Egypt

Updated: October 12, 2022
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Below you can find a complete list of Egyptian animals. We currently track 223 animals in Egypt and are adding more every day!

Egyptian Geography

The fertile Nile Valley bifurcates Egypt between north and south. Other than a few other oases, the majority of the country is a vast desert ringed by the Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Suez, Gulf of Aqaba, and the Red Sea. However, desert doesn’t necessarily mean barren. Egypt is a transcontinental country, sitting between continents of Asia and Africa. The various environments of Egypt rank it high on the biodiversity spectrum, many different types of animals making their home in this exquisite country. 

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Egyptian Animals

In prehistoric times, Egypt’s climate was cooler and wetter. At that time, giraffes, hippos, and ostriches roamed the land. The environment has since evolved into dry snd arid, causing those species to relocate both south and west of the country. In fact, very few animals indigenous to Egypt still live there. Native species that remained include the Egyptian weasel, pale gerbil, Mackilligin’s gerbil, Flower’s shrew, and the Nile Delta toad.

Types of animals commonly found in Egypt today include:

  • Mammals (ex. Ruppell’s Fox, Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Spotted Sandgrouse)
  • Reptiles (ex. Nile Crocodile, Cobras)
  • Birds (ex. Eagles, Owls, Falcons)
  • Fish (ex. Lionfish, Tilapia, Carp)

Native Birds

Throughout Egyptian history, and especially in ancient religion, birds have played an important role. Birds were involved in creation myths and many important gods, such as Horus, were thought to appear as different birds, often depicted with hawk or falcon heads. The banks of the Nile River support hundreds of bird species but Egypt holds many other habitats preferable for avian life. About 150 species permanently make their homes in Egypt, mainly waterfowl and songbirds found along the Nile. However, about 280 various avian species migrate through Egypt, as it bridges together Europe, Asia, and Africa, resulting in millions of birds passing through annually. Some of the best birdwatching in Egypt can be done in the following locations:

  • Lake Bardawil: Water bird migratory route; Species seen here include herons, ducks, Dunlins, Little Stints, and Avocets.
  • Cairo: In the capital, birds such as Cattle Egrets, Senegal Thick-knees, Painted Snipes, and White-breasted Kingfishers.
  • Suez: Located at the end of the Sues Canal, Suez is a critical area for bird of prey migration. Mudflats also draw in shorebirds, such as gulls and terns.
  • Faiyum Oasis: Once a hunting ground for birds, this oasis is now known for spotting Grebes, ducks, shorebirds, and coots on Lake Qarun.

Traveling throughout Egypt, there are many stops along the way for bird watching, whether it be for seabirds, songbirds, or migratory flocks.

Native Fish

Egypt is not only lined with coasts along the Mediterranean and Red Seas, it also hold one of the largest rivers in the world, the Nile River. These bodies of water are all rich in underwater life, attracting many anglers to the area.

In the Red Sea, Albacore Tuna, Goatfish, Sailfish, Grouper, Wahoo, and Barracuda lure anglers from all of the world to fish for these large, marine trophy species. However, fishermen must be cautious when around these waters as dangerous species swim roam the waters. Some such animals include:

Freshwater fishing is also a popular sport in the Nile River and surrounding lakes in Egypt. Species such as Nile perch, catfish, African tilapia, and tiger fish can also be reeled in. Nile crocodiles can often be seen in these areas, so keep an eye out.

Native Snakes

Snakes are viewed by Egyptians as demons of the Underworld but also as guardians of the King, somewhat juxtaposed. Several venomous snake species reside in Egypt throughout various habitats in the country. Following is a list of the most venomous snakes in the country and where they are located.

