Animals in Cameroon

Updated: March 5, 2023
Share this post on:


Below you can find a complete list of Cameroonian animals. We currently track 279 animals in Cameroon and are adding more every day!

Located along the coast of West Africa, Cameroon is a mid-sized country, about 70% as large as Texas, with a complex ecosystem of savannas, tropical forests, coastal mangroves, deserts, and mountainous terrain, the highest point of which is Mount Cameroon. As a microcosm of the entire continent of Africa, the country is rich in primates, cats, rodents, reptiles, birds, and insects.

The tropical forests of Cameroon are a vital part of the Congo Basin ecosystem and provide a source of livelihood for communities and habitats for over 9,000 plant species, 900 bird species, and around 320 mammals including the endangered western lowland gorilla and chimpanzee. The northern region of Cameroon contains the largest hippo population in West-central Africa.

Republic of Cameroon map

Republic of Cameroon map.


There are more than 200 ethnic groups living in Cameroon, the oldest inhabitants being the Pygmies, who live in small hunting bands in the southern forests. These hunters and gatherers have lived in the forests for thousands of years, with their populations declining along with the forests themselves.

The Official National Animal of Cameroon

Male lion standing proudly

Lions are considered to be the national animal of Cameroon.

©2021 Photography/

The closest thing Cameroon has to a national animal is the lion. Lions are big cats whose iconic appearance is easily recognizable to anyone. Second, only to tigers in size among the big cats, male lions grow to 2.1 meters (7 feet) in length and weigh up to 230kg (500 lbs). Females, or lionesses, are smaller and weigh up to 180kg (396 lbs). Lions have short coats that range in color from buff-yellow, orange-brown to dark brown with a darker tuft on the tips of their tails. Male lions sport magnificent manes that are usually full and shaggy, covering the back of their heads, neck, shoulders, and chest.

Lions are social animals who live in groups called prides, consisting of one – three males, a dozen or more lionesses who are mostly related, and the young. The lionesses are the hunters for the group, with the large male serving as the protector of the pride and its territory.

Lions are masters of the ambush attack and are among the most patient of animals who lie in stealth until the right moment to pounce. They can take down prey much larger than themselves using their incredible strength plus teamwork.

Largest Animal in Cameroon


The largest land animal on earth is also the largest animal in Cameroon.

©Pooja Prasanth/

The largest land animal on the planet, the elephant can weigh up to 12,000 pounds and stand 12 feet tall. Grayish-brown in color with a leathery, thick hide, these giants tower over every other animal in their paths except giraffes, with enough strength to push over trees and trample their enemies.

Elephants are distinguished by their huge bodies, sturdy legs, thin tails, large rounded ears, long strong trunks, and ivory tusks. The tusks, which grow throughout the animal’s life, allow the elephant to dig for food and water, defend itself, and lift heavy objects. Their thick, wrinkled hide can retain 10 times the amount of water as would smooth skin, making it perfect for warm climates.

One of the few species to exhibit self-awareness and self-recognition, the elephant is also one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. They have an excellent ability to learn and to remember and have been recorded using tools like a fly swatter. Elephants are capable of experiencing profound emotion and mourning their dead. The entire herd bands together to protect the weak and the young.

Rarest Animal in Cameroon

Black Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros, Savannah, Tanzania, Animal

The black rhino is one of the rarest animals in Cameroon.

© Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros, Savannah, Tanzania, Animal

The critically endangered black rhino is native to Cameroon but there hasn’t been a sighting of one in so long that some consider it already extinct in the country. There may be a few left – so the black rhino might be the rarest animal in Cameroon today.

This large species of rhinoceros can weigh up to 3,100 pounds and are typically a dark gray color. They browse on grasses and when succulent plants are available, can survive without water. Rhinos can dig for water in dry riverbeds and are uniquely adapted to life in dry conditions.

Black rhinos were abundant in Africa, with numbers in the millions, until around 1900 when rampant poaching of their horns began reducing the population to 2,400 by 1995. Today, they live primarily in small sanctuaries throughout Africa and on some game reserves. The future of the black rhino outside parks and reserves is bleak.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Cameroon

Types of Jaguar cats - leopard

African leopards can be seen at the Waza National Park in southwest Cameroon.


