The 15 Most Dangerous Forests in the World

Most Dangerous Forests
© Animals

Written by Patrick MacFarland

Published: November 25, 2023

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The fog rolls in slowly. Bright, beady eyes appear. The trees start closing in on you. You hear a scream. And just like that, you wake up from the nightmare that had you sweating. More often, your nightmares tend to be about you stuck in dark places like a forest. Animals lurking about, trees that can swallow you whole — these forests are dangerous. That nightmare you had could be because you were reading a mystery or horror novel right before bed, perhaps.

Of course, your nightmares and novels are not real. But like many writers do, they take things from real life and create their worlds. Let’s explore the 15 most dangerous forests in the world (and what lurks within each). These forests are wild and crazy, and there is a big chance writers took note of these forests to provide them with a chilling story.

Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world.


The Amazon Rainforest is the lungs of the Earth. If it weren’t for the Amazon, it’s more than likely that humans would cease to exist. As such, it is home to an abundance of wildlife including the black caiman, the poison dart frog, the jaguar, the piranha, and the anaconda. Various diseases can be transmitted by mosquitoes lurking in its midst, like the Zika virus, malaria, and dengue fever. Much of the Amazon is remote, which means that if you go unsupervised, you can face dangers like heavy rainfall, flooding, and predatory animals. What’s worse, if you get in trouble, medical assistance can take a while to get to you.

Aokigahara Forest

Aokigahara suicide forest in japan

This forest in Japan is also known as “Suicide Forest” or “Sea of Trees.”

©TOSHIHARU ARAKAWA/iStock via Getty Images

Located northwest of Mount Fuji, this forest has been the site of many suicides over the years. In 2003, police found 105 bodies in that year alone. The forest has been attributed to suicides and during the 19th century, some think senicide took place there. People believe the forest is haunted by those ghosts that were left to die. The forest is dense, which can make it hard to find a way out if you are not careful. Some creatures that live there include the Asian black bear, deer, foxes, wild boars, and even Eurasian jays. It is a popular spot to hike and explore, but taking the right precautions is smart.

Dering Woods

A horse in a field just outside Pluckley near Ashford in Kent

The Dering Woods is considered the most haunted forest in England.

©asmithers/iStock via Getty Images

The Dering Woods, also called the Screaming Woods, isn’t as dangerous as others on this list. But it is located next to a so-called haunted town called Pluckley. It has also been the site of some weird, supernatural happenings. People have stated they have seen ghosts of a mysterious, decapitated man lurking about in the forest. On Halloween 1948, it is said that locals heard screams and saw lights emanating from the forest. The next morning, more than 20 bodies were found piled up in the Dering Woods. Nevertheless, if it is true or not, it’s best to practice caution when walking about the forest, as you can easily get lost.

Congo Rainforest

The Congo Rainforest is located in the Republic of the Congo, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

©Kiki Dohmeier/

When going to the Congo and its surrounding areas, vaccinate yourself because you are at risk of getting the Ebola virus or malaria in the Congo Rainforest. As you explore the forest, you can encounter animals like gorillas, hippos, elephants, and predatory leopards. Besides that, the rainforest is largely a remote area that if you are not careful, you can get trapped somewhere isolated. Use caution when exploring the dense African rainforest.

Darien Gap

Wild Colombian Darien jungle

The Darien Gap has been dubbed as the “World’s Most Dangerous Jungle.”

©Rafal Cichawa/iStock via Getty Images

Located in Panama and Colombia, the Darien Gap is a dense jungle that is home to some of the most dangerous creatures on the planet. It’s a remote area that is uninhabited. The terrain of the Darien Gap is unimaginable — dense forests, swamps, harsh mountains. There are no roads and if you try going in with a vehicle, it’s more than likely you will have to abandon it and cross the Darien Gap by foot, like many explorers before you. The animals that make the Darien Gap home include snakes, jaguars, scarlet macaws, and spider monkeys.

Hoia Baciu Forest

Hoia Baciu Forest. The World Most Haunted Forest

The Hoia Forest has an alternative nickname: “The Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania.”

©vio0orel/iStock via Getty Images

Located in Romania, a host of paranormal activities have been sighted in the Hoia Baciu Forest. Those who have been inside experience uncomfortable body disturbances like nausea, vomiting, and exhaustion. The trees in the forest have weird shapes and the locals that live nearby have complained about strange noises coming from the Hoia Baciu Forest. There’s even been an apparent UFO sighting!

Sambisa Forest

There are 62 species of birds in the Sambisa Forest, like the guinea fowl.

