Which Animals Kills the Most Humans in Africa?

Africa is one of the most fascinating continents on the planet. It has some of the most spectacular landscapes and some of the most ferocious animals. The continent is also known for the dangers it poses both to its inhabitants and to visitors. If you’re about to travel to Africa, you need to know which animals are the most dangerous to humans.

Mosquitoes kill the most humans each year in Africa. They can carry and spread all kinds of viruses.

Table of Contents

1. Mosquitoes


Mosquitoes kill the most humans in Africa. While the number of cases we know is frightening, hundreds of thousands of cases might even go unreported. The continent is known as a breeding ground for various mosquitoes that are responsible for carrying all types of viruses. Even before Coronavirus, Africa struggled with a range of fatal viruses mostly spread by mosquitoes.

Malaria, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, or the Zika virus are just a few of the problematic viruses that are spread by mosquitoes. Some of their effects can be mitigated by taking a vaccine before traveling to Africa. If you plan a trip to the continent, you should check the recommended vaccines for each country as it may take a while for you to get an appointment at your local hospital for the medical antibody.

2. Hippopotamus

Hippos can weigh more than 1 ton when they reach adult life. Their large size and their aggressive behavior make them some of the most ferocious animals in Africa (and the world). These animals are known to be troublesome and are largely defensive of their territories.

If a hippo feels threatened by your presence, it will attack. Male hippos tend to be the most territorial, and a few thousand Africans die by hippo attacks each year.

3. African elephant

African elephant

While elephants are some of the most dangerous animals in Africa, they only attack under the right conditions. Most of the time, elephants aren’t looking to attack humans. However, these animals, which can weigh more than 7 tons, are often reported to have killed people.

What statistics don’t tell us is how these deaths occur. It turns out many of the deaths are caused by poachers who enter the breeding ground of elephants. Poachers don’t stop when elephants signal that they feel threatened, and the animals are often left with no choice but to charge and trample the humans, killing them on the spot.

4. Nile crocodile

Nile crocodile

The Nile crocodile is one of Africa’s biggest predators. They can sit still for hours waiting for prey to come to them. Their attacks and swift and sudden, often only lasting a few seconds.

Most of the crocodile’s human victims are people around the Nile that use the large river for fishing or transportation. Nile crocodiles rarely attack boats as they normally wait for a clear opportunity to attack a human or animal.

5. Lions


Lions are considered the most powerful animal in Africa by the ratio of strength to speed. Most lions don’t see humans as the perfect target as they prefer other animals, but they kill humans in certain conditions.

It is believed between 200 and 300 people are killed by lions in Africa every year. Most of these deaths are not on safaris as you might first believe. Most of the deaths are attributed to local victims living their normal lives. When lions make their way into a village or when humans enter a pride’s territory, these animals attack.

6. Black Mamba

Black Mamba

The Black Mamba is the most dangerous snake in Africa. It is viewed as a constant threat and one that few people can truly defend against. Chances are that it’s already too late to run when you see a Black Mamba as this snake is very fast as well. It can outrun you and will even jump for that dangerous bite.

It’s not the bite itself that’s so dangerous, but the venom from the snake. It has been estimated that the venom from a single Black Mamba can easily kill a small group of people. If you are bitten by the snake, you need to rush to the hospital. Without the proper antivenom, the snake’s bite is fatal to all humans.

You have a window of just a few hours to take action after the bite. Of course, it’s always best to avoid the snake’s bit altogether if possible.

7. Cape buffalo

Cape buffalo

This type of African buffalo does not kid around when it comes to humans. Aggressive by nature, the buffalo is also very powerful. An adult Cape buffalo can weigh more than 1 ton they rarely travel alone. Human victims are often cornered by a herd of buffalos rather than attacked by one single animal.

With their long powerful horns, they gore their victims ferociously. It’s best to give these creatures a lot of space, especially the calves, as adults will attack to protect their young.