Animals in Tanzania

Below you can find a complete list of Tanzanian animals. We currently track 170 animals in Tanzania and are adding more every day!

Tanzania is a country in eastern Africa. It borders Uganda to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Rwanda to the west. Tanzania’s geography includes savannahs, wetlands, grassland plains, and wooded forests. The climate can vary from hot in the plains to cool and temperate in the mountains. It is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, and Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest lake.

Animals native to Tanzania include cheetahs, lions, wildebeests, gazelles, ostriches, elephants, and giraffes. Tanzania has the highest number of predators in Africa, and these include leopards, jackals, hyenas, and big cats. Reptiles include agama lizards and crocodiles.

Interesting Facts About Wildlife in Tanzania

Tanzania has the largest animal population density of any country in the world. There are more animals per square mile of land in Tanzania than anywhere else.

Tanzania has a huge variety of animals. Its fields, wetlands and forests are home to:

What Is Tanzania’s National Animal?

Tanzania has chosen the graceful, intriguing giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) as its national animal. Standing an average of 20 feet tall, the giraffe is the tallest land mammal on earth. Giraffes are social animals. They travel in groups of 10 to 12 females with their young. The males travel separately.

Although there are many giraffes in Tanzania, the World Wildlife Fund says their population numbers are declining. Habitat loss and poaching have put giraffes in a “vulnerable” status for conservation.

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Tanzania

Almost 40% of the country has been turned into wildlife preserves, conservation areas, and marine conservation areas. Tanzania has 17 national parks that cover more than 16,000 square miles.

What You Can See on Safari in Tanzania

The wildebeest great migration happens in October and November. During the migration, wildebeests travel across the Serengeti in huge herds. This migration includes more than 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles.

A drive safari or game drive is the most popular way to view animals. This allows you to watch them from the comfort and safety of a closed vehicle. You can even take a balloon safari, which takes you across the whole park.

Some of the best places to see Tanzanian wildlife on safari are Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Tarangire National Park, and Mkomazi National Park.

In the wetlands areas, your safari adventure will include sightings of flamingoes, ducks, hippos, waterbucks, common warthogscrocodiles, and sitatatungas or marshbucks.

Zanzibar Island is part of Tanzania, and the island has its own unique ecology. The coral reefs and mangrove forests are home to whales, dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, colobus monkeys, dik-diks, Mozambique cobras, and Pemba flying foxes. Zanzibar has one national park and many protected marine areas.

Endangered Animals in Tanzania

Despite efforts to protect Tanzania’s rich, unique wildlife, some animals are endangered.

  • Aders’ duiker (Cephalophus adersi): This small, beautiful, deer-like animal lives primarily in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar Island. It stands about a foot tall and has a reddish coat with a gray neck and striped ears.
  • Desperate shrew (Crocidura desperate): This endemic mammal lives in Tanzania’s tropical forest areas. It is a small animal with a long, pointed snout and dark-colored fur. There are desperate shrews in Uzungwe National Park.
  • Common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes): As a species, chimpanzees are closer to humans than they are to gorillas or orangutans. They are highly social animals that live in complex societies. Habitat loss, the illegal pet trade, and diseases have caused dramatic drops in chimpanzee populations. They are already extinct in at least four African countries.
  • Eastern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli): This large, dark-colored rhino has a long, curved horn. It can reach 12 feet and weigh 3000 pounds. Illegal poaching for its horns has caused it to become endangered.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Tanzania

Many dangerous animals live in Tanzania.

  • Mosquito: The tiny mosquito spreads malaria, which causes more deaths in Africa than any other disease.
  • Black mamba: This venomous snake can grow up to 14 feet. Its venom is so powerful it can completely incapacitate a grown adult. An untreated bite will cause cardiac collapse and death in about seven hours.
  • African buffalo: They kill more than 200 people a year. Also known as the Cape buffalo, this animal is stronger than an ox and can weigh a ton or more. Cape buffaloes have massive horns and travel in large herds. It takes an entire pack of lions or cheetahs to bring down one cape buffalo.
  • Hippopotamus: After the African elephant, the hippopotamus is the second largest animal on earth. Although they seem fat and lazy, hippos are dangerous. They can weigh over three tons and run more than 30 miles per hour. They are known to attack and kill humans.

See These Animals on Safari

Tanzania has many animals, and its parks and game preserves have made it one of the world’s premier places to see exotic wildlife. Animals extinct in other African countries thrive in the parks and game reserves here. Photographic safaris are a wonderful way to see wildebeests, cheetahs, chimpanzees, hippos and other animals.

Tanzanian Animals

Aardvark

Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!

African Bullfrog

The African bullfrog is one of only three species of frog that have “teeth.”

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 Palm Civet

Solitary but gathers in groups!

African Wild Dog

Also known as the painted dog!

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 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

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!

Black Rhinoceros

Horns can grow to 1.5m!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

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 20,000 species!

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!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

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!

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Dik-Dik

A dik-dik is named after a sound it makes when it is frightened

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

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

Eagle

Has exceptional eyesight!

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eel

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

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

Fiddler Crab

The fiddler crab gets its name from the motion the males make with their over-sized claw during the mating ritual.

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

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

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Giraffe

Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

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!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

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.

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!

Impala

Able to jump over 10 feet high

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jackson’s Chameleon

Have jousting battles with their horns.

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Kudu

Lives in herds of up to 24 individuals!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

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!

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.

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!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Naked Mole Rat

Naked mole rats don’t get cancer

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

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Pangolin

Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell

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.

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

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!

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.

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

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.

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

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.

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

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!

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.

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.

Turtles

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

Vervet Monkey

Rarely found more than 450m from trees!

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

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 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!

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!

Tanzanian Animals List

Animals in Tanzania FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What Animals Live in Tanzania?

Tanzania has a huge number and variety of animals. You can find the typical African animals, including cheetahs, giraffes and crocodiles. You will also find a mix of animals on the coastline, on Zanzibar Island and on the mountain ranges.

Here are some facts about the most common animals in Tanzania.

  • Wildebeest: The wildebeest is a type of wild cattle animal with curved horns and a slight hump. Wildebeests are famous for the great migration they perform across the plains of Africa each year. This migration attracts many tourists who want to see this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • Lions: Tanzania has a healthy population of lions. You can often see lions in wildlife parks. Lion families congregate near river banks in the dry season. Tanzania also has cheetahs and leopards, but it is rare to see them.
  • Elephants: Like the wildebeests, elephants migrate in huge herds twice a year. Elephant populations are healthy in Tanzania. The best place to see them is Tarangire National Park.
  • Zebras: These beautifully striped members of the horse family are common in Tanzania, where they are roaming freely across the grasslands.
  • Thomson’s gazelle: Named for the Scottish explorer Joseph Thomson, these dainty, lovely gazelles are members of the antelope family. Although they are a popular hunting trophy, there are still a lot of Thomson’s gazelles in Tanzania and other African countries.

Are There Tigers in Tanzania?

There are no tigers in Tanzania or any African country. Tigers live in Southeast Asia, parts of South China, and Siberia. Africa has other big cats, including lions and leopards, but it does not have tigers.