Top 10 Deadliest Critters of Tanzania

Tanzania, officially known as the United Republic of Tanzania stretches over 365,753 sq miles and considered the heart of the Safari. 1,093,000 travelers are coming to Tanzania every year to enjoy various act ivies like safari, trekking, and beach break. However, Tanzania Animals are the main flavor of Tanzania Safari Tours that drives many travelers crazy worldwide.

While visiting Tanzania Destinations travelers get excited to meet the iconic “Big Five” of Africa. Few travelers also came excited to meet some of the most furious animals in their natural habitat. If you are someone amongst them, then here is a list of the 10 most dangerous animals.

Some of these Tanzania Animals may look cute but have the capability of killing you in mere minutes. 

African Buffalo

Tanzania Animals: African buffalo

The first place is held by the African buffalo.  Despite being a herbivorous species their aggressive instinct is quite dangerous for their predators.

The African Buffalo is widely known as Cape buffalo and one of the largest African bovine subspecies living in Tanzania. Cape buffalos are one of the members of the African Big five. Luckily it is possible to spot them in most of the national parks of Tanzania.

From ancient days when hunting was legal in all parts of Tanzania, game hunters find it very difficult to kill the cape buffalos. Watching the herds charging in the bushes of Tanzania can run the chills down your spine. Sometimes the herds are spotted attacking the lions; which considers as the deadliest hunters of the African bush.  In fact, they have been recorded the highest human encounter than any other carnivorous animal.

Here are some of the iconic facts about the African Buffalo:

  1. An African buffalo can reach up to 6.8 to 11 feet in length, 3.2 to 5.6 feet in height and weigh between 700 to 800 kg
  2. The legs of an African buffalo are really strong.  It’s 4 times stronger than an Ox.
  3. African buffalo is a grazer; you can spot them in the grass fields of the country. During the dry season in Tanzania, they can feast upon shrubs and trees.
  4. They usually live in larger herds; sometimes it includes thousands in one herd. 
  5. Herds usually consist of females, their offspring, and one or more males.
  6. Lions are the prime enemy of these grazers.
  7. They fight very skillfully while facing any predators. They usually cover the young and weak animals in a circle showing their sharp horns towards the hunter.  It works most of the time.
  8. African buffalo have poor eyesight and sense of hearing; however, their sense of smell is great.


Tanzania Animals: hippopotamus

Hippos are one of the magnificent mammals of Tanzania. Even being one of the herbivore species they are highly aggressive which makes them be in the 2nd place on our list.

They were used to be found in many places of Africa; however, habitat loss and poaching have made them one of the endangered animals now. Nowadays they are mainly found in some countries in East Africa like Tanzania.  One of the treasured animals of Tanzania is truly fun to watch.

After the African elephant hippopotamus is the second-largest animal on the planet. Hippo pools in Central Serengeti and Selous Game Reserve are the huge tourist attractions of the country.

Here are some of the iconic facts about this endangered animal-

  1. “Hippopotamus” name was driven from the ancient Greek word which means “river’s horse”
  2. They spend more than 16 hours in the water
  3. They Can Hold Their Breath for Five Minutes or even more when required
  4. Hippos are related to Whales
  5. Baby hippos born underwater and they learn to swim within a few minutes after they born
  6. Hippos usually eat 80-100 pounds of grass in a single meal
  7. At night time hippos usually walk around 10km to find food. However, they make their mark back to the water
  8. At the end of the dry season, almost 200 hippos can be found in one place              


Tanzania Animals: Leopard

If you will ask which is predators have the highest aggressiveness, then the answer is no doubt the Leopard. Hence they occupy 3rd place in our list.   

Leopards usually live in diverse habitat in Tanzania’s woodland, grassland, savannah, and forest. Though leopards are common in various protected areas of Tanzania, they can be widely spotted in Serengeti, Tarangire, and Lake Manyara National park. 

Belongs to the Pantherinae sub-family leopards are one of the most furious animals of Tanzania’s bushes. Leopards are very dominating predators and hunt various habitats from small to big animals. While you are in a Tanzania Safari you can spot them in action between sunset and sunrise.

