This sneaky critter is considered Africa’s deadliest snake, being responsible for almost 32,000 human fatalities in a year. Because of its wide population distribution, powerful venom, and extremely puzzling colour patterns, the puff adder is said to kill more people than any other snake in Africa (but is largely outranked by Australia’s deadly reptile collection).
Puff adders can grow up to 1 metre in length, and are solidly built with a thick girth. Their colour patten differs depending on their location and habitat, which extend throughout the entire African continent (except for lush rainforests and deserts). The puff adder boasts big fangs, with venom powerful enough to kill a grown man with a single bite. They depend on camouflage for protection and, if approached, will simply lie still – which eventually leads to people stepping on them and getting bitten.
Though miniscule compared to the other deadly animals to appear on this list, the mosquito is one of Africa’s most dangerous creatures – responsible for the fatalities of approximately one million people annually. As if that weren’t enough, they also transfer diseases to around more than 70 million people yearly.
The reason why the mosquito is so dangerous is because it carries the virus that causes Malaria, one of the deadliest diseases in the world. Malaria is only spread by the female Anopheles mosquitos, which are most active during dawn and dusk. However, the good news is that you can easily prepare for the virus with vaccinations, and you can ward off mosquitos entirely with simple lotions and sprays. There is also a Malaria vaccine on the horizon, hoped to be released in 2015, which is said to be able to reduce deaths from this disease by up to 75%.
Luckily we can assure you that a safari in Africa is possible without the threat of malaria. You can enjoy camping in the wilderness in South Africa or Namibia while not having to stress about vaccines or deadly mosquitos.
These majestic animals are a pleasure to watch from afar, as they peacefully surface calm waters. However, in reality they might not be as ‘gentle’ as they seem. Hippos are said to be responsible for the deaths of around 3,000 people per year in Africa. Many of them actively protect and defend their territories along the banks of rivers and lakes.
Female hippos can also act out with extreme aggression if they sense a threat coming between them and their babies, who stay back in the water whilst she feeds on shore. The attributes that make hippos so dangerous are their running speeds of 32 kilometres/hour and their 50 centimetre canines within their massive jaws. And if that doesn’t show how powerful enough they are, their closest living relative is the whale, so be sure to keep a safe distance at all times!
Though these king cats don’t typically attack humans, there are instances where they have. Mozambican refugees frequently crossing Kruger National Park in South Africa at night are often attacked and eaten by lions, who are said to be responsible for the deaths of at least ten people a year (in the Kruger alone).
Known in Africa as one of the Big Five, the African Buffalo is widely considered a very dangerous animal, killing approximately 200 people each year. These giant creatures can weigh up to 1.5 tons, and can grow up to 1.7 metres in height, and 2.7 metres in length. When threatened, use their razor sharp horns on their heads to attack. Buffalos have been reported to kill more people than they do animals, though the claim is also made of hippos and crocodiles. They usually travel in intimidating mobs, but are one of the few animals in Africa that, if alone and injured, will actively stalk and kill humans. Buffalos are still widely pursued by trophy hunters in various parts of the continent.
It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll come into contact with an elephant outside of a protected game reserve whilst travelling through Africa, but it’s worth noting that these magnificent beasts have impressive power and lethal strength. They can reach weights of up to around 7,000 kg’s, giving them fatal skull-crushing, stomping, and trampling abilities.
Whilst both black and white rhinos continue to fight for their survival, their numbers are plummeting at astonishing rates due to poaching
The black mamba is one of the deadliest snakes in Africa, and are the most feared in East, Central and Southern Africa. They are the biggest venomous snakes in the entire continent, with adults reaching approximately 2.5 metres in length, and can reach speeds of up to 20 km/per hour.
Sharks are known as the biggest predatory fishes in the world, but have no natural instinct to attack humans (as Hollywood might have made people believe). In fact, if they do attack a human it’s usually only a bite to ‘test’, but that bite is typically very serious.