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Top 10 Most Dangerous Animals in Africa You Surely Don't Want to Meet in the Wild (With Pictures)

Daily Top 10 is a fan of the marvelous biodiversity of our world. This list hopes to promote wildlife and help in their conservation.


Africa is a home to ancient giants, stealthy hunters and unparalleled predators. It’s a sanctuary where never-ending struggles for survival happen. But amid the vast number of animal species found in Africa, 10 are considered the most dangerous. This hub will introduce the Top 10 Most Dangerous Animals in Africa.

I’ve never been to Africa but it’s among the many countries I plan to visit someday. I would love to go on a trip and personally see how dense this continent’s wildlife is. Many of us believe that it’s the last truly wild continent since most of its 13 million square kilometer landscape contains some of the world’s most extreme environment. With this fact at hand, it’s not surprising why majority of Africa’s wildlife developed effective defensive and offensive mechanisms.

Among the all the wildlife found in Africa, which are the most dangerous? What made them so intimidating? Are they dangerous enough to be considered a menace to humanity? Read further and let’s answer these questions together!

10. Cape Buffalo - The destructive herd of rampage.

A herd of Cape Buffalos

A herd of Cape Buffalos

Birds resting on a Cape Buffalo's head.

Birds resting on a Cape Buffalo's head.

Cape Buffalos drinking.

Cape Buffalos drinking.

The Cape buffalo is probably one of the toughest land-dwelling animals in Africa. It boasts a shoulder height which can reach up to 1.7 meters and a head-an-body length of 3.4 meters at maximum. Their weight ranges from 500 to 910 kg which is enough to bulldoze anything or anyone on their path while in rage.

There are various species of Buffalos across the globe but the ones found in Africa are quite peculiar because of their horn. However, an adult Cape buffalo’s horn is not just for show since it is sturdy enough to withstand a rifle bullet. Thousands of poachers already died after startling a herd of Cape Buffalos that immediately came stampeding towards them as a reply. This beast may look calm and innocent but it can turn into one of the deadliest animals in Africa in a blink of an eye so extra precaution is advised while dealing with Africa’s Cape buffalo.

9. Puff Adder - The rattle of death.

A Puff Adder eating a rodent.

A Puff Adder eating a rodent.

There are basically two types of snakes with regards to offensive strategy. First are those who rely on agility and cunning reflexes in killing a prey with just one bite. While the other group is composed of snakes that simply lay still on a specific spot and patiently wait for their victims to go near while being hidden through effective camouflage. The Puff Adders of Africa belong to the latter and they’re considered one of the best. Although not as huge and muscular as Anacondas and Pythons, they are muscular enough to easily out-power common snake meals like rats and insects. But the true power of Puff Adders doesn’t lie on brute force since they are well-renowned for bearing extremely lethal poison.

A man bitten by a Puff Adder has less than fifteen minutes to be treated or it will be too late. This is probably the main reason why this snake deserves a spot in the Top 10 Most Dangerous Animals in Africa. These snakes often breed and hunt at places where humans also dwell like farms and crop fields so an encounter is most likely to happen. Leaving a Puff Adder alone is your best option. The only good news here is that this snake considers attack as its final recourse which is why most recorded cases of snake bites where Puff Adders are involved happened simply because the victim never knew the snake was there and pinned.

7. Great White Shark - The merciless killers of the sea.

Great white shark eating a seal.

Great white shark eating a seal.

Due to my natural fear of snakes, I consider this as one the most dangerous animals in the planet. Here, we see the black mamba or also known as the black-mouthed mamba. It is not only the longest venomous snake in Africa but the one with the most lethal venom as well. This is the reason why it is among the most dangerous and poisonous snakes in the world.

It can grow up to 5 meters and can travel at a speed of 20 km/h which is faster than an average man. Thousands of deaths have already been recorded which points out the Black Mamba’s bite as their main cause. If running is futile, what’s the best option if you came across with a seemingly aggressive Black Mamba?

This kind of snake won’t attack unless provoked or cornered so slowly backing off away from its path is the best thing to do. However, a Black Mamba will pursue a threat while protecting her eggs against potential predators so be wary. If this is the case, fight back with a long stick. Just make sure you maintain a safe distance away from its fangs and continue to wave of the aggression until the Black Mamba is worn out. Only the brave managed to survive from a close encounter with a Black Mamba which alone signifies who dangerous it is.

Great White Sharks in Africa!

Great white sharks are known and feared across the globe for their size and killer instinct. This creature is not only one of the most dangerous, but also one of the most aggressive animals. The largest recorded Great White Shark is even longer than 20ft and weighs approximately 5000 lbs. This type of shark will reach adulthood after 15 years and will live over 30 years giving it enough time to terrorize the seas.

The great white shark is hailed as the largest known predatory fish in the world and one of the main predators of the sea so it’s very obvious that it plays a major role in our ecosystem. Countless cases of great white shark attacks have been recorded but fatalities are rare. In fact, these sharks don’t consider us as part of their diet since we’re too bony. The attacks usually happened simply because sharks misinterpreted swimmers, divers, or surfers as seals. There are also some cases where these sharks go aggressive out of territory protection.

Whether this mighty sea predator deserves a spot on this list is out of the question. Its razor sharp teeth can render human flesh as butter. Great white sharks also boast a powerful jaw enabling them to shred even the toughest kind of meat with ease.

5. African Elephant - The not so gentle giants.

African elephant fully body photo.

African elephant fully body photo.

Crocodiles have been around for more than 200 million years. This fact proves how well they adapt on environmental changes. They survive through brute force and stealthy attack strategy. An adult male Nile crocodile can grow as long as 6 meters and weights as much as 900 kilograms. Nile Crocodiles especially those in captivity can live up to 80 years but their average lifespan is only 45 years. Despite having webbed feet for swimming, Nile crocodiles rarely use them since it’s their tail that does almost all the work. These stealthy water hunters reside in the mashes, lakes, and rivers of South Africa.

Probably the scariest fact about Nile Crocodiles is that they eat almost anything which includes turtles, all sorts of first, crustaceans, impala, hyenas, baboons, wildebeest, and even humans. Moreover, they are brave enough to attack huge animals like buffalos, lions, giraffes, and hippopotamuses without hesitation. Be extra cautious while approaching any body of water in Africa especially if it’s obscurely calm and quiet since a Nile crocodile might be completely hidden there waiting for his next meal.

4. Mosquitos - The small and silent killers.

A mosquito biting a man.

A mosquito biting a man.

The African elephant is crowned as the largest living terrestrial animal in the world. In Africa, one of the most dangerous because of its size and certainly deserving to be part of this top ten list. Its plump body rests on stocky legs and feet filled with fats for cushioning.Elephants are also known for having large ears but this feature comes for a reason as they help maintain body temperature.Meanwhile, the elephant’s trunk serves as its fifth limb, a tool for sound amplification, and a vital method of touch.In average, male adult elephants can be as tall as 4 meters and weight 3,200 kg. The largest recorded African Elephant managed to have a height of 4 meters and weighed 10 tons!

Although Elephants are naturally shy and timid, they won’t hesitate to fight back in protecting their young. If in stress, Elephants can run much faster than an average man and run over anything on its path with immeasurable force. One misplaced foot of an African Elephant can be fatal. Through the years, man have taken over most of their territory and highly competed for resources forcing these huge beasts to explore away from their comfort zones. Hundreds are killed because of African Elephant attacks every year as they stampede in town and cities in search for food and a new home.

3. Lions- The king of the jungle.

A lion cub with its mother.

A lion cub with its mother.

We often think that African savanna animals are big and ferocious. But, making into this list is a tiny creature. Mosquitoes are considered one of the deadliest animals in Africa obviously not because of their size but the various diseases they can pass on with just a tiny bite. They carry deadly viruses which can bring upon malaria, one of the world’s most lethal diseases.

Others even consider mosquitoes in Africa deadlier than lions, hyenas, and other huge predators since they can completely infiltrate human civilization without anyone noticing. You may easily kill it after feeling a slight pain due to its bite but the damage has been done. If the mosquito who bit you is a carrier of malaria, you only have a few weeks or even days to be treated. Malaria is not something to joke about since half of the deaths of children below 5 years old are attributed to it. According to the Third World Network, 2,800 children a day in Africa dies because of Malaria and mosquitoes play a major role in this horrifying situation.

Be sure to grab mosquito repellants before heading out to Africa and diligently apply it to exposed parts of your body. Keep in mind that repellant’s are only effective in a certain period of time which is averagely 8 hours so re-applying it is imperative. You can also settle with a mosquito net to be safe from mosquito bites while sleeping.

A brutal yet effective way of hunting!

An African animals list like this one would be incomplete without mentioning this creature. Lions are the second largest cats in the world after tigers. Male lions are bigger which can weigh up to 250 kg but they are not the ones who hunt. Female lions are much active hunters and are responsible of feeding the whole group. The males basically exist for protection against other predators like hyenas, leopards, baboons, and lions from another pack. Lions are very muscular allowing them to overpower wildebeest, giraffe, hippopotamus, and even old or young elephants. Their sharp claws can tear off flesh with ease which greatly weakens any prey. The death blow is often delivered in the neck and is usually carried out by the male lion.

The Lions of Tsavo in Kenya are probably the most famous when it comes to human attacks. Lions rarely attack humans but male lions seem to consider human as part of their diet as what statistics suggest.

Running is pointless against lions since they are much faster than us. The best way to deal with them is to stay away from their territory. However, despite being hailed as the king of the jungle thousands of lions were killed by poachers back in the 19th century and brought them to near extinction.

2. Hippopotamus - The unstoppable train of muscle and jaw power.

A hippopotamus showing its teeth.

A hippopotamus showing its teeth.