Here are some iconic features of them:

  1. The spots on the Leopards coat are dark black and known as rosettes. Mostly their coats are dusty yellow or golden on which they have these rosettes.
  2. Leopards are fast felines and can run at up to 58km/h.
  3. Leopards are solitary animals and mostly they are spotted alone.
  4. They eat bugs, fish, antelope, monkeys, rodents, deer, and mostly anything they get.
  5. These big cats are great climbers. Mostly they spot their prey climbing above the trees.
  6. They are nocturnal animals, which means most active in the night for hunting.
  7. It can stalk its prey very skilfully and patiently up to its 5 or 10 meters range.
  8. They mostly try attacking the neck of the prey as it’s the most sensitive point.
  9. Female leopards can give birth anytime in the year and usually they give birth to 2-3 cubs at once.
  10. Leopards communicate with each other through distinctive calls.

African Elephant

Tanzania Animals: African Elephant

One of the stubborn members of the Big Five family the giant African elephants is very aggressive especially when they are with their babies. So, we have kept them 4th on the list.

Once upon a time in Tanzania, there used to be 316,000 elephants residing in Tanzania. Now the number has degraded drastically. There are only 45,000 remains in the national parks of Tanzania. These gentle giants are the biggest land mammals living on the planet.

Symbolizing love, compassion, bravery, and power these animals are one of the iconic members of the Big Five family. Most social animals used to live in groups. However, they can be spotted in various national parks of the country but during your Tanzania Safari you can spot large elephants herds at;

  • Tarangire National Park
  • Ruaha National Park
  • Ngorongoro Carter Area
  • Serengeti National Park

Here are few iconic facts about this largest mammal;

  1. Elephants are the largest land mammals on earth
  2. Apart from apes (chimps, gorillas, etc) elephants are the most intelligent mammals
  3. They are one of the most social Tanzania Animals live in large herds
  4. The herds are mostly lead by a female elephant
  5. Not always, but sometimes if threatened they can be aggressive and dangerous
  6. An adult elephant needs to eat up to 150kg of food a day
  7. African Elephants stands 3.2m tall at the shoulder and weight around 6000kg
  8. Baby elephants are called calves

Black Mamba

Tanzania Animals: Black Mamba

Black Mambas are the deadliest and poisonous reptiles in the world and unlike other poisonous snakes, they are really aggressive. They never bite once; they attempt many bites while attacking. Hence, it comes 5th on the list. 

Black Mamba is one of the deadliest killers of Sub-Saharan Africa. Black Mambas the deadliest snakes of the world and quite active as well as large in size.  Those who are bitten by black mamba can lose their life in between 3 to 16 hours if not treated properly.

They are mostly found in the savannas and rocky hills area of the country. However, they attack humans rarely but they are highly aggressive species. A black Mamba has so dangerous poison that it can kill 15 grown humans in just one bite. It is one of the most venomous snakes in the world and belongs to the Elapidae family.

Here are few facts about this deadliest reptile –

  1. Black Mamba is the world’s fastest snake
  2. Black Mambas are very long reaching up to over 2 m in length and many grow up to 3 m
  3. They live at ease on both trees and the ground
  4. These snakes are highly aggressive and quite hard to predict
  5. Black Mambas often strike/bite repeatedly injecting their poison
  6. They are actually not black but named “Black Mamba” due to their black mouth.


Tanzania Animals: Lion

The most furious predator of the African bush occupies the 6th position in our list. It’s one of the dangerous predators that you will encounter in the national parks of Tanzania.

Holding many titles like “king of the jungle” or the “most furious predator” of African bushes Lions are the highlight of Tanzania Safari for every safari visitor. If you are looking for meeting this predator king in Tanzania Destinations then you can spot them in many national parks however, Serengeti offers most of them to spot. 

The 10% of the total lion population of the whole world are residing inside Serengeti National Park. They mostly preferred to live in suburbs and savannahs in Tanzania. Apart from Serengeti, it’s possible to spot lions in Ruaha national park, Lake Manyara National Park, Mkomazi national park, Selous game reserve, and Tarangire.

Here are some iconic facts about the national park-

  1. Lions are the most social predators and lives in a group always
  2. The lion groups are known as pride
  3. Lionesses are aggressive hunters and usually, they hunt more than lions
  4. Lions are tawny to yellow-cream and the males have manes that make distinguish them from female easily
  5. Their food source can range from small rodents to the Large elephants
  6. Female lion can breed several times a year
  7. Lions usually live up to 10 to 14 years
  8. While the male lions are 8.5 – 10.8 feet long the females are 8.9 feet
  9. The weight of Male lions is 330 – 530 pounds and Females have 270 – 400 pounds


Tanzania Animals: crocodile

Nile Crocodiles are the biggest crocodiles in the world. These water predators hold 7th place on our list.

