10 Iconic Animals That Live Only In Africa

African Elephant

It is Earth's largest land mammal, standing up to 24 feet tall and weighing in at an astonishing 6 tonnes! Native to vast areas across central and southern Africa, this majestic elephant has two distinct subspecies, the Bush Elephant and the Forest Elephant.


The kudu is a threatened species of antelope that populate portions of eastern and southern Africa, divided into two subspecies. The Greater and Lesser Kudu are both beautifully striped animals with long horns, with the Greater standing up to five feet tall and the lesser reaching a maximum of four feet.

Black And White Rhinoceros

The White and Black Rhinoceros reside across eastern and southern Africa, but these truly stunning beasts continue to fight for their survival. Today as the result of years of illegal hunting and poaching, a rather small population of only 27,000 wild rhinos remains, rendering them an endangered species.


Ostriches are one of the planet's most fascinating birds and are record holders in several categories. They are the largest and heaviest of any bird species, the fastest moving birds (though they do not fly), and they lay the largest eggs.


From an ancient Greek word meaning "horse of the river", Hippopotamuses can be found across much of sub Saharan Africa, particularly in the central and southern regions. They can be seen in at least 29 of Africa's 54 countries, but their numbers have unfortunately decreased due to poaching and natural habitat loss.


The Zebra is surely amongst the most recognizable animals in the world, inspiring the imaginations of generations across the globe. A member of the horse family, zebras are native to eastