Africa is home to many animal species, some of which are extremely dangerous. During your tour of the continent, you may be able to see some of these dangerous animals in the African savannas, wildlife parks, jungles, lakes or rivers. African animals will baffle you, especially when you remember that they are responsible for thousands of deaths every year. Below is a review of some of the deadliest animals in Africa (in no particular order):
1.) Buffalo – This seemingly harmless creature is said to be responsible for hundreds of thousands of violent human deaths by animals in Africa. At an average height of 1.7 meters and a length of 2.8 meters, this massive creature dwarfs even the largest human beings. It is so brutal and often vicious that even lions will stay clear out of its way.
The buffalo has razor sharp horns and an estimated average weight of 1.5 tons – enough to charge into a medium-sized vehicle and overturn it effortlessly. Rangers and indigenous communities claim that the buffalo is more fierce and aggressive if it is caught by surprise. Hikers and trailers in areas known to have buffaloes, such as the base of Mount Kenya or the bushes of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, are advised to make enough noise to warn the animals of their presence.
2.) African elephant – Recognized as the largest land animals on earth, African elephants are responsible for more than 500 deaths annually. The elephant’s long and sharp tusks and its massive weight (averaging 16 tons) serve as its weapons.
Those used to the animal will tell you that when chased by an elephant you should not run in a straight line but often making sharp turns to throw the beast off its balance. If that does not work, you should throw off a piece of clothing such as a scarf and the elephant will stop. This advice is said to have worked for many people.
3.) Lion – The Africa lion is easily the most dangerous animal in the continent. This huge cat can weigh up to 500kg. It is estimated that lions kill about seventy humans every year in Tanzania.
For those seeking to make comparisons, the African lion is only slightly smaller than the Asian Tiger. Some of the most famous parks for lion viewing safaris are Tsavo National Park and Masai Mara National Park, both in Kenya. Beside humans, crocodiles are lion’s only predators.
4.) Nile crocodile – The Nile crocodile, which can be found in many rivers and lakes throughout the continent, is among the top 5 deadliest animals in Africa.
While on safari, you will inevitably come into close proximity with this fierce looking reptile. The crocodile is the largest of all living reptiles and at full maturity it is averaged to be five to seven meters in length, and weighs over 1.5 tons.
The Nile crocodile attack by dragging their prey under water and drowning them. Some crocodiles will also roll their victims, in what is termed the Death Roll.
This roll fractures the bones of the victim and renders it powerless and disoriented. The Nile crocodile is said to be capable of eating as large creatures as water buffalo.
5.) Hippopotamus – Responsible for thousands of fatalities in Africa, hippos are among the continent’s deadliest animals. They live along the banks of lakes and rivers and are the closest living relative of the whale.
Hippos have enormous jaws which can host up to 20 inch canines – so you can imagine what would happen if this beast, which runs at speeds of over 20 miles/hr, gets hold of a person. The hippo is, unfortunately (or is it thankfully?), in danger of extinction!