Crocodiles are one of the earliest Tanzania Animals and the biggest danger in the water world of Tanzania. Residing in the freshwater source of Tanzania crocodiles are the deadly hunters with strong teeth and skin. The population of them is pretty good. However, there is no official data on their total population but the Selous Game Reserve’s Rufiji River itself has 100,000 crocodiles.

It has been considering that Tanzania has the highest population of African crocodile.

Here are few iconic facts about the African Crocodiles;

  1. Known as Nile crocodile the African crocodile’s Latin name is Crocodylus niloticus
  2. They live up to 40 years
  3. They can grow to be about 6 meters long and can weigh over 700 kg
  4. Nile crocodiles are the largest species of crocodile
  5. They mainly eat fish, zebras, birds, and other Tanzania Animals come to drink water to the river-bank
  6. Each year it is estimated that between 100 and 200 people are killed by Nile crocodiles
  7. The adult male Nile crocodile is between 3.5 and 5 m and weighs around 225 to 750 kg  
  8. These reptiles are opportunistic predators and one of the aggressive species of crocodiles


Tanzania Animals: An aggressive Rhino

Holding the 8th position in our list, Rhinos are the critically rare grazers however very reactive while aggravates.

The most endangered animal of Tanzania is Rhinoceros. They are almost vanishing from Africa; however, you can spot some of them in the grassy plains, open woodland, mountain areas. The best places for spotting them during Tanzania Safari are Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Carter Area, and Mkomazi national park.

It was estimated that there are less than 123 rhinos left in the wild of Tanzania. However, there are few places where you can still spot some black and white rhinos in Tanzania. Here are a few facts about Rhinos;

The name rhinoceros means ‘nose horn’

  1. There are total 5 subspecies of rhinoceros are there in the world out of which black and white rhinos are native to Africa
  2. Both the species are endangered
  3. Rhinoceros have a thick, protective skin
  4. Relative to their large body size, rhinoceros have small brains
  5. They are made from a protein called keratin
  6. Humans are the biggest threat to them as human kills them for their horns
  7. They are plant eaters
  8. A group of rhinoceros is called a ‘herd’ or a ‘crash’.
  9. White rhinoceros are actually not white neither black are colored black. Both of them actually are gray in color.

Tsetse flies

Tanzania Animals: Tsetse flies

In the 9th position is the Testese flies, they are hard to avoid and a dangerous health threat.

While heading up Tanzania Destinations you are likely to do tons of research about the safety precautions. It’s surprising to some extend but Testese flies are one of the most threatened bugs for health you will spot in Tanzania.

Their bite is highly responsible for African sleeping sickness. Symptoms of sleeping sickness include fatigue, muscle aches, fever, and headaches. Sometimes it gets worse like psychiatric disorders, difficulty sleeping, and coma, etc.

Here are a few facts about them;

  1. Tanzania’s Northern Circuit parks are full of them like; Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and Serengeti National Park.
  2. They usually live in the bushy areas during days.
  3. Surprisingly they attracts to vehicles especially the moving ones
  4. They are taxonomically and ecologically divided into 3 groups; the fusca (forest), the morsitans (savannah), and the palpalis (riverine) group


Tanzania Animals: Mosquitoes in Tanzania

Last but definitely not least; the mosquitoes are undoubtedly the most dangerous ones in Tanzania. However, due to their size, we have placed them in the 10th position but the travelers should take good care of protecting themselves from the mosquito’s bite. 

Before entering the country the travelers need to take yellow fever vaccination which is mandatory for all. Apart from these, there are wide numbers of Anopheles that can spot in Tanzania who carry the malaria virus.

Here are Few Tips to Prevent Malaria –

  1. Wear full sleeve t-shirts
  2. Keep anti-malaria medications with you
  3. Use mosquito replant having 30% DEET
  4. Cover all the needed vaccination for mosquito biting diseases
  5. Sleep in mosquito nets

While most of the Tanzania Animals are not aggressive or dangerous few can be a threat. The list contains some of the deadly animals of Tanzania Destinations that are sometimes furious enough to attack humans too. 

However, during your Tanzania Safari Tours with Jerry Tanzania Tours, you don’t need to afraid of these predators or aggressive animals. You will be totally guided by our Experienced & Expert Tanzania Safari Guide who are well aware of these animals’ behavior. 

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