Cameroon is rich in national parks and wildlife reserves, including the Waza National Park in the north (which contains both forest and savanna animals), including predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas.

The Campo Ma’an National Park in the southwest is a biodiversity hotspot, with a wide range of plant and animal species including elephants, hippos, leopards, and plenty of primates. The park is considered a priority landscape for harboring the critically endangered western lowland gorilla and chimpanzee.

Primates such as chimpanzees can be seen in the Campo Ma’an National Park in Cameroon.


The Dja Faunal Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage site), is one of the largest and best-protected rainforests in Africa, with 90% of its area undisturbed. The area is almost completely surrounded by the natural boundary of the Dja River and is noted for its biodiversity and wide range of primates. 107 mammal species can be seen – five of which are threatened.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Cameroon Today

Although not listed among the most iconic African animals, the tiny mosquito is definitely the most dangerous animal in Cameroon and the world. The many species of mosquito carry a number of fatal diseases including Yellow Fever, Zika virus, West Nile virus, Dengue Fever, and Malaria. Between them, these diseases kill an estimated one million Africans every year.

The Nile crocodile, one of the largest and most dangerous predators in the world, is also one of the most deadly animals in Cameroon.


  • Nile Crocodile – As one of the largest and most dangerous predators in the world, the Nile crocodile can be very deadly. It is known to kill many people every year.
  • Hippopotamus – Large and aggressive, the hippo can be quite deadly when trying to defend its territory from intruders.
  • Snakes – Cameroon is home to a diverse array of snakes, including the large but non-venomous predators, like the African rock python, and the more venomous snakes, like the green bush viper. Some snakes use their venom as a form of defense, while other predators also use it to subdue prey. But only a few species are truly deadly to humans.

Endangered Animals in Cameroon

It is hard to imagine, but there is a commercial trade in bushmeat throughout west and central Africa that is the biggest threat to gorillas today. Apes are being killed to supply demand for meat in urban centers, where the consumption of ape meat is considered to be prestigious amongst the wealthy.

Gorillas share 98.3% of their genetic code with humans, making them close relatives after only chimpanzees and bonobos. They are the largest of the great apes with bread chests and shoulders, large, human-like hands, and small eyes set in hairless faces. Gorillas live in family groups of five to 10 and are led by a dominant male.

Portrait shot of a big western lowland gorilla

Cameroon is one of the few countries in the world where you can see a wild western gorilla.

©Nick Fox/

Endangered animals in Cameroon include:

  • Chimpanzee Cameroon is home to two subspecies of chimpanzees, both of which are endangered.
  • Western Gorilla Cameroon is one of the few countries in the world where you can see a wild gorilla. Unfortunately, this species has been endangered by deforestation, poaching, civil war, and disease.
  • Drill – A close relative of the baboon and mandrill, this species is a large, short-tailed monkey that lives in the rainforests.

The Flag of Cameroon

Flag of Cameroon waving in the wind

Flag of Cameroon waving in the wind.

©Дмитрий Ларичев

The flag of Cameroon was adopted in 1975 and displays the traditional Pan-African colors of green, red, and yellow. The sun is represented by yellow, green signifies Cameroon’s southern woods, and red, with the center star, represents unity.

The Pan-African colors of the flag are used by many African countries in the region, such as Senegal, Guinea, and Mali.

Cameroonian Animals


Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!

African Bush Elephant

Can drink up to 50 gallons a day

African Civet

Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!

African Clawed Frog

African clawed frogs were used as pregnancy testers from the 1930s to the early 1960s.

African Elephant

Both male and female African elephants have tusks. In Asian elephants, only the males have tusks.

African Fish Eagle

African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles

African Forest Elephant

Have large rounded ears to help keep them cool!

African Golden Cat

The first image of an African golden cat was captured in the wild in Gabon in 2002.

African Grey Parrot

When a grey parrot named Yosuke got lost, it was reunited with its owner after giving the owner's name and address.

African Jacana

The males raise the young

African Palm Civet

Solitary but gathers in groups!

African Tree Toad

Found in tropical moist lowland forests!

