Below you can find a complete list of Zimbabwean animals. We currently track 254 animals in Zimbabwe and are adding more every day!
The list of animals in Zimbabwe is extensive, including carnivorous creatures like the African Wild Dog, lion, and Wildebeest, and herbivores like the elephant and giraffe. Zimbabwe is host to over 350 species of mammals, over 500 bird species, and 131 species of fish.
The Official National Animal of Zimbabwe
The Sable Antelope is the national animal of Zimbabwe. Antelopes are among some of the most populous species in Zimbabwe.
This species enjoys great popularity with photographers, but the horns that make them stand out have also made them a target for trophy hunters. Some estimates place the number of Sable Antelope in the wild as low as 1,000, with becoming extinct a distinct possibility with conservation efforts.
Zimbabwe is one of 40 countries to have one national animal, with other countries including Angola, Botswana, and Morocco.
Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Zimbabwe
There is a diverse range of wildlife found throughout Zimbabwe. Here are some of the places where you can see the most famous wild animals in Zimbabwe:
- Elephant – The elephant is easy to find in the savanna areas, most commonly near rivers.
- Antelope – Antelopes live in the open savanna areas of Zimbabwe.
- Cheetah – The cheetah is most common in open grassland areas, with prey availability playing one of the biggest roles in their overall distribution.
- Giraffe – Giraffes feed in areas with access to trees that have been largely left untouched by species living closer to the ground.
- Impala – The Impala is one of the most popular species found in Zimbabwe’s grassland areas, famous for its high leaps.
- Lion – Lions lived in grassland areas where they can easily follow herds of prey animals.
The Most Dangerous Animals In Zimbabwe Today
While there are many non-threatening species to enjoy in Zimbabwe today, there are also several dangerous species present in this country. Zimbabwe’s most dangerous species include:
- Buffalo – Buffalo in Zimbabwe has no natural predators, largely owing to their size and aggressive temperament. These animals can also reach maximum speeds of 35 miles per hour, allowing them to outrun predators easily.
- Crocodiles – Crocodiles are apex predators very skilled at hunting in their aquatic environment, making them a threat to boaters. These reptiles can also hunt effectively on land, especially after dark.
- Elephants – Because of their large size and dangerous tusks, elephants can easily trample or gore people when feeling threatened. Males, called bulls, may she more aggression during mating season.
- Hippos – The hippopotamus is one of the most hazardous species because of how aggressively males defend their territory. These animals have tusks in their mouths measuring half a meter long that they will use against intruders
- Lions – Lions have lost much of their natural habitat to human intervention, including popular hunting areas. A decrease in natural hunting areas increases the odds of encounters between humans and lions, often with deadly consequences.
Endangered Animals In Zimbabwe
Unfortunately, some of the species in Zimbabwe that are of the most interest to people are endangered. Habitat loss, climate change, and trophy hunting are common threats to animals in Zimbabwe. Some of this nation’s most notable endangered species include:
Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!
The aardwolf has five toes on its front paws
The African bullfrog is one of only three species of frog that have “teeth.”
Can drink up to 50 gallons a day
African clawed frogs were used as pregnancy testers from the 1930s to the early 1960s.
African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles
The males raise the young
Also known as the painted dog!
The agama forms small social groups that contain both dominant and subordinate males.
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
Can travel more than four miles a day!
People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.
There are over 1768 known species!
Found everywhere around the world!
Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.
Detects prey using echolocation!
Bat-eared foxes can run up to 35 MPH!
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!
The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast
Black mambas are the longest venomous snake in Africa, and second longest in the world.
They typically prey on insects!
The blind snake is often mistaken for a worm.
Females glue egg cases to furniture
Can live its entire life indoors
"They look like you owe them money."
The most common species of bee!
In a series of leaps, this creature can cover almost 30 feet of distance in just a few seconds.
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 ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!
First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!
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!
The fastest land mammal in the world!
First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!
Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans
There are more than 2 000 known species!
Dated to be around 300 million years old!
Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.
The most common raptor in the UK!
The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood
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 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.
Dik-diks use a tar-like liquid from their eye glands to mark their territory!
First domesticated in South-East Asia!
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!
The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight
Has exceptional eyesight!
They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs
There are nearly 2,000 different species!
It is completely arboreal, and its green color is one of the adaptations that make life in the trees possible.
Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!
A duck species that resembles a goose when flying
Both females and males have horns.
The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts
Spends around 22 hours a day eating!
