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 Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius 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 Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus Vulnerable Lion Panthera leo Vulnerable Leopard Panthera pardus Vulnerable 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 167 animals in Botswana and are adding more every day!
Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!
The African bullfrog is one of only three species of frog that have “teeth.”
Also known as the painted dog!
Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East
First evolved 100 million years ago!
Renew their horns every year!
They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food
People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.
There are over 2,000 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.
Detects prey using echolocation!
There are more than 350,000 different species
The bichir species is more than 400 million years old
Not all birds are able to fly!
They typically prey on insects!
Has no real natural predators!
The most common species of bee!
In a series of leaps, this creature can cover almost 30 feet of distance in just a few seconds.
There are thought to be up 20,000 species!
Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!
Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
The larvae of a moth or butterfly!
There are nearly 3,000 different species!
There are about 3,000 documented species!
There are more than 160 different species!
The fastest land mammal in the world!
First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!
Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans
There are more than 2 000 known species!
Dated to be around 300 million years old!
The most common raptor in the UK!
House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.
There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!
There are 93 different crab groups
Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings
Many are critically endangered species!
Have changed little in 200 million years!
A dik-dik is named after a sound it makes when it is frightened
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
First domesticated 5,000 years ago!
Found in Europe,
Africa and Asia!
It's larvae are carnivorous!
Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!
The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight
There are nearly 2,000 different species!
Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!
Spends around 22 hours a day eating!
Found exclusively on the African continent!
The fastest creatures on the planet!
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
There are more than 240,000 different species!
There are 12 different species in the world!
There are around 7,000 different species!
Among the largest bats in the world
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
Originally known as the Desert Rat!
Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Most closely related to the Sheep!
Migrates between Europe and Asia!
There are 11,000 known species!
Found in a vairety of African habitats!
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!
Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!
Inhabits wetlands around the world!
Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!
One of earth's bravest creatures!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!
Has evolved over 50 million years!
Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.
There are four different species!
Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!
Able to jump over 10 feet high
There are an estimated 30 million species!
Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
Lives in herds of up to 24 individuals!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
Spends much of the time high in the trees!
The most widely distributed tortoise in
The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!
Lives in small groups called prides!
There are around 5,000 different species!
Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.
They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!
The marabou stork does not have a voice box.
There are 2,500 known species worldwide!
They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.
One will stand on guard to watch for predators!
Some species have a poisonous bite!
Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!
Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!
Has characteristics of two or more breeds!
Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!
There are around 260 known species!
Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!
There are 250,000 different species!
Found on every continent on Earth!
The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
When a female Nile crocodile’s hatchlings are in danger, she may hide them in a special pouch inside her throat.
There are more than 5,000 species.
Females are about four times the size of males
The largest bird in the world!
There are 13 different species worldwide
Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell
Can live for up to 100 years!
Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!
They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.
Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!
There are more than 50 different species!
Omnivores that eat anything!
It's horns are made from keratin!
Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!
There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!
The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.
There are around 2,000 known species!
Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!
Can leap more than 1 meter into the air!
Around 35 million in the English countryside!
There are 2,000 different species worldwide!
Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.
They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce
There are nearly 1,000 different species!
There are around 3,000 known species worldwide
There are 140 different species!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
The springbok has a large tuft of hair that emerges from a pouch on the back
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.
The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world
Can live until they are more than 150 years old!
Found in warmer jungles and forests!
Tsetse flies are large biting flies that live in the tropical regions of Africa.
Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.
Rarely found more than 450m from trees!
Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted
There are 30 different species worldwide!
Has two sets of tusks on it's face!
There are around 75,000 recognised species!
Has been domesticated for thousands of years!
The second largest animal on the land!
Can trek more than 1,000 miles every year!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
There are 200 different species!
Squirrel that lives in burrows in Africa.
Stripe patterns are unique to each individual!
There are around 75 different species!
The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!
The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!
Botswanan Animals List