Animals in Ghana

Updated: February 24, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of Ghanaian animals. We currently track 258 animals in Ghana and are adding more every day!

There are 221 amphibian and reptile species, 724 bird species, and 225 mammalian species in this nation renowned for its copious quantities of gold which sits on the West African coast with its upper limits extending just shy of the Sahara desert.

Of the bird species found in Ghana, about 66% live in the country all the time while the others are seasonal visitors. At least 20 species of endemic or near-endemic species of butterflies live in the country. That said climate change, a shrinking habitat, and possible poaching may pose a threat to existing wildlife populations in the coastal nation.

The Official National Animal of Ghana

Eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca)

The tawny eagle enjoys a varied diet and hunts for or steals its food

©Jrs Jahangeer/

The tawny eagle is the national animal of Ghana. This bird was chosen as a symbol of protection and strength. Two tawny eagles appear on the country’s crest, their gaze vigilant as though overseeing the wellbeing of the nations.

A large raptor somewhat reminiscent of a golden eagle with lighter-colored plumage, this avian can be found throughout western Africa, eastern, and southern Africa, and India. It may also be found in a few north African locations, such as south-central Morocco and even Algeria.

This national emblem is a skilled hunter although it is not above eating carrion or engaging in theft to obtain a meal. Compared to other eagles which live in the tropics, it enjoys a rather varied diet and hunts 200 species including flamingos, genets, and pigeons. The tawny eagle has a preference for savannahs, dry steppes, and desert regions.

As far as eagles go, the tawny eagle certainly isn’t the biggest and is actually considered rather small in size for a member of the Aquila genus, and medium-sized in general. That said, it is pretty large for a raptor and is capable of reaching 30 inches in length, and 7 lbs in weight.

The eagle is fairly tolerant of humans in Asia and may remain passive when approached by observers as long as a certain distance is maintained. About 100,000 individuals are believed to exist in the wild, at present.

Where To Find The Top Wildlife in Ghana

Ghana is home to a wide range of national parks and reserves

©Florence Bond – Copyright A-Z Animals

If you want to see wildlife in Ghana, visit the country’s different ecosystems. As various animals live in each one.

  • Mole National Park – In Northern Ghana, Mole National Park is a great place to go hiking, where you may see many examples of native animals, including hippos, buffalo, elephants, lions, and leopards. While you can visit animals in zoos in Ghana, like the Accra Zoo and the Kumasi Zoo, you may also want to see them in their natural surroundings.
  • Bui National Park – The Black Volta River, which is home to a large herd of hippos, bisects this national park. You are also very likely to see other native animals, like antelope, leopards, and monkeys.
  • Boin Tano Forest Reserve – The swampy area created by the Bisao and Tano rivers at this reserve is a great place to see endangered yellow-backed duiker and ursine colobus primates. This reserve’s bush-filled areas are also a fantastic place to see many of Ghana’s endangered birds, including white-breasted guinea fowls and the yellow-bearded greenbuls, along with other wildlife.
  • Nini Suhien National Park and Ankasa Resources Reserve – Managed as one unit, this area in southern Ghana is a great place to see African elephants and endangered Diana monkeys. Look in the bush at this park and reserve to see how many of the 260 bird species known to have visited this park you can spot.
  • Kakum National Park – The 1,150-foot-high Kakum Canopy Walkway is a fantastic place to spot Diana monkeys, yellow-backed duikers, red river hogs, and African elephants. This park’s bush-filled areas are home to many endangered birds, including African grey parrots and hornbills.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Ghana Today

Two lions on grassland

In spite of their relatively small population lions constitute a real threat to human safety in Ghana

©Wirestock Creators/

While most Ghana animals are friendly if you do not hurt them, there are some deadly animals in the country.

  • Hippopotamuses are large animals that often weigh more than 3,000 pounds, and they are highly unpredictable. They often use their tusks as weapons. Hippos have enormous teeth that can tear predators, including humans, to shreds. They are some of the most deadly animals in Ghana.
  • Mosquitoes – While the mosquito is tiny, but it is one of the most deadly animals in Ghana because it can transmit malaria. If you are going to travel to Ghana, be sure to take precautions to avoid this deadly animal.
  • Elephants – While elephants tend to be peaceful animals when left alone when humans encroach upon their territories, elephants often become dangerous. They often crush people to death.
  • Black mamba – The black mamba is the longest poisonous snake in Africa, and it can strike up to 12 times within a minute. These strikes shut down the respiratory system, so they are generally fatal. Help usually cannot act fast enough, which makes this one of the most dangerous animals in Ghana.
  • Lions – While the number of lions in Ghana is relatively small, there have been reports of lions killing humans.

Endangered Animals In Ghana

Pangolin looking for ants to eat

The tree pangolin is one of Ghana’s endangered species


There are many types of endangered animals in Ghana, and the number continues to grow as humans encroach on more native habitats regularly. Other animals are poached, and their body parts are sold for use in traditional medicine. The country is home to five endangered mammals, 11 vulnerable species and 14 near-threatened species. While shrews and bats make up many of these endangered animals, there are also other threatened species. Most of them are not poisonous.