Found exclusively on the African continent!
The fastest creatures on the planet!
False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders
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
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"
There are around 7,000 different species!
Among the largest bats in the world
Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world
They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source
Gaboon vipers are the largest vipers in Africa.
Named for the Arabic word for love poems
There are thought to be over 2,000 species!
Originally known as the Desert Rat!
The most common type of urban roach
Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!
Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!
Males form large mating swarms at dusk
Most closely related to the Sheep!
The golden mole is so named because of its iridescent coat, which gives it a shining, rainbow-like effect.
Migrates between Europe and Asia!
There are 11,000 known species!
Green mambas are fast, and can travel up to 7 miles per hour.
Found in a vairety of African habitats!
One of the most invasive species in the world
Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!
Can reach speeds of over 50 mph!
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!
One of earth's bravest creatures!
There are only 8 recognized species!
Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!
Males tend to be more brightly colored than females, and females are significantly bigger than males.
Has evolved over 50 million years!
Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.
Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!
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!
Able to jump over 10 feet high
There are an estimated 30 million species!
The jacana has the ability to swim underwater
Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!
Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies
Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!
Klipspringers can jump as high as 10-12ft!
It's easily identified by its crest, large size, and wingspan
Lives in herds of up to 24 individuals!
There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!
Lappet-faced vultures are tidy and wash their heads in a body of water after they’ve eaten
Spends much of the time high in the trees!
The most widely distributed tortoise in Africa!
The lesser jacana is nomadic, often moving in search of temporary wetland habitats.
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.
Mopane worms (larva) only live for 3 - 4 days after evolving into an adult (madora), during which they mate and lay eggss
Will only live in wet areas
They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!
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!
Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!
Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!
Has characteristics of two or more breeds!
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!
Mozambique Spitting Cobra is one of Africa's most dangerous snakes.
The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!
Nguni cattle are the most profitable breed for beef farmers.
Named more than 1,000 years ago!
Unlike other reptiles, the male Nile crocodile will stay with a female to guard their nest of eggs.
There are more than 5,000 species.
They have a high-pitched alarm call that sounds like a barking dog.
Olive baboons will sometimes form strong friendships with each other
Their nickname is "Orange Bitey Thing"!
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
Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell
Can live for up to 100 years!
Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!
They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.
The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.
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!
Is the most populous bird in the world
It's horns are made from keratin!
Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!
There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!
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!
Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.
Savannah monitors are one of the most popular lizards in captivity.
There are around 2,000 known species!
The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner
Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!
Senepol cattle have a distinctive red color and no horns.
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!
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
Has up to 45 eggs per egg case
There are nearly 1,000 different species!
There are around 4,000 known species worldwide
The snouted cobra, also known as the banded snouted cobra, is one of the most venomous snakes in all of Africa.
There are 140 different species!
They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.
Spitting cobras are types of cobras that can spit venom at predators and prey.
Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!
There are more than 3,000 different species!
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.
Populations have been affected by pollution!
Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.
Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!
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
The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world
Can live until they are more than 150 years old!
Found in warmer jungles and forests!
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.
Twig snakes are among the few rear-fanged colubrids whose bite is highly venomous and potentially fatal.
Rarely found more than 450m from trees!
A slender body and elongated snout give the vine snake a regal look.
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!
Has been domesticated for thousands of years!
There are two different types of white ferrets!
The second largest animal on the land!
Can trek more than 1,000 miles every year!
Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.
This animal can roll up into a ball
There are 200 different species!
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!
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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 Zimbabwe FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe has a broad range of species ranging from carnivores like lions to herbivores like antelopes. In addition to land-dwelling mammals, the country also has a diverse collection of birds, reptiles, and fish.
Are there tigers in Zimbabwe?
Tigers are not native to Zimbabwe or found in the wild. Ligers, a cross between a lion and a tiger, are found in captivity.
What animals do Zimbabweans eat?
Domestic livestock like cattle and goats are popular for everyday meals. Exotic species served in restaurants include gazelle, antelope, crocodile, and warthog.
Does Zimbabwe have lions?
Zimbabwe has a lion population potentially facing going extinct. The national parks are excellent places to see these and other popular mammals.
How many animals are in Zimbabwe?
The number of animals in Zimbabwe numbers in the millions, with some species more at risk of going extinct than others. Wildlife numbers range from over 80,000 for elephants to as few as 500 for lions.
Zimbabwe has a vast range of native animal species. This country allows abundant options to enjoy these wildlife species.