 times the strength a Hyena can muster!  So it comes as no surprise that humans stand very little chance of surviving a crocodile attack.  The two species that are responsible for most Crocodile attacks in Africa are the Nile Crocodile and the Saltwater Crocodile, and hundreds of attacks are reported each year.  Many more probably go unreported because they occur in very remote regions, and it is difficult to get accurate data of the actual number of people killed by Crocs on an annual basis.

 

In 2004 a legendary 5mt Croc named Gustave terrorised villagers in Barundi, where he killed so many humans that it was feared that he was doing the killing for fun, not food...  It is now thought that he developed a taste for human flesh from the many bodies that found their way into the waterways in the strife-torn country, but Crocodile attacks on humans are common not only in Africa but also in many other countries such as India and Australia.  Crocodile attacks are fiercely vicious and very quick – generally over in a few seconds, as the prey is clamped between those incredible jaws and then dragged under water and drowned.

 

 

4. Elephants

 

African Elephant

 

As Africa’s largest land animal, Elephants are among the Continent’s most potentially dangerous animals.  Their huge size makes them capable of crushing and killing any other land animal, including Lions, and humans are also at risk.

 

Adult male Elephants go through a period of being “on musth”, which means they are sexually aroused and very aggressive – an elephant on musth is an elephant to avoid at all costs, as they can react completely out of character. A tell-tale sign to look out for is a discharge from the temporal ducts on the side of the Elephants head.

 

Elephant have been known to suddenly attack cars and nonchalantly roll them over or toss them aside inside game reserves; however, these are isolated incidents and usually occur because thoughtless tourists try and get too close to a bull in musth, causing the Elephant to defend his territory.  It is also extremely unwise to get too close to a herd with babies – just like Humans, Elephants will protect their young at all costs! 

 

The saying goes that an elephant never forgets, and this may explain an incident that occurred in Africa where some young elephants attacked specific villages in what is believed to have been a revenge mission for the massive culling that took place on their herds in the 1970 -80’s.  

 

 

3. Buffalo

 

Africa Bufallo

 

The African or Cape Buffalo, one of the Big Five, is one of the few animals on the continent that will actively stalk and kill humans if they have been wounded.  This huge animal demands respect from nearly all the other animals in Africa, including Lion, and their only real predator is man.

 

Buffalo are still widely pursued by trophy hunters in many parts of Africa, and many hunters are killed or injured if they do not bring this majestic animal down with one shot; the hunter becomes the hunted, and things can get messy.  There are few statistics to show how many people get killed each year by Buffalo, but there have also been incidents where people have been injured or killed when they surprise a Buffalo in the bush, and this is no-doubt a common and unreported occurrence in remote parts of Africa.

 

 

2. Hippo

 

africa hippo

 

These docile-looking creatures appear to be sloppy, slow and sluggish, but do not be fooled by their appearance, as they are at number 2 on the Most Dangerous list!   Hippo can easily outrun humans and their enormous incisors are capable of biting a human in half.  Usually humans are attacked if they are perceived to be a threat to either the Hippos territory or young, but there have been occasions where Hippo have gone on the rampage and attacked people when invading farmland in remote parts of Africa.

 

 

1. Mosquito

 

Mosquitoe

 

Coming in at number one, the Mosquito is the most dangerous animal in Africa and is responsible for nearly 50% of deaths in children under the age of 5.  This miniscule insect carries the virus that causes Malaria, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. 

 

Some stunning Facts about Malaria::

 

  • Malaria kills more than 2,800 children a day in Africa.  According to Third World Network Features, direct and indirect costs of Malaria amounted to US $800 million in 1987 and were expected to reach US $1.8 billion annually in Africa by 1995.
  • 80 -90% of Malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa where 90% of the infected people live.
  • Malaria is not confined to Africa; in Brazil the disease kills over 8,000 people a year, more than deaths from AIDS and Cholera combined!
  • Some good news!  There is a Malaria vaccine on the horizon which should be able to reduce deaths from this disease by up to 75% in future generations - it is hoped that the vaccine will be ready to be launched in 2015.

 

 

Source of Data

  • Wikipedia
  • Youtube
  • FAQ.com
  • Archive.idrc.ca
  • BBC.com
  • National Geographic

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Comments

12th November 2009
teddy
Reply

i like africa , im ging this week bye

12th November 2009
big bertha
Reply

when i went to north africa i got to a elephant

5th August 2009
Tony Reeves
Reply

Wow wow wow wow, what an article!!
I, loike, totally had no idea that a mosquito counted as an animal, let alone the most dangerous in the whole of Africa!! Given that I went to a large (prestigious) boarding school on acres of woodland, I thought I was pretty up to speed on the old wildlife scene. This has been, loike, a total eye-opener, wait til I tell the goys over a few Kens in Kielos!!

Keep up the good work goys.

Respect,

T-Bomb

29th July 2009
catherine
Reply

That was so awesome! and i love those animals even they are dangerous as well. mabuhay africa!

13th July 2009
kaylee
Reply

I CAN'T BELIVE ELEPHANTS ARE DANGEROUS I WOULD THINK THEY ARE THE BESTTT ANIMAL & THE BABY ELEPHANT ARE SO SOOOOOO!!! CUTE!!!!