African Wild Dog

Also known as the painted dog!

Agama Lizard

The agama forms small social groups that contain both dominant and subordinate males.

American Cockroach

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

Axanthic Ball Python

Axanthic ball pythons lack yellow pigment in their skin!


Can travel more than four miles a day!

Banana Cinnamon Ball Python

Banana cinnamon ball pythons came from combining the banana and cinnamon genes.

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.


There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.


Detects prey using echolocation!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.


Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years


There are more than 350,000 different species

Beewolf wasp

They hunt bees


The bichir species is more than 400 million years old


Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Mamba

Black mambas are the longest venomous snake in Africa, and second longest in the world.

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!


Long and heavy spiralled horns!

Brahminy Blindsnake

These snakes have been introduced to all continents, except Antarctica!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown-banded Cockroach

Females glue egg cases to furniture

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors


"They look like you owe them money."


The most common species of bee!

Bush Baby

In a series of leaps, this creature can cover almost 30 feet of distance in just a few seconds.

Bush Viper

Bush vipers are predators, sinking their fangs into prey while dangling from a tree limb


There are thought to be up 17,500 species!


Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin


Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Carpet Viper

The Carpet Viper probably bites and kills more people than any other species of snake.


May have been domesticated up to 10,000 years ago.


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!


Has 32 teeth including fang-like canines!


There are more than 2 000 known species!


Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.


They can fly 35 mph and dive 150 feet below water.

Cosmic Caterpillar

Cosmic caterpillars have spots on their back that look like eyes to scare off predators.


There are nearly 1.5 billion worldwide!


There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings


Many are critically endangered species!


Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together


Have changed little in 200 million years!


Crocodylomorphs include extinct ancient species as well as 26 living species today.

Cross River Gorilla

Less than 300 remaining!


A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Desert Ghost Ball Python

Desert ghost ball pythons are even more beautiful when they're bred with another type like enchi ball pythons.

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.


First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals


First domesticated 5,000 years ago!


Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!


It's larvae are carnivorous!


Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Dwarf Crocodile

Digs burrows in river banks to rest!


Has exceptional eyesight!


They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs


There are nearly 2,000 different species!


Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Egyptian Goose

A duck species that resembles a goose when flying

Egyptian Vulture

They steal large ostrich eggs and use rocks and pebbles to crack the shells.

Electric Catfish

The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts


Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Elephant Shrew

Found exclusively on the African continent!


The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.

Fire Ball Python

The fire ball python morph is known for its rich golden and reddish-brown coloration.


The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world


Sleeps on just one leg!


Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air


There are more than 240,000 different species!

Forest Cobra

There are three different color morphs, which entirely depend on the region that they live in.


Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"

Freeway Ball Python

Freeway ball pythons come from breeding yellow belly and asphalt ball pythons.


There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Fulvous Whistling Duck

They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source


Named for the Arabic word for love poems


There are thought to be over 2,000 species!


Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach


Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!


Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!


Males form large mating swarms at dusk


Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Goliath Frog

Does not have a vocal sac.


The biggest of the world's primates!


There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Guinea Fowl

Found in a vairety of African habitats!

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world


Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!


Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.


Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!


Inhabits wetlands around the world!


Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

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.


The fly has no teeth


Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

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!


There are an estimated 30 million species!


The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jack Crevalle

One of the biggest species in the Caranx genus


Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Killer Clown Ball Python

Killer clown ball pythons can cost several thousand dollars.


Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!


There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lavender Albino Ball Python

The first two lavender albino ball pythons were wild-hatched and imported from Africa.


Has 10 pairs of eyes!


Spends much of the time high in the trees!

Lesser Jacana

The lesser jacana is nomadic, often moving in search of temporary wetland habitats.


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.


Will only live in wet areas


They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!


Distinctively coloured noses and rumps!

Marabou Stork

The marabou stork does not have a voice box.


There are 2,500 known species worldwide!


They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.


Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mojave Ball Python

Instead of the typically banded or ‘alien head’ patterning of most ball python morphs, the Mojave morph’s patterning is characterized by lots of large, circular splotches with small, dark brown dots in their centers.


Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!


Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!


Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!


There are around 260 known species!


Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!


Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood


There are 250,000 different species!


Found on every continent on Earth!


The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!


Nematodes range in size from 1/10 of an inch to 28 feet long


Named more than 1,000 years ago!

Nile Crocodile

Unlike other reptiles, the male Nile crocodile will stay with a female to guard their nest of eggs.

Nile Monitor

The Nile monitor is the world's fourth-largest lizard!

Nile Perch

Nile perch will sometimes eat those within its own species

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Northern Pintail

Northern pintails migrate at night with speeds reaching 48 miles per hour!

Olive Baboon

Olive baboons will sometimes form strong friendships with each other

Orange Dream Ball Python

The "Orange Dream" name came from the idea that the morph would make its first breeder a million dollars.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males


Males oribis spend most of their time patrolling the borders of their territories; they can do this about 16 times an hour! However, 27% of their day is spent grazing.

Ornate Bichir

The ornate bichir can survive outside water for short periods of time


They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!


There are 13 different species worldwide


The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Panda Pied Ball Python

The panda pied ball python morph is a combination of the piebald and black pastel traits.


Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell


Can live for up to 100 years!

Patas Monkey

The fastest species of primate in the world!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth


Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!


They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Pompano Fish

They are bottom-feeders

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

Puff Adder

This large snake is so-named because it will puff up its body to appear bigger than it is when directly threatened by a predator or person.


Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!


There are more than 300 different species!

Rainbow Kribs (Kribensis)

Rainbow Kribs sometimes nip the fins of other fish, especially ones with long, flowing tails, which is too tempting for them not to bite.


Omnivores that eat anything!

Red-Billed Quelea Bird

Is the most populous bird in the world


They build their nests off the ground in tree holes, cavities, stone walls, and roofs

Rhino Viper

The river jack snake has a gigantic horn-like scale on the tip of its nose.


It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!


There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rock Hyrax

Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!

Rock Python

Rock pythons may have crossbred with the escaped Burmese pythons in Florida.


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.


Will mate with the entire flock!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Savannah Monitor

Savannah monitors are one of the most popular lizards in captivity.

Scaleless Ball Python

Aside from the ocular scales covering each of its eyes, the scaleless ball python's body is completely smooth.


There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner


Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Senegal Parrot

As a pet, the Senegal parrot is capable of "talking" to its owner


Can leap more than 1 meter into the air!


Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.


The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.


There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

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

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case


There are nearly 1,000 different species!


There are around 4,000 known species worldwide


There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Spitting Cobra

Spitting cobras are types of cobras that can spit venom at predators and prey.


Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stiletto Snake

Because of their unique venom delivery system, stiletto snakes are almost impossible to hold safely in the usual way (with fingers behind the head) without being bitten.


They can’t sing like other birds.

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

Sunset Ball Python

Sunset ball pythons are bred with several other morphs to get designer colors.


Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.


Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thornback Ray

The skate with the biggest spines!


The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.


They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world


Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Tsetse Fly

Tsetse flies are large biting flies that live in the tropical regions of Africa.


Their name means “banana-eater,” but they rarely ever eat bananas.


Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.


Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted


Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most


There are 30 different species worldwide!


Has two sets of tusks on it's face!


There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

Western Gorilla

There are two sub-species!

Western Lowland Gorilla

One of the great apes!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.


This animal can roll up into a ball


There are 200 different species!


Doesn’t have eyes.


They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.

Yellow Belly Ball Python

The yellow belly gene is co-dominant and doesn't completely override other genes.


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!

Cameroonian Animals List

Share this post on:
About the Author

After a career of working to provide opportunities for local communities to experience and create art, I am enjoying having time to write about two of my favorite things - nature and animals. Half of my life is spent outdoors, usually with my husband and sweet little fourteen year old dog. We love to take walks by the lake and take photos of the animals we meet including: otters, ospreys, Canadian geese, ducks and nesting bald eagles. I also enjoy reading, discovering books to add to my library, collecting and playing vinyl, and listening to my son's music.

Animals in Cameroon FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What extinct species once lived in Cameroon?

A subspecies of the black rhino once roamed West Africa, but it is now completely extinct.

Are there lions in Cameroon?

Yes, lions live in the north of the country.