Dangerous Animals in Tanzania: 7 Deadliest Animals To Avoid

dangerous animals in Tanzania

A country in eastern Africa, Tanzania borders Rwanda to the west and Uganda to the north. It is home to the second deepest lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika. Tanzania is also considered the heart of Safari and has the world’s largest animal population density.

Millions of travelers are visiting Tanzania every year to see the country’s savannahs, wetlands, and forests and enjoy activities like trekking and safari. While visiting Tanzania, you will have an opportunity to see a huge variety of animals including elephants, giraffes, ostriches, lions, and cheetahs.

Some of the animals here are known to be friendly, but others have the capability of killing you in seconds. To keep you safe, we’ve put together a list of the most dangerous animals in Tanzania.


Wild buffalo in Africa
Photo by Envato Elements

The most dangerous animal in Tanzania is the African Buffalo. This predator can weigh a ton and is known to kill more than 200 people a year! Where can I spot an African Buffalo in Tanzania? Widely known as Cape buffalo, this dangerous animal needs to drink water every day, so it’s highly possible to see it near a waterhole.

There’s a chance that travelers will see herds of these thrilling animals in Serengeti.  Bringing down one Cape buffalo is impossible for dangerous predators such as lions and cheetahs. Their massive horns will run chills down your spine.

Back in the day when hunting was legal in this African country, game hunters found it very difficult to kill these animals. The problem is that African buffalos usually move in herds, making it difficult for hunters to hurt them. You will have a chance to spot African buffalos in most of the country’s national parks.

Nile Crocodile

Nile crocodile by river
Photo by Envato Elements

There are many dangerous animals in Africa and Nile crocodile is one of them. They are the largest species of crocodiles in Africa and can grow to around 6 meters long. You will find them in the freshwater source of Tanzania at the Mara River and Grumeti River.

Tanzania actually has the highest population of these predators in the world. In the Selous Game Reserve’s Rufiji River, there are over 100,000 crocodiles. They mainly eat fish and birds that come to the riverbank to drink the water. These aggressive species of crocodiles also eat zebras.

You should definitely stay as far away as possible from the river waters in Tanzania. The Nile crocodile is fast and does not hesitate even for a second. Each year, it is estimated that Nile crocodiles kill about 150 people.

Black Mamba

Black mamba
Photo by Envato Elements

Next on our list of the most dangerous animals in Tanzania is the Black Mamba. This venomous snake is the world’s most poisonous and deadliest reptile. What happens if this venomous snake bites you? If you don’t treat the bite, you end up with a cardiac collapse and death in a few hours. They never bite once and will attempt to bite as much as possible while attacking their victims.

The black mamba can grow up to 15 feet and is known for its aggressive behavior. These creatures that belong to the Elapidae family are mostly found in the rocky hills in Tanzania.

Thinking about outrunning this snake? Black Mamba is the world’s fastest snake and quite hard to predict. It lives on both the ground and in the trees, so it can be pretty difficult to spot it.

African Elephant

African Elephant
Photo by Envato Elements

One of the members of the Big Five family, the African Elephant is the largest land animal on planet Earth. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this grey giant has made its way to our list of the most dangerous animals in Tanzania.

African elephants are peaceful when left alone, but if he or she feels threatened in any way, you’ll want to get out of the way. Elephants can also get aggressive when they are around their babies. We are not sure if there’s a scarier thing in the world than an African Elephant that weighs a few tons is chasing you.

In the national parks in Tanzania, there are about 45,000 elephants. They live in groups and symbolize bravery and compassion. Elephants can be one of the nicest animals in Tanzania and you will see many of them during your Tanzania safari trip.


Photo by Envato Elements

Meet Hippopotamus, the second-largest land animal in the world. Although these magnificent mammals might seem fat and lazy at first, they are known to be very dangerous. A hippopotamus can run about 40 miles an hour and usually weigh over three tons. You don’t want these herbivore species to be chasing you around Africa.

An interesting fact is that hippos can walk for more than 10km to find food before returning to the water. Many Hippopotamus lived in Tanzania, but because of poaching and habitat loss, these animals are endangered nowadays.

You will have an opportunity to see them in Central Serengeti and Selous Game Reserve. For those who don’t know, hippo pools are a popular tourist attraction in Tanzania.


Photo by Envato Elements

Rhinoceros is the most endangered animal in Tanzania. They are slowly vanishing from the continent. However, you can still spot them in mountain areas and open woodland.

In Tanzania, Rhinoceros can be seen in Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Ngorongoro Carter Area, and Mkomazi national park. A few black and white rhinoceros can be spotted in the wild of Tanzania.

The sad truth is that less than 130 rhinos are left in the wild of the country. Are they dangerous? They can be! Although they are plant eaters, rhinos can get very aggressive when feeling threatened. Humans are the biggest threat to these animals, as they kill them for their valuable horns.


Leopard in the wild
Photo by Envato Elements

Last on our list of the most dangerous animals in Tanzania is the mighty leopard. A predator with an extremely high aggressiveness, leopard usually lives in diverse habitats in Tanzania including forest, savannah, grassland, and woodland.

Leopards are quite common in protected areas of the country and can be easily spotted in national parks such as Serengeti, Tarangire, and Lake Manyara. These domination predators hunt for basically anything from small to giant animals.

A leopard is smart and stalks his prey carefully. Since leopards are nocturnal animals, they usually hunt at night. They go for the neck first! Leopard is known to attack humans, so make sure to visit them in one of the national parks. When to spot these predators in action on a Tanzania Safari trip? The best time to see them in action is between sunset and sunrise.

What is the most dangerous animal in Tanzania?

The most dangerous animal in Tanzania is the African Buffalo. Also known as Cape Buffalo, this predator is one of the largest bovine subspecies living in this part of Africa. You can spot buffalos in most national parks in Tanzania.

Are there venomous snakes in Tanzania?

Of course! Tanzania lies in the eastern sub-Saharan African region, an area that where a rich variety of venomous snakes can be found! Some of the most dangerous snakes in the country include Black Mamba, Green Mamba, Egyptian Cobra, and Puff Adders.

Are there any dangerous spiders in Tanzania?

Yes, the country has its share of dangerous spiders and other insects. Tanzania is a tropical destination, so it comes as no surprise that spiders love it here! Expect to see centipedes, scorpions, and flies, but most of them are not poisonous. However, the brown recluse spider is super dangerous and has a deadly bite.  There is also the yellow sac spider, a dangerous insect known to cause necrosis!

Are there tigers in Tanzania?

In Tanzania, there are millions of species of animals. You can see them in the wild or at the national parks. However, one predator is missing, and that is the furious tiger. You will hardly get an opportunity to spot any tiger here.

Reece Toth

Reece is the creator and editor of Travel Snippet. He has visited more than 38 countries over a 10-year period. His travels have taken him through the majestic mountains of Italy, into the cities of central Europe, across the islands of Indonesia, and to the beaches of Thailand, where he is currently living. He is passionate about travel and shares his expertise by providing the best travel tips and tricks to help you plan your next adventure.

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