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Africa is home to some of the most well-known, loved and feared animals in the world! There are so many wonderful creatures to see, but where to start? We’ve made an A to Z list of African animals to look out for on your next trip to Africa.

Keep reading and find out just how fascinating Africa’s wildlife really is!

And if you’re a real animal lover, take a look at these beaches that are inhabited by unusual animals and you might just find your next bucket list destination!

African animal beginning with A


This medium-sized nocturnal mammal, native to Africa, only eats ants, termites and one type of cucumber, called Aardvark cucumber. It is believed by African magicians to have magical powers.

Aardvark african animal
image by dipthongasaurus rex on flickr

African animal beginning with B


These monkeys are furry and noisy, but very caring for their young. They are omnivore foragers, but are also known to eat sheep, goats and small antelopes. In Egyptian folklore, Baboons were considered sacred animals.

Baboon monkeys in Africa
photo by jambo 13 on flickr

African animal beginning with C


This large feline is the fastest animal on land running with a speed of up to 120 km/hour in short 500 meter bursts. It can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/hour in 3 seconds. They have non-retractable claws so they can’t climb tall trees.

image by schinkerj on flickr

African animal beginning with D

Desert Warthog

While some say this is not the prettiest pig relative out there, we just can’t ignore his resemblance to Pumba (the Lion King character). We think it’s quite a character with its huge tusks and unwavering care for it’s young.

Desert Warthog african pig
image by KCBirdFan on flickr

African animal beginning with E


With elephants being the largest creatures on land at the moment, it’s no wonder the elephant babies weight 100 kilograms at birth. But did you know the gestation period lasts for 22 months?

African elephant

African animal beginning with F

Fennec Fox

With a total body length between 24 and 40 cm, this big eared guy is the smallest fox there is. Their ears help them detect insects and rodents hiding underground.

african desert fox
image by reMuse on flickr

African animal beginning with G


With it long neck the giraffe can reach the tallest and tastiest leaves in the savanna and also engage in “neckings”, a type of male combat in which the neck is used as a weapon. Vulnerable to predators as an adult, calf giraffes are hunted by lions, leopard and hyenas. Did you know there’s a special hotel in Kenya where you can feed giraffes from your hotel room window?!

kenya animals
photo by Ben Heine on flickr

African animal beginning with H


Hippos are large, mostly herbivorous,  semi-aquatic mammals. Despite their pig-like appearance their closest relatives are whales, from which they diverged some 55 millions of years ago.

image by David d’O on flickr

African animal beginning with I


One of the most abundant antelopes in Africa, the impalas, can grow up to 95 cm tall. Only the males have horns, which they use in territorial battles.

impala kenya
photo by aftab on flickr

African animal beginning with J


These far away relatives of the wolves are crepuscular, being most active at dawn and dusk. They are scavengers and hunters of small animals. In oriental mythology jackals are clever sorcerers, while in Egyptian religion they are Gods of the afterlife.

image by alistair.pott on flickr

African animal beginning with K


These half meter tall antelopes can fit all four hooves onto a piece of cliff the size of a coin and never have to drink water, since the succulent plant they forage on provides them with sufficient water.

image by jdnx on flickr

African animal beginning with L


The King of the Jungle, the second largest feline after the Tiger, the Lion is today considered a vulnerable species, with its population decline of thirty to fifty percent in the last 20 years.

image by Derek Keats on flickr

African animal beginning with M


Magpies are easy to spot thanks to their black and white colourings. Normally, they collect objects found such as jewels or plastics and save them in their nest. Their diet includes seeds, eggs, nuts, insects, and fruits.

Magpie in Africa

African animal beginning with N


This medium sized antelope prefers a deep forest to any plain there is in Africa. While the females are warm brown and horn-less as the nyala pictured below, the males are dark skinned with long spiraled horns and a woolly fringe on their belly.

nyala bull
image by dtaylorcreative on flickr

African animal beginning with O


Otters are semi-aquatic mammals which feed on fish, birds and small mammals. They are also the best swimming teachers out there.

image by wwarby on flickr

African animal beginning with P


Porcupines are rounded, large, slow rodents. Their body is covered with large, pointy spines. Porcupines are salt lickers and will lick and eat anything that is covered in salt, from household items such as tables or clothes to vehicle tires coated in road salt.

image by kibuyu on flickr

African animal beginning with Q

Quelea Quelea

Also known as Red-billed Quelea or Red-billed weaver, is a small bird from the weaver family. It can be found in the Sub-Saharan Africa and is considered one of the most plentiful wild bird breed in the world.

African animal beginning with R


Rhinoceros are large plant eating mammals which are able to reach more than a tonne in weight. They have thick armor like skin, small brains that can weight less than a kilogram and no knees.

african rhinoceros
image by Cyberslayer on flickr

African animal beginning with S

Sable Bull (Sable Antelope)

These antelopes can reach a height of up to 140 cm and their horns can be as long as 110 cm. When fighting, male sable bulls drop to their knees and use their horns to fight.

sable antelope
image by Saparevo on flickr

African animal beginning with T


Topis are some of the fastest antelopes, reaching a speed of up to 70 km/hour when pressed. The Maasai describes them as wearing a suede jacket, blue jeans and yellow boots.

topi african animals
image by RayMorris1 on flickr

African animal beginning with U


These animals are spiny-tailed lizards found in Africa and are active during daylight time. Usually, Uromastyx eat plants or seeds.

Uromastyx African lizard

African animal beginning with V


These small birds from Africa varies in color and size. Tend to nest in pairs and like to eat earthworms, insects, and lizards.

Vanga African bird

African animal beginning with W

Wildebeest (also called a Gnu)

A relative of the bull, the wildebeest or the Gnu is a large game animal. Wildebeest are killed for food, especially for making the Southern African delicacy biltong (dried game meat).

Wildebeest African animal
image by rafa on flickr

African animal beginning with X


Xeruses are ground squirrels that live in rocky deserts around Africa. This African animal is well-known for being social and living in groups.

Xerux in Africa

African animal beginning with Y

Yellow Mongoose

Close relatives of Meerkats, Yellow Mongooses are very attentive little creatures, also using a sentinel to keep eye on eventual predators, such as birds of prey. They eat insects, small rodents and birds.

African Yellow Mongoose
image by Leo Reynolds on flickr

African animal beginning with Z


Relatives of the most common horse, zebras are very unpredictable animals and don’t cope well with stress, the reason for which they could never be domesticated. Their famous stripes are different and unique to each individual, just like a human fingerprint.

Zebra in Africa
image by Robert Hutton on flickr

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