29th June 2009
conor
Reply

hello i didnt know mosquitos were the most deadly i thought it was rhino
:-O who knew? lol

4th June 2009
hannah
Reply

OMG!
goin 2 Tanzania on experdition!
ahh.!gonna poo myself!ha
hope dont get killed by any animal :P
but cant wait...sooo excited
woop woop!
xxx

29th May 2009
Martin
Reply

Woops! I am in Rwanda for a short construction project, and freaking out of this small bug!

22nd May 2009
dangerous animals
Reply

interesting stuff, although i wouldnt really consider locusts or mosquitoes to be animals.
-Jack

26th April 2009
andrea
Reply

thanks a lot! your website realy helped me! i love it!

23rd April 2009
Rose
Reply

Thanks for letting me use your website I got a A+. :-)

17th April 2009
Smiley Miley
Reply

hehe

17th April 2009
Smiley Miley
Reply

One time when I went to Africa, I was wearing completley red, and when a bufflo came i jumped back into my jeep. Sweep Niblets...P.S Join my Fan Club! <3 miley

16th April 2009
rose
Reply

Can i use it for a report i'll give you credit and write it in my own words,
Thanks
Rose :-)

Editor: Hi Rose, feel free to use the report but you must credit us. Cheers!

1st April 2009
steenroyal
Reply

i love wild animals and i am going to there soon Tanzania i am soo exiting about it .....

28th March 2009
Patrick
Reply

Same with kayla really. I've got a report on desert animals and i need permission to use this website. So, what do you say?

30th March 2009
africapoint
Reply

Patrick, you may use our website to complie your report but ensure you credit us. Best regards.

4th March 2009
Summer
Reply

Hello. Great job. This is a great story. Thanks!

4th January 2009
victoria sesenig
Reply

i got stung by a jellyfish once and it hurt but all i had to do was keep it under the salt water and then it felt better.and it was on my rist and on the vain....

27th November 2008
arif ahmed
Reply

yes dear JW take care of snake at Rockland n before going there be sure of ur haelth n take anti malaria tablets

27th November 2008
arif ahmed
Reply

sure 1. mosqito 2. poisoned snake 3. buffalo 4. hipo 5. elephant 6. lion 7. crocodile

2nd November 2008
JW
Reply

So me and some friends are on our way to the Rocklands, South africa.. near capetown. Is this considered to be a somewhat dangerous area??? Any info would help! thanks

20th October 2008
Gary McGuire
Reply

Generally OK with the informtion, but the photo of the Nile Crocodile is wrong, thats an American Alligator.

22nd September 2008
none ask
Reply

wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow

15th September 2008
sheng
Reply

most animals kill to survive............ just dont hurt them........do not expose your self to them...... they will not bother you......... humans are themost dangerous living organism on earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3rd September 2008
avi
Reply

killing the most are 1.mosquito 2.human 3.crocodile 4.elephant 5.hippo 6.lion 7.buffalo

3rd September 2008
avi
Reply

mambas are actually shy not agressive hyenas are scavengers.

27th August 2008
Anonymous
Reply

How about Spotted Hyenas!?!? One of them can be up to 200 LBS and have the 2nd strongest jaw power (1000 LBS of biting pressure) just behind a Crocodile... they can fight any lions together simply because that one clan can have up to 80 members.... now imagine 80 bloodthirsty hyenas eating you alive? They always work together, so many Hyenas are MUCCCCCHHH more deadly than a Pride of Lions....

23rd July 2008
AP
Reply

What are the big four / five animals in Africa?

26th June 2008
simi
Reply

what about snakes????aren't they like really dangerous in africa????y'know snakes like black mamba or even the tiny egyptian asp????curious!!!!

4th June 2008
joe
Reply

What about Leopards?????

30th May 2008
emilee
Reply

I di not now that Elephants were so dangerous to be on here!!!!!!!!!!!!!

29th February 2008
avi
Reply

1.human 2.mosquito 3.fly 4.hippo 5.croc 6.buffalo 7.lion

26th February 2008
ali
Reply

HIPPOS CANT BE THE MOST DANGEROUS!!!!!!!! I'M SAAAAAAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6th February 2008
codie
Reply

i love lions i would love to go to afica and live there to look after them

8th December 2007
kayla
Reply

dear africas animals peoples my name is kayla and i am doing a report on africas most ferosouse animals well i am 13 and in the 7th grade and i would liek you to grant me promision to use your website in my report and if you will alow me to i am not going to copy it trust me i will write it in my own words but i just want promision to use it well write me back @ kiwi_freak98@yahoo.com Sincerly Kayla

13th December 2007
africapoint
Reply

hello kayla
we give you permission to use our website for your report. Thanks

25th October 2007
alice
Reply

it was a walking safari, it trod on my leg leaving a lovely big scar and broke my mums ribs and liver damage, broke my dads collar bone and ribs.. note to self..never go on a walking safari

24th October 2007
alice
Reply

i got attacked by a buffallo in tanzania

25th October 2007
africapoint
Reply

sorry alice..hope you were not hurt! buffalos are indeed very nasty creatures to be close to

17th October 2007
kit and vic
Reply

My goodness
we are going to tanzania
hope we dont get eaten by lions
:/
arrg
haha
SO excited though
eeeeeeeee
xx

18th October 2007
africapoint
Reply

so long as you dont step out of the tour van you are safe :-)
Please send us photos of Tanzania when you come back

7th October 2007
bethann
Reply

i love the pictures of the wild animals hopefully ill discover alot more

18th September 2007
poojitha
Reply

WOW, 5000 per sq meter, unbelievable CROCS RULE

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