Animals in South Sudan

Updated: January 19, 2023
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Below you can find a complete list of South Sudanese animals. We currently track 243 animals in South Sudan and are adding more every day!

South Sudan is a landlocked country situated near the heart of the African continent, along the borders with Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Following years of civil conflicts, the country gained its independence from Sudan in 2011.

There are many interesting facts to explore about the country’s rich wildlife, starting with its climate and geography. South Sudan is a land of vast plains and plateaus, which are fed by the Nile River and its various tributaries. The center of the country is covered in a vast wetland called the Sudd. This unique area is recognized as a wetland of international importance.

The Official National (State) Animal of South Sudan

The African fish eagle is the official national animal of South Sudan. Representing strength and fortitude, the image of an eagle holding a spear and a spade adorn the nation’s coat of arms. One of the more interesting facts is that this species survives on a diet of fish, water birds, and even baby crocodiles.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in South Sudan

South Sudan has set aside six national parks, representing some 15% of the entire country, where much of the spectacular wildlife can be seen.

  • The Bandingilo National Park, located in the Equatoria region near the capital of Juba, is home to the world’s second-largest annual migratory route of antelopes, including the reedbuck, tiang, and white-eared kob. Visitors might also catch a glimpse of Sudan cheetahs, caracals, East African lions, and Nubian giraffes.
  • The Boma National Park, which encompasses nearly 9,000 square miles of grasslands and floodplains near the eastern border, is a refuge for antelopes, buffalo, giraffes, cheetah, leopards, elephants, eagles, and vultures.
  • The Lantoto National Park covers nearly 300 square miles of forests and glades near the southern city of Yambio. Elephants, buffalos, antelopes, baboons, and ostriches are all found here.
  • The Nimule National Park, located near the southern border with Uganda, features hills and low-lying areas near the Nile River. A large number of elephants roam through the park.
  • The Shambe National Park, located on the west bank of the White Nile, covers 240 square miles in the remote central part of the country. Shambe is a very rich source of large wildlife, including hippos, rhinos, ostriches, giraffes, lions, and monkeys. It’s also a popular bird-watching destination along migratory routes.
  • The Southern National Park is a vast mixture of rainforests, gallery forests, woodlands, and grasslands. Crocodiles, lions, giraffes, buffalo, and antelopes roam the park, while freshwater fish like catfish and lungfish abound in the nearby rivers.

The Most Dangerous Animals in South Sudan Today

South Sudan is a land of immense biodiversity, but it’s also home to many dangerous snakes and large predators that pose a danger to human life. Visitors should watch out for the following species.

  • Black Mamba – Native to the savannas, woodlands, and rocky slopes of sub-Saharan Africa, the black mamba is one of the most feared snakes in the entire continent because of its large size, aggressive behavior, and toxic venom. Without proper treatment, there is a very high chance of death within the first seven to 15 hours after injection.
  • Puff Adder – The dangerous puff adder is responsible for more deaths than any other snake in Africa. Because of their tendency to remain still and blend in with the environment, people often make the mistake of stepping on them. If left untreated, tissue damage can spread from the injection site and kill a person swiftly.
  • Hippopotamus – Large and aggressive, the hippo is responsible for a surprising number of deaths each year when people accidentally stumble upon their territory in the wild.
  • Nile Crocodile – With its powerful jaws and formidable size, the Nile crocodile is responsible for more deaths than almost any other animal in Africa.

Endangered Animals in South Sudan

South Sudan, much like the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, is a unique biodiversity hotspot unlike anything else on the planet. Few other places have such a sheer concentration of large and unique animals. But even before its independence, much of the country’s wildlife was imperiled by the combined effects of civil conflict, habitat loss, and rampant and illegal poaching. Government control is almost non-existence in some areas of the country, placing the following species at risk.