  • Saharan Horned Viper – survive in extreme, rocky, arid habitats including deserts
  • Field’s Horned Viper – distinct neurotoxic effects from venom and no antivenin exists; endemic to Middle Eastern deserts
  • Red Spitting Cobra – distinguished by black band around throat; prefers semi-desert and dry savannah; often exhibit cannibalistic behavior; spits venom at predators, causing cytotoxic and neurotoxic effects and massive pain
  • Egyptian Cobra – play a large role in Egyptian mythology and was thought to be how Cleopatra met her end; highly adaptable and able to co-exist with humans; cytotoxic and neurotoxic venom leads to complete respiratory failure

However, there are plenty of non-venomous and even beneficial snake species found in Egypt. The Sand boa helps control the rat population in the country, preying on rodents and other small mammals that may spread disease to humans. The African egg-eating snake, while not very beneficial, does not pose a threat to humans.

Endangered Animals in Egypt

According to Egypt Today, 70 species in the country are currently endangered to some degree. The Sinai baton blue butterfly is one of them. Listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, it is one of the world’s smallest butterflies and needs Sinai thyme to survive. Additionally, Sinai batons are notoriously bad flyers and therefore can’t relocate, making it especially vulnerable.

Rhim gazelles are another endangered species in Egypt. Also known as horned gazelles, African sand gazelles, and Loder’s gazelles, the species has adapted to desert life over centuries. However, fewer than 2,500 remain in the wild, as they are falling prey to poachers and habitat loss.  

Other Egyptian endangered animals include the dorcas gazelle, barbary sheep, and the African wild ass.

The 5 Most Dangerous Animals in Egypt

Egypt has its fair share of dangerous animals. Some are gigantic, and others can land on your neck without detection; some live on land, and others reside underwater. Whichever the case, when in Egypt, be on alert for dangerous animals.

1. Nile Crocodile

Nile crocodiles can grow five meters long and weigh up to 700 kilograms. The behemoth reptiles can be found in southeast Egypt, native to the country. Crocodile attacks on humans s are infrequent. Out of the attacks that have occurred, only 50 percent prove fatal.

2. Egyptian Cobra

They love to hang around in wet, grassy fields, which is why most Egyptian cobra bites occur in rural areas. Loaded with both cytotoxin and neurotoxin, the snake’s venom is highly lethal and can result in heart failure.

3. Hippopotamus

Hippos have a gentle reputation, but the lumbering, semiaquatic ungulates can be quite dangerous! While they won’t look to you as a meal — since hippos are herbivores — they weigh several tons and can easily crush humans. And yes, hippos have been known to charge when they feel threatened. 

4. Mosquito

Sometimes, the most dangerous things come in small packages. Such is the story of the mosquito. The lethal flyer is considered one of the most deadly since they carry fatal diseases and strike without warning. 

5. Lionfish

Lionfish are undeniably cool looking — with their artistic mohawk fins and fringe.  They’re also exceptionally dangerous! The  colorful swimmers carry poisonous loads similar to snake venom. Instead of biting their targets, they inject spiny tentacles to deliver the toxin. Fortunately, lionfish aren’t typically aggressive with humans, but attacks are not out of the question.

National Egyptian Animal

Like the United States, the national animal of Egypt is an eagle — the stepped eagle (Aquila nipalensis). The majestic bird is a collage of brown feathers with a distinct yellow beak. Its vocalization sounds like a barking crow, but stepped eagles are notoriously taciturn and rarely heard. 

Zoos in Egypt

Egypt holds several zoos and aquariums. Established in 1891, the Giza Zoo was built by Khedive Ismail, about 180 birds and 78 other animals coming from his own private collection. Intended to be a botanical gardens, the zoo quickly became home to many different species, such as rhinos, giraffes, elephants, racoons, gazelles, etc.

Some other popular tourist destinations for flora and fauna viewing include:

  • Hurghada Grand Aquarium
  • Aquarium Museum
  • Gabalaya Park & Aquarium

Egyptian Animals

Abyssinian

The oldest breed of cat in the world!

American Cockroach

Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Arsinoitherium

Arsinoitherium was a twin-horned mammal that looked like a rhino but is more closely related to present-day elephants.