©Merrillie Redden/

Located in northeast Nigeria in Borno State, the Sambisa Forest is dense. It’s so dense that more than dangerous animals are hiding amid the thick vegetation. The Boko Haram terrorist group uses the forest as a hiding ground. They usually attack, kill, or use horrible tactics to convert anyone they cross paths with to Islam. The Nigerian government (and others, for that matter) explicitly forbids tourism there, although they have been contemplating changing the rules.

Black Forest

Scenic mountain landscape. View on Black Forest in Germany, covered in fog

Some of the many things inside the Black Forest include ruined military fortresses.

©Britus/iStock via Getty Images

If you ever go to the surrounding areas of the Black Forest in southwestern Germany, you’re in for a treat because you will think you are inside a Disney story with its charming cottages and picturesque villages. There are hiking trails you can take, which are quite mapped out, too. Be aware that the Black Forest is incredibly dense and can be quite dark once inside. Animals that live inside the forest include wild boars and deer.

Tsingy Forest

Tsingy sunset

The Tsingy Forest is known as “the forest of knives.”

©dennisvdw/iStock via Getty Images

Located in Northwest Madagascar within the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nation Reserve and the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, the forest is covered with limestone caverns and formations that are more than 200 million years old. They are what make the Tsingy Forest quite dangerous to visitors because the limestone carvings can easily slice a person in half. There are guided tours possible, but make sure you take precautions and watch your step.

Gadchiroli Forest

Bengal tiger standing in grass

Thought to be almost extinct in the forest, there are now about two dozen tigers living there.

©Thorsten Spoerlein/iStock via Getty Images

Located in the Maharashtra region of India, the forest is filled with an abundance of wildlife and many species of plants and trees like tigers, bears, leopards, and deer. But there are also the Maoists or Nazalites that make the forest home. They are a rebel group that has hidden inside the first and is involved in conflict with the Indian army.

Daintree Rainforest

The Daintree Jindalba Boardwalk in Australia

Located in Queensland, the Daintree Rainforest is one of the oldest rainforests in the world.


You know what people say about Australia, it’s a wild world out there. There’s huge biodiversity in the country, and so of course, one of the most dangerous forests is located here. Animals that live there include snakes and crocodiles. There are also stinging plants within the forest that can cause irritation or pain.

Borneo Rainforest

Borneo is the richest rainforest in the world in terms of biodiversity.

©Fabio Lamanna/

There’s a reason why the first season of the hit reality series Survivor was filmed in the tropical island of Borneo. It’s wild, scary, and extremely dangerous. There are 15,000 species of plants, 380 bird species, and creatures like the Bornean orangutans, Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, deadly scorpions, and poisonous snakes.

Freetown-Fall River State Forest

Emu in Australia

In 2006, according to police reports, an emu was seen roaming around the forest.


The forest has been attributed to many incidents and criminal activity throughout the years. Police have found gruesomely mutilated bodies, abandoned dogs, and even hazardous waste material. There are increasing sights of satanic cults and there have also been people reporting UFO sightings.

Jog Falls Forest

Jog Falls during Monsoon

The falls are sacred to the locals living in Jog Falls, India.

©Manjunath Undi/iStock via Getty Images

India has some of the most dangerous places on Earth, including several jungles. This one is Jog Falls Forest located in Karnataka. It’s a popular place for tourists to visit because hikers wind through thick forests and dark caves to get to the falls. Much of the forest is still uninhabited and remote. Animals that live here include lion-tailed macaques, elephants, and giant flying squirrels.

Taman Negara

River in Jungle rainforest Taman Negara national park, Malaysia

Taman Negara, at 130 million years old, is one of the oldest deciduous rainforests in the world.

©daboost/iStock via Getty Images

Located in Malaysia, close to Borneo, Taman Negara is a national park that is home to some of the deadliest creatures on the planet. Some animals living here include the Malayan tiger, the Asian elephant, the Mindoro dwarf buffalo, and poisonous snakes, too. Visitors can tour around with guides, but it is a wild, tropical rainforest, so exercise caution.

Summary Table of the 15 Most Dangerous Forests in the World

Amazon RainforestSouth America
Aokigahara ForestJapan
Dering WoodsEngland
Congo RainforestCongo
Darien GapPanama/Colombia
Hoia ForestRomania
Sambisa ForestNigeria
Black ForestGermany
Tsingy ForestMadagascar
Gadchiroli ForestIndia
Daintree RainforestAustralia
Borneo RainforestMalaysia and Indonesia
Freetown-Fall River State ForestUnited States
Jog Falls ForestIndia
Taman NegaraMalaysia

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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