Below you can find a complete list of Kenyan animals. We currently track 170 animals in Kenya and are adding more every day!
Like many countries in Africa, Kenya is abundant in all sorts of wildlife, from mammals to birds to fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. When people imagine the iconic wildlife of Africa such as lions, hippos, elephants, buffalo, zebras, and giraffes, they are thinking of the animals found in Kenya.
The country is found in east Africa and has a border on the Indian Ocean, so some of its wildlife consists of marine animals. It is bordered on the southwest by Tanzania, on the west by Uganda, on the north by at least part of South Sudan and Ethiopia, and the east by Somalia. One of the many reasons to visit Kenya is to see its amazing and unique wildlife up close while on safari. Read on for more facts about Kenyan wildlife.
The Official National Animal of Kenya
The national animal of Kenya is the East African lion, Panthera leo melanochaita, who has a tremendous, cinematic roar and a lush mane. Some facts about this lion: it is one of the Big Five that trophy hunters used to bag. Largely because of this and habitat fragmentation, the East African lion is considered vulnerable.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Kenya
Places to find Kenya’s top wild creatures include its many national parks and wildlife reserves. National parks include
- Nairobi National Park
- Meru National Park
- Sibiloi National Park
- Amboseli National Park
- Tsavo National Park
- Hell’s Gate National Park
- Chyulu Hills National Park
- Aberdare National Park
Reserves include the famous Maasai Mara, Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Shaba National Reserve, Shimba Hills National Reserve, and Lewa Downs, which is actually a conservancy where visitors can see the black rhino, an animal so endangered that it is on the verge of going extinct in some places. Lewa Downs is also the home of Grévy’s zebra, which is considered endangered. The Kenyan Wildlife Service manages these parks and reserves.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Kenya Today
Some of the most dangerous animals in Kenya include the Big Five. They are the lion, the leopard, the elephant, the rhinoceros, and the buffalo. These beasts were considered the most dangerous to take down during hunting safaris. Now they are among the most popular during sightseeing safaris, but they’re still formidable. Here are some facts about them:
- Hippopotamus — Many people mistakenly believe this aggressive and territorial semi-aquatic animal would be easy to evade when it gets angry, but it’s not. Between 500 and an astonishing 3000 people are killed every year by hippopotami. Being in the water is no protection, for the animal is fond of capsizing boats and attacking people who fall into the water.
- Nile crocodile — This animal kills between 175 and 469 people every year. Since humans are on the menu for this huge reptile, it’s safe to assume that some of them are eaten.
- African buffalo — The African buffalo is responsible for about 200 human deaths every year, either through goring or trampling.
- Mosquitoes — The lowly mosquito is a vector for several dread diseases, with malaria being pre-eminent among them. About a million people die of the disease every year.
Endangered Animals In Kenya
Like everywhere else, Kenya has its share of endangered creatures. Some are in such trouble that without the strong conservation efforts provided by the Kenyan Wildlife Service they would probably be extinct. They include:
- Black rhino. This majestic and unique animal is critically endangered, and the western black rhino was classified as extinct in 2011.
- Cheetah. The cheetah is considered vulnerable.
- Black fronted francolin. This is a type of quail. It is considered endangered.
- Gray-crowned crane: This bird, with its unique crown of golden feathers, is endangered.
- Pancake tortoise. The pancake tortoise, named for its flat shell, is critically endangered.
Kenyan Animals List
- African Bullfrog
- African Bush Elephant
- African Civet
- African Clawed Frog
- African Palm Civet
- African Wild Dog
- American Cockroach
- Banana Spider
- Barn Owl
- Barn Swallow
- Black Rhinoceros
- Black Widow Spider
- Bush Baby
- Carpenter Ant
- Common Buzzard
- Common House Spider
- Crab Spider
- Desert Locust
- Dung Beetle
- Elephant Shrew
- False Widow Spider
- Fiddler Crab
- Fruit Bat
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Guinea Fowl
- Honey Badger
- Honey Bee
- Huntsman Spider
- Jackson’s Chameleon
- Leopard Tortoise
- Marabou Stork
- Monitor Lizard
- Naked Mole Rat
- Nile Crocodile
- No See Ums
- Orb Weaver
- Peregrine Falcon
- River Turtle
- Skink Lizard
- Spider Wasp
- Stick Insect
- Striped Hyena
- Tiger Beetle
- Tree Frog
- Tsetse Fly
- Water Buffalo
- White Rhinoceros
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Kenya FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals are found in Kenya?
Among the many, many creatures found in Kenya are the lion, the leopard, and the cheetah, the black and white rhinoceros, giraffes, antelopes that range in size from the huge eland to the tiny duiker, elephants, and Cape buffalo. Others include hippopotamus, warthogs, spotted hyenas and wild dogs. Birds include flamingos, cranes, lemon doves, grebes, bustards, and turacos. Reptiles include chameleons, grass lizards, blind snakes, skinks, agamas, and geckos. There are also black and green mambas, turtles, and tortoises, some of which are endangered. There are tree frogs and grass frogs and clawed frogs.
Insects besides mosquitos include spiders, including the two-tailed spider, stone flies, earwigs, dragonflies and termites, crickets, katydids and praying mantises. Butterflies and moths include skippers, commodores, brush-footed butterflies and blues.
Kenya also has a wealth of freshwater fish. These include the Nile perch, tilapia, tiger fish, the Ripon barbel, the ningu, the common carp, and the African catfish. They are found in bodies of water such as River Nzoia, River Kuja, the Tana River, Lake Kenyatta, Lake Jipe, and Lake Turkana, the largest lake that’s entirely inside Kenya.
There is also abundant marine life in the Indian Ocean off Kenya. They include sharks, whales, dolphins, rays, turtles, corals, and marine mollusks such as clams and oysters.
How many animals are left in Kenya?
Because Kenya is dedicated to conserving its unique wildlife, there are many species of animals that are still left in Kenya. At last count, there were 25,000 species of animals, which translates into millions of individuals.
What is the Kenyan national animal?
The male East African lion is the Kenyan national animal.
What animals can you see on safari in Kenya?
Animals that can be seen on safari in Kenya include The Big Five, which means prides of lions, herds of elephants and Cape buffalo, solitary leopards, and rhinoceros. Other animals include hippopotamus, wildebeest, zebras, antelope such as eland and impala, warthogs, wild dogs, and hyenas. These animals can be seen in Amboseli Park, Meru National Park, Samburu National Reserve, Maasai Mara, Kora National Park, and others.