Animals in Botswana rank among the most fascinating.
A landlocked nation in southern Africa, Botswana’s topography is a mix of woodlands, grasslands, and the Kalahari Desert. Seven game resorts and three national parks make up about 17 percent of the landmass.
A desert covers most of the country, but it doesn’t impede the Botswana wildlife. Hundreds of plants and animals thrive in the sweltering nation. In fact, it’s widely considered the best country for African safaris, and participants are likely to see the “Big Five” — lion, leopard, elephant, black rhino, and buffalo.
Botswana is home to several iconic African animals, including lions, leopards, elephants, cheetahs, zebras, African buffalo, and giraffes. Antelopes are also plentiful, with 22 species represented, including the gnu, springbok, and duiker.
Animals native to Botswana include the Cape Vulture, African skimmer, familiar chat, and the bee-eater.
According to the latest count, about 170 known mammal species live in Botswana. Common species include aardwolves, caracals, cape foxes, banded mongooses, impalas, bat-eared foxes, Cape bushbucks, African civets, elands, gemsboks, kudus, Kirk’s dik-dik, klipspringer, spotted hyenas, warthogs, and meerkats.
Endangered Botswana Animals
Of the 170 mammals in Botswana, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists about 20 on its Red List. Over 590 birds have been observed in the country. And even though Botswana is a landlocked nation, it does have lakes and rivers, which hold about 85 species of freshwater fish.
Table of IUCN Threatened Mammalian Animals in Botswana
|Animal||Scientific Name||IUCN Classification|
|Cape wild dog||Lycaon pictus pictus||Endangered|
|African golden cat||Caracal aurata||Vulnerable|
|African bush elephant||Loxodonta africana||Vulnerable|
|Black-footed cat||Felis nigripes||Vulnerable|
|African buffalo||Syncerus caffer||Near Threatened|
|Bongo||Tragelaphus eurycerus||Near Threatened|
|Brown hyena||Hyaena brunnea||Near Threatened|
|Royal sable antelope||Hippotragus niger variani||Critically Endangered|
|Angolan giraffe||Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis||Vulnerable|
|Ground pangolin||Smutsia temminckii||Vulnerable|
|Lechwe||Kobus leche||Near Threatened|
|Mountain zebra||Equus zebra||Vulnerable|
|South-central black rhinoceros||Diceros bicornis minor||Critically Endangered|
|Topi||Damaliscus lunatus jimela||Vulnerable|
|Yellow-backed duiker||Cephalophus silvicultor||Near Threatened|
|Commerson’s roundleaf bat||Macronycteris commersoni||Near Threatened|
|Spotted-necked otter||Hydrictis maculicollis||Near Threatened|
|Hook-lipped rhinoceros||Diceros bicornis||Critically Endangered|
|Southern white rhinoceros||Ceratotherium simum simum||Near Threatened|
Most Dangerous Animals in Botswana
Botswana is home to dangerous wild animals. The six chart-toppers include:
Additionally, several species of venomous snakes inhabit that nation of which campers and hikers should be especially careful.
National Animal of Botswana
The national animal of Botswana is Burchell’s zebra. With its naturally artistic stripes, which include “shadow stripes” of a lighter color, the Burchell is arguably the most beautiful zebra subspecies. It’s also the only zebra that humans can legally raise for consumption.
The eastern cattle egret, a gorgeous avian with white and orange feathers and a rainbow-colored beak, is the country’s national bird.
Explore our list of Botswana animals below. Discover which species make the region home and the animals native to Botswana. We currently track 139 animals in Botswana and are adding more every day!
Botswanan Animals List
- African Bullfrog
- African Clawed Frog
- African Wild Dog
- Barn Owl
- Black Rhinoceros
- Black Widow Spider
- Brown Hyena
- Common Buzzard
- Elephant Shrew
- Fruit Bat
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Guinea Fowl
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Leopard Tortoise
- Monitor Lizard
- Peregrine Falcon
- River Turtle
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Vervet Monkey
- Water Buffalo
- White Rhinoceros
- Wolf Spider