Animals in Eritrea

Below you can find a complete list of Eritrean animals. We currently track 206 animals in Eritrea and are adding more every day!

Eritrea is in eastern Africa in a region known as the Horn of Africa. It borders Sudan to the west and Ethiopia to the south. It has an extensive coastline on the Red Sea and includes the Dahlak Archipelago.

Eritrea’s landscape includes three distinct regions. It has the green highlands, the hot, dry western lowlands, and a long coastal plain. These areas are home to many unique animal and bird species.

Wildlife in Eritrea

Like other African countries, Eritrea has buffalos, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and leopards. It is home to several rare species only found in this region, including the Nubian ibex and the African golden wolf.

Eritrea has a healthy population of northern African elephants. It is also home to the world’s only population of free-ranging African wild donkeys.

The African wild ass or African wild donkey (Equus africanus) is a wild member of the horse family. It is related to both zebras and domestic donkeys. This adorable animal looks like a donkey with gray fur and zebra-striped legs. African wild donkeys are endemic to Eritrea and other eastern African countries.

Zoo Basel in Switzerland has created a successful captive breeding program for African wild donkeys. The zoo manages the wild donkey studbook for the world’s captive breeding programs.

Deforestation, the war for independence, and border disputes with Ethiopia have led to diminished numbers of the country’s native animals. The Eritrean government has passed laws to protect the country’s native flora and fauna.

The coastal waters are home to whales, dolphins, dugongs, and five species of sea turtle, including the green turtle and hawksbill turtle.

What Animals Are Endangered or Extinct in Eritrea?

Erirea’s endangered animals include the Dorcas gazelle and Soemmering gazelle.

Eritrea has two native animals who “came back” from extinction.

The Eritrean Gazelle (Eudorcas tilonura) or Heuglin’s Gazelle: This rare gazelle was listed as extinct until a conservationist came across a small herd of them 90 years later. Biologists confirmed they were Eritrean gazelles. The Eritrean government has set aside land to conserve these rare, beautiful gazelles.

Eritrea side-neck turtle (Pelomedusa gehafie): Like the Eritrean gazelle, this turtle was declared extinct. Scientists had not seen one for almost 100 years. In 2016, conservationists discovered a small population of the turtles.

The Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana): This wild goat lives in the mountain regions and deserts of Africa and the Middle East. It stands about two feet tall and has long curving horns.

These goats were hunted almost to extinction for their meat, but conservation laws have allowed Nubian ibexes to rebound. Today, they are listed as “vulnerable” because their population is declining.

The government of Eritrea has taken several important steps to address wildlife conservation. The country was one of the first in the world to ban the production, sale, and distribution of plastic bags. It has outlawed the hunting and trapping of wild animals and banned the cutting of live trees. It has also set aside areas as wildlife preserves, national parks, and marine reserves. Eritrea instituted a tree planting program to reverse the effects of deforestation.

Where to See the Top Wild Animals in Eritrea

There are many places to see wildlife in Eritrea. Visitors can spot lions and greater kudus in the mountain regions. In the Denkalia region, elephants and gazelles roam. In the Nakfa and Gash-Setit wildlife parks, you’ll see bushbucks, duikers, greater kudus, klipspringers, leopards, oryxes, and crocodiles.

Eritrea has more than 500 native bird species. The country is on a widely used migratory bird path that links the Middle East and Africa. You can see many of these unique birds at reserves like Semnawi Bahri National Park, the Dahlak Islands and along the coast of the Red Sea.

Yob Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in the Northern Red Sea and Anseba regions of northern Eritrea. It was established in 1959 to protect populations of Nubian ibex.

Eritrean Animals

Aardvark

Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!

Aardwolf

The aardwolf has five toes on its front paws

African Clawed Frog

A particularly ferocious amphibian!

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

Baboon

Can travel more than four miles a day!

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!

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!

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!

Bush Baby

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

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

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!

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.

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

Dusky Shark

The Dusky Shark sometimes eats trash discarded by humans.

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 Goose

A duck species that resembles a goose when flying

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!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

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

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 Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Griffon Vulture

Can spot a dead animal from thousands of feet away

Guinea Fowl

Found in a vairety of African habitats!

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!

Hippopotamus

Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

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!

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jacana

The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

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!

Klipspringer

Klipspringers can jump as high as 10-12ft!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Leopard

Spends much of the time high in the trees!

Leopard Tortoise

The most widely distributed tortoise in Africa!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

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!

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!

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Olive Baboon

Olive baboons will sometimes form strong friendships with each other

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.

Ostrich

The largest bird in the world!

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

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.

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.

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Red-Billed Quelea Bird

Is the most populous bird in the world

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

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 Crab

The sand crab burrows beneath the sand with its tail

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!

Serval

Can leap more than 1 meter into the air!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

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

Sparrow

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.

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.

Sulcata Tortoise

Some cultures in Africa believe the sulcata tortoise is an intermediary between the people and their ancestors and gods.

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!

Warthog

Has two sets of tusks on it's face!

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 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.

Zebra

Stripe patterns are unique to each individual!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Zonkey

The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!

Zorse

The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!

Eritrean Animals List

Animals in Eritrea FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Is the National Animal of Eritrea?

The Arabian camel, also known as a dromedary (Camelus dromedarius), is the national animal of this country. Dromedaries inhabit dry areas, including the Sahara Desert, northern Africa, western Asia and northern Africa.

The dromedary has a single hump. A typical dromedary stands about 6 feet tall and weighs between 880 and 1000 pounds. These social animals travel in packs of around 20 camels led by the dominant male. They eat leaves, grass and desert vegetation.

Are There Lions in Eritrea?

Lions are not native to Eritrea, but people have occasionally seen them in the mountain ranges. Eritrea’s native big cats include the Sudan cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii), African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus), caracal (Caracal caracal) and African wild cat (Felis lybica).

What Is the Most Dangerous Animal in Eritrea?

Eritrea has several animals that can be dangerous to humans, including crocodiles and elephants. The two most dangerous animals, however, are both insects.

Tick: African tick-bite fever causes fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. The disease is not life threatening, but the symptoms can be dangerous.

Mosquito: These stinging bugs can transmit malaria and dengue fever, which can be fatal. They can also pass on a disease called chikungunya, which causes headache, muscle pain and swollen joints.