  • African Elephants – The African bush elephant (and possibly even the African forest elephant) is a mainstay of South Sudanese biodiversity, but it has been pushed into endangered status from habitat loss and poaching. The ivory is particularly valued on the international black market. It’s estimated that no more than a few thousand bush elephants remain in the country and around 400,000 in the entire world.
  • African Wild Dog – This is the largest species of wild canine in all of Africa, but it’s currently threatened by population fragmentation, human persecution, and disease outbreaks.
  • Black Rhinoceros – South Sudan is one of the last refuges of the Eastern black rhinoceros subspecies. It is in danger of becoming extinct from habitat loss and illegal poaching.
  • Northern White Rhinoceros – This subspecies of the white rhino may already be extinct in the wild.
  • Grevy’s Zebra – Named after a former president of France, which at the time controlled Ethiopia, this is the largest and also the most endangered of the three species of zebra. Its status in South Sudan is currently unknown, and it may be locally extinct already.
  • Nubian Giraffe – This subspecies of the giraffe only has a few thousand individuals remaining. It is distinguished from the other subspecies by the facts of its larger chestnut-colored spots, surrounded by white color.

The Flag of South Sudan

South Sudan’s flag consists of black, red, and green horizontal stripes. It also holds thin white stripes and a blue triangle on the left side of the flag, with a yellow star in the center of the triangle. The black, red, and green horizontal stripes are separated by the white stripes.

South Sudanese Animals

Aardvark

Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!

Abyssinian

One of the oldest cat breeds in the world!

African Bush Elephant

Can drink up to 50 gallons a day

African Civet

Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!

African Clawed Frog

A particularly ferocious amphibian!

African Fish Eagle

African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles

African Jacana

The males raise the young

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

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 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.

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!

Bat-Eared Fox

Bat-eared foxes can run up to 35 MPH!

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 Mamba

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

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

Buffalo

Has no real natural predators!

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.

Cormorant

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

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 billion 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!

Crocodylomorph

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

Crow

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.

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 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.

Eland

Both females and males have horns.

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

Fire Ball Python

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

Firefly

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

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Fox

Only 12 species are considered "true foxes"

Freeway Ball Python

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

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

Fulvous Whistling Duck

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

Gaboon Viper

Gaboon vipers are the largest vipers in Africa.

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

Giraffe

Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glowworm

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!

Guinea Fowl

Found in a vairety of African habitats!

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 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.

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!

Killer Clown Ball Python

Killer clown ball pythons can cost several thousand dollars.

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Klipspringer

Klipspringers can jump as high as 10-12ft!

Kudu

Lives in herds of up to 24 individuals!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lappet-faced Vulture

Lappet-faced vultures are tidy and wash their heads in a body of water after they’ve eaten

Lavender Albino Ball Python

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

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!

Lesser Jacana

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

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Lion

Lives in small groups called prides!

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!

Marabou Stork

The marabou stork does not have a voice box.

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!

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.

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

Oribi

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.

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

Panda Pied Ball Python

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

Pangolin

Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell

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!

Patas Monkey

The fastest species of primate in the world!

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.

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.

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 300 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Red-Billed Quelea Bird

Is the most populous bird in the world

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.

Savannah Monitor

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

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!

Shoebill Stork

Adults greet each other by clattering their bills together.

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 4,000 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!

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.

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.

Sunset Ball Python

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

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!

Tsetse Fly

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

Turaco

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

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!

White Rhinoceros

The second largest animal on the land!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

Yellow Belly Ball Python

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

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!

South Sudanese 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.

Animals in South Sudan FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in South Sudan?

South Sudan is particularly rich in many mammalian species, including rodents, bats, warthogs, large cats, canines, primates, antelopes, and other hoofed animals. Common birds include pelicans, plovers, weavers, shrikes, eagles, cranes, ostriches, and partridges. Lizards, snakes, mosquitoes, and flies are also abundant.

What is the national animal of South Sudan?

The African fish eagle is the national animal of South Sudan.

Are there lions in South Sudan?

Yes, South Sudan is home to the East African lion subspecies.

How many animals are there in South Sudan?

It is not currently known how many species of animals are present in South Sudan.