When you think of Africa and its wildlife, the most dangerous in your mind would be the biggest game stomping through the continent, but sometimes it's the smallest creature that can be the fiercest. Here's our top 10 list of the most dangerous animals in Africa:
The Cape Buffalo sits prestigiously as one of the famous Big 5 but this animal is said to have killed more big game hunters than any other. Buffalo are estimated to kill around 200 people every year, they charge and gore and an injured buffalo is exceptionally dangerous. Cape Buffalo move in large intimidating herds and the weigh over 700 kilograms. The Cape Buffalo is pure raw strength and even the mighty king of the Jungle, the Lion wouldn't dare take a chunk out of these beast alone.
Great White Sharks are vicious looking creatures but encounters with them are rare. While some of thrill seekers will brave the cage when shark cage diving to get eye to eye with these agile beasts, most will be happy not to be anywhere near them. However, Shark Spotters work hard to keep people safe when swimming.
The African rhino, both the black and white, are endangered species and stand on the brink of extinction but these giants are nowhere near gentle. Well known for their bad temperament, they are short-sighted and extremely protective of their young. They will charge at full force and use their horns to kill anything they feel is a threat. They also secure a place on the Big 5 list.
The mighty king is a dangerous beast and one of the big five. Sick male lions are responsible for hundreds of human deaths that occur each year. When a Lion has had a taste of human flesh, they have to either be moved somewhere where there are no humans present or sadly put down.
The Puff Adder is considered to be Africa's deadliest snake because it is responsible for the most human fatalities. Their average length is approximately one metre and they have quite a wide girth. With large fangs, their venom is poisonous enough to kill a grown man with only one bite. They rely heavily on their camouflage and remain still when approached, it's because of this that many people get bitten when they accidently step on them. However, many fatalities occur because bites are not treated properly.
The Nile crocodile makes every major river and many lakes throughout the continent its home. They are responsible for killing hundreds of people each year in Africa. Most of the fatalities happen when people are washing clothes or collecting food near the river banks or lake shores. Fishermen are always prone to attacks as they slide their boats in and out of the water. Nile Crocodiles attack their prey by dragging them under water and drowning them, some of them do what is known as the "death roll", they roll their bodies with their prey in grip to weaken them.
Another snake makes it onto our list. It is one of Africa's most feared snakes in East, Central and Southern Africa. It is aggressive when it's cornered and isn't hesitant to strike. Its name is misleading as it is brown/olive skinned but their mouths have a black hue which they show when they are threatened. It's the largest venomous snake in Africa and can reach an average length of 2.5 metres. It can also strike up to 12 times.
The biggest land mammal in the world and one of the Big 5. The chances of you encountering an African elephant outside of a protected wildlife reserve are slim. African elephants, especially older bulls and young males can be incredibly aggressive even if they aren't provoked. Most deaths happen when their prey is trampled. In places where poaching is rife, the elephants in turn are more aggressive.
Male hippos are known to actively defend their territories which run along the banks of rivers and lakes and females are aggressive if they sense anyone coming near their babies. With their enormous jaws, which have up to 20 inch canines, they can run at speeds of over 20 miles an hour.
Some would argue that this is the most dangerous creature in Africa and it is ironically the smallest. It spreads malaria, dengue and other diseases and kills over a million Africans every year! Malaria is only spread by the female Anopheles Mosquito and they are most active around dawn and dusk.