  • African white-bellied pangolin: Also known as the tree pangolin (Phataginus tricuspid), this elusive mammal looks something like a sentient pineapple, with its pale three-pointed scales which seem to slightly extend outwards. Found in Western, Central, and Eastern Africa, it prefers humid heavily forested areas.
  • Baer’s wood mouse: A tiny rodent with light brown fur, this wood mouse also has large dark eyes, and can be found in neighboring Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. Not much is known about the diminutive critter although scientists agree it is threatened by its shrinking habitat.
  • Big-eyed forest treefrog: This medium-sized, arboreal amphibian is characterized by light brown skin, bulging brown eyes, and large dark pupils. It is mostly found close to streams.

Other endangered species include:

  • Bobini reed frog
  • Dark-brown serotine
  • Ghana river frog
  • Ivory Coast frog
  • Ivory Coast running frog
  • Johnston’s genet
  • Liberia River frog
  • Olive colobus
  • Sooty mangabey

The Largest Animal in Ghana 

angered elephant

African forest elephants have seen their population plummet from several millions to under 100,000 in the space of two hundred years

©Sergey Uryadnikov/

Ghana’s largest animal is the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) which can be found in its deciduous evergreen forests. Like their larger relatives, the African savannah elephant, they possess two protuberances at the end of their trunks.  Unlike them, however, males of this subspecies reach a maximum height of 9 feet at the shoulder and are capable of weighing of 7 tons at the most.

Like their southern cousins, they are also highly sociable and can form groups as large as 20 individuals comprising of mothers, calves, and youngsters, under the sage direction of the family matriarch. They also enjoy a diet of calcium-rich bark, leaves, and fruits, and sip on mineral-rich water while also taking advantage of mineral licks to supplement their nutritional needs.

Unlike their cousins, their tusks are straight rather than curved and point downwards. These pachyderms which were revered as a symbol of power in ancient Ghana have experienced a drastic decline in terms of their population: at the start of the 19th century, they numbered 26  million as opposed to less than 100,000 today.

The Rarest Animal in Ghana

Animals that Eat Insects – Pangolin

The giant pangolin breaks open termite mounds and using its sticky tongue extracts their arthropod residents

©Vickey Chauhan/

The giant pangolin (Smutsia gigantea) is one of this west African nation’s rarest, and most elusive creatures. Found along the heavily forested regions close to the Atlantic coast, the largest of all pangolin species can also be found in Central and Eastern Africa. It is also capable of living in the savanna and prefers lowlands with water supplies.

The insectivore which spends its spare time breaking open termite mounds and extracting proteinous goodness thanks to a sticky tongue, is capable of measuring 16 inches in length. Such a feat of strength however is often beyond young giant pangolins and they must traipse after their mother tucking in once she’s exposed the hidden arthropods by shattering their mound.

Males of the species are capable of growing to 4.6 feet and weighing up to 72 lbs. Wildlife experts aren’t too sure just how many of these scaly mammals are left in the wild. However, they are certain that poaching and an interest in their scales has resulted in them becoming rather vulnerable.

The Flag of Ghana

The Flag of Ghana Vector

The flag of Ghana features a three-striped style of red, gold, and green. A black star rests in the center. Red represents the blood of those who died during Ghana’s struggle for independence, gold represents Ghana’s mineral wealth, and green symbolizes the forestry of Ghana. The black star represents the Lodestar of African Freedom.


Ghana’s flag is comprised of red, gold, and green, with a black star situated in the center. Red symbolizes those who lost their lives as the country struggled to gain independence from British rule. The gold color symbolizes the mineral which once gave the nation its name, of which there is an abundance, as well as bauxite and diamond.

The flag’s green stripe represents Ghana’s verdant forests and fertile land which provides abundant crops and the timber and shea butter it is renowned for. Finally, the black star, also known as the Lodestar of African Freedom, represents Ghanaians’ ownership and control over their land. The flag itself was designed by artist and academic Theodosia Okoh and made official at the moment of the nation’s independence from Britain, on March 6, 1957.

Ghanaian Animals


Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!

African Civet

Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!

African Fish Eagle

African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles

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!

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!

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


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 Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!


Long and heavy spiralled horns!

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!


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.


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.


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!


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

Giant African Land Snail

The biggest snail species on land!

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 Beetle

Goliath beetles are the largest beetles in the world, and they can carry objects several times their weight. 


There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Green Mamba

Green mambas are fast, and can travel up to 7 miles per hour.

Grey Heron

Male grey herons are picky about their mates. They'll reject a female that they don't fancy.

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!


Unlike other animals that move towards the water source, hartebeests move to more arid locations after rainfall.

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!


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!

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!


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.


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


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


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!


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


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!


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 Cricket

They make music with their wings

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!

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!

Ghanaian Animals List

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Animals Live in Ghana?

Many different types of poisonous and non-poisonous animals live in Ghana. The country has dense forests and open savannahs. You may be able to see African elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, caracals, wildcats and bushbucks.

What is the Most Common Animal in Ghana?

The most common animals in Ghana are usually found on farms. Domestic cattle breeds include Ghana shorthorn, N’Dama, Sokoto gudali and sanga. If you visit Ghana farms, you are may also see domestic dwarf and long-legged goats being raised along with guinea fowl. The government is active in producing better genetics in domestic Ashanti black pigs, and you may also see large White and landrace pigs.

Are There Elephants in Ghana?

Yes, there are elephants in Ghana. While they live in many different places, the best place to see elephants in Ghana is at Mole National Park. The best time to see the Mole National Park elephants is between mid-December and mid-April, when the elephants stay close to the Mole Lodge because of their need for water.

How Many Animals Are in Ghana?

There are thousands of animals in Ghana. All different types of animals live in the country. Some live in national parks while others live on farms.