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Top 5 Deadliest Animals In Africa

Updated on May 16, 2012

Google Earth: Africa

Below is a list of the 5 most dangerous animals in Africa based purely on the number of human fatalities. Since some of these animals live in remote Africa some of the statistics are calculated estimates as no data was ever recorded in certain occurrences.

5. Crocodiles

It's believed that the power of a crocodiles bite is 5,000 pounds per square inch which is largely considered to be the strongest bite amongst all animals on earth. When you compare that to a bite of a hyena which is some 800 pounds per square inch, it gives you a much clearer sense into the sheer strength of this creature. Both the Nile and the saltwater crocodiles are the deadliest in Africa, often killing and injuring many people in Africa's more remote regions. Due to the fact these reports cannot be verified it's difficult to get an accurate reading although there is simply no question that 99% of these reports have some truth in them. A crocodile will kill a human in seconds, by launching themselves out from the river and dragging a victim into the water subsequently drowning them.

4. Elephants

Elephants are the largest land mammal in the world and it's their sheer size that makes them one of Africa's most dangerous animals. Their size makes crushing other wildlife and humans very easy and this is why they are paid so much respect both in the animal kingdom and by humans. A bull elephant is at it's most dangerous when they are going through a time called 'musth'. During this period thick liquid secretion comes out through the temporal ductson in the side of the head, and whilst it's believed by many that this occurrence happens when the elephant is aroused sexually, this is not conclusive. There are even stories that suggest a herd of elephant entered and attacked an entire African village as a revenge act for a mass culling that took place of their herd's in the 1970s - 1980s. It really does seem that elephants don't forget.

3. Buffalo

Buffalo, especially wounded buffalo are considered to be exceptionally dangerous animals. Buffalo are amongst the strongest animals in Africa and are respected even by Lion. Apart from humans and of course Lions, buffaloes don't really have any other obvious predators and whilst there are no classified statistics into annual buffalo deaths in Africa, there have been many cases reported of injuries and even fatalities when crossing paths with on of these beasts.

2. Hippo

You certainly shouldn't be fooled by a hippo's appearance. Whilst they look like slow, sluggish animals, there is a reason they are Africa's second most deadly animal. Hippos can actually outrun humans and the conflict has been ever present since farmland, houses and villages have all been constructed in hippo grazing territory. Hippos don't actively look for trouble but when humans get between the river and a hippos grazing patch the creature often feels threatened and will attack to kill.

1. Mosquito

I have to say i found it a little strange that a mosquito was classed as an animal but according to, an animal is defined as “a living organism characterized by voluntary movement“. Mosquito's spread the killer disease Malaria which is considered the world's worst disease and is in fact responsible for half the deaths of children in Africa under the age of 5. 2800 children die every day from Malaria and according to Third World Network Features the direct and indirect costs of Malaria each years costs in excess of $2 million. 80% - 90% of the deaths occur in Sub Saharan Africa which is also where 90% of the infected people live.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Agree All !

    • AfricaResource profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Dorking, Surrey, United Kingdom

      They certainly are incredible animals, just not a particularly great idea to get on the wrong side of them.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Elephants are the most amazing creatures in the world. I have the utmost respect for them. Great article on highlighting Africa's animals!

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 

      6 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Well done hub, Africare...makes me want to stay home! ;) I got here Hopping, voted up and interesting.

    • jeanihess profile image


      6 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      It is the mozzie hey![ very dangerous!


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