You might be surprised that people in Africa made it to our top 10 list. Well most certainly they are not considered as animals, but they are the most dangerous in the area. The fact that humans can kill all the ferocious wild animals mentioned earlier is a clear proof of our destructive power. With weapons like bows, spears, and guns all wildlife in Africa is at our mercy. And it’s sad to know that abusive people hunt elephants, lions, and even crocodiles simply to gather precious materials like ivory, animal fur, and crocodile skin. Poachers hunted down almost every kind of wildlife in Africa and a few of the almost faced extinction.

Though protected sanctuaries are now set up, our efforts to save endangered animals in Africa are still not enough. We should all support NGOs that treats the protection of wildlife in Africa as their priority. This good act is not only for the present generation but mainly to provide the future a chance to see wild lions, elephants, and other amazing animals only found in Africa.

Sad but real events in Africa...

Are hippos dangerous? Even though they look friendly and harmless in the zoo, the answer is a big yes. Hippos may look sluggish, slow and sloppy but don’t be fooled. Hippos are herbivores but they’re offensive mechanism is by far one of the best. In fact, they are the second most dangerous animals in Africa because of their speed. They can easily outrun a man and bite a crocodile in half with its sharp and enormous canine teeth. Human and animal conflict for land left Hippopotamuses with no choice but to fight back. They destroy crops and go rampage attacking humans once distressed.

Female hippos are much dangerous because of their protective nature. They won’t think twice about attacking a lions, crocodiles, and humans if they get too close to their young. Hippos kill thousands of people every year which is far larger than lions and other known ferocious hunters combined.

1. Humans- The most dangerous animal in Africa.

Poachers in Africa.

Poachers in Africa.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 dailytop10


luna on November 05, 2013:

holy crap

dailytop10 (author) from Davao City on February 14, 2013:

Yeah. The Mother elephant was really brave to protect her child. I'm glad you appreciate my hub. Good day and God bless!

Nerd Mama from USA on February 14, 2013:

The picture of the elephant / crocodile breaks my heart, it's with its baby :( Very informative and interesting article.

chris on December 17, 2012:


dailytop10 (author) from Davao City on December 08, 2012:

Thank you for liking my hub. It really means a lot. Have a great day!

Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on December 08, 2012:

Hi this was very interesting and full of facts. I love how u did the hub including the pictures and banners etc.

Keep up the good work

dailytop10 (author) from Davao City on November 30, 2012:

@mechesher & JKenny

Thank you for appreciating my hub. Have a great weekend everyone!

James Kenny from Birmingham, England on November 30, 2012:

Glad you included humans as the number 1. Africa in many ways is often regarded as an untouched wilderness- but even places like the Serengeti have been moulded and shaped by the hand of man for thousands of years, if not longer. Interesting hub.

mecheshier on November 30, 2012:

What a fabulous Hub! I just recently read that mosquitoes are one of the dangerous creatures in Africa. Crazy, yes? Like me, you live is a beautiful place surrounded by wildlife. I live way up north in Montana. Where bears, big cats and especially moose are the dangers. But I wouldn't live anywhere else!

Thanks for the wonderful information. Voted up for interesting and awesome.

dailytop10 (author) from Davao City on November 30, 2012:

Thank you for enjoying my hub!

It's almost 12 am here. I'm really jealous of you guys who experience winter.T.T...winds here are cold but no snow

epigramman on November 30, 2012:

This is quite an igenious and novel idea you have with your fabulous top ten lists and your hubs are world class presentations as well.

Love this theme here and I will share and post your hubtastic hub to the Hubpages FB group with a link and a share - sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 11:26am where it is winter now and cold - what is the weather like where you live?

dailytop10 (author) from Davao City on November 30, 2012:

Please do. I love the wildlife because of their innate innocence and beauty. Glad to know someone who appreciates nature as well as much as I do.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on November 30, 2012:

This is an excellent hub! Great information and wonderful pictures. This was very interesting and enjoyable to read. You did a great job here! Traveling to Africa is on my bucket list. I hope to make it some day. I don't have to worry about sharks, as I don't like being in the water with creatures I cannot see. Love this hub! Voting up, interesting and would like to share this on my "Sheila's World of Wildlife" blog, if that is ok with you! :)

Daniel from St Louis on November 24, 2012:

I had a brush with one in california myself, but it was harmless. Definitely wasn't a great white, more likely a tiger shark or something. You really have to be careful about getting in the water if you have open cuts on your body somewhere. Sharks can sense blood, and they hungry, you might be dinner. Besides that, open cuts hurt really bad in salt water. Ouch! Talk about painful.

dailytop10 (author) from Davao City on November 23, 2012:

I had a close encounter with a baby shark and it really scared me a lot. I know it may sound funny but the shark suddenly appeared in front of me when I was swimming with my friends during our latest trip. I really thought it was the real thing. haha..

Daniel from St Louis on November 23, 2012:

The great white sharks scare me more than anything. I used to surf a lot when I lived in California and I couldn't help but wonder if I would ever get eaten.

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