Banana Spider

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

Barb

There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.

Bee

Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bichir

The bichir species is more than 400 million years old

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown-banded Cockroach

Females glue egg cases to furniture

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 17,500 species!

Caecilian

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

Camel

Can survive without water for 10 months!

Caracal

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.

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chameleon

There are more than 160 different species!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Cockroach

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.

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Cricket

Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Crow

A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Desert Locust

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

Devil’s Coach Horse Beetle

The Devil’s coach horse beetle can emit a noxious substance to deter predators

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Earthworm

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

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

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

Egyptian Cobra (Egyptian Asp)

The Egyptian cobra is one of the largest cobras in Africa.

Egyptian Goose

A duck species that resembles a goose when flying

Egyptian Mau

An ancient breed of domestic cat!

Egyptian Tortoise

The Egyptian tortoise is one of the smallest tortoise species in the world.

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

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Elephant Shrew

Found exclusively on the African continent!

European Goldfinch

They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders, especially those containing niger seeds.

European Polecat

Its fur changes color in the winter!

European Robin

Male robins are so aggressive and territorial that they will attack their own reflections.

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Cobra

When it feels threatened, it mimics a cobra in an attempt to dissuade a potential attacker.

False Widow Spider

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

Fennec Fox

Found in the African Sahara Desert!

Firefly

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

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

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

Gazelle

Named for the Arabic word for love poems

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Eagle

Their calls sound like high-pitched screams, but they are quiet most of the time.

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 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.

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

Human

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.

Hyena

There are four different species!

Ibex

Can jump over 6 feet straight up from a standstill

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jacana

The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jerboa

Tiny rodent with a kangaroo-like jump!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kenyan Sand Boa

A popular pet snake that comes in dozens of morphs!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Linnet

While linnets are monogamous during mating season, they do not mate for life. While breeding pairs are together, the males are highly territorial and will defend the nesting site and the surrounding area.

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Maggot

Will only live in wet areas

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mole Cricket

Adult Mole crickets may fly as far as 5 miles during mating season and are active most of the year.

Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Mosquito

Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

Nile Crocodile

When a female Nile crocodile’s hatchlings are in danger, she may hide them in a special pouch inside her throat.

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Ortolan Bunting

The tradition of hiding your face with a napkin or towel while eating this bird was begun by a priest who was a friend of the great French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

Osprey

They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pharaoh Hound

The blushing dog of Malta.

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pigeon

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

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

Puss Moth

Caterpillars squirt formic acid!

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Red Kite

This bird moves its tail to steer its body like a rudder on a boat.

Red Spitting Cobra

Scientists believe that the red spitting cobra evolved from injecting venom to spitting it in response to the constant threat of early humans

Redstart

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

Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rock Hyrax

Actually related to Elephants and Manatees!

Rodents

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.

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Sable Ferret

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

Sand Cat

They can survive for weeks without drinking water because the get moisture from their prey.

Sand Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

Saturniidae Moth

Some of the largest moths in the world

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Believed to be the inspiration for unicorn myths!

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

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

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Sheep

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.

Shrew

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

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Song Thrush

A male song thrush can have over 100 phrases in his repertoire of songs and can imitate pet birds, telephones and other man-made objects.

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

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

Spinosaurus

The Spinosaurus is the biggest carnivorous dinosaur ever discovered!

Spitting Cobra

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

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stork

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.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thrush

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

Tick

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

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Turtles

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

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Viper

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

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

Wolf

Thought to date back more than 300,000 years!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodlouse Spider

Unlike most spiders, woodlouse spiders don’t build a web.

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

Wryneck

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

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Zonkey

The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!

Zorse

The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!

Egyptian Animals List

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

Egypt FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What rivers are in Egypt.

The 3 major rivers in Egypt are the Nile and its two major distributaries, the Damietta River and the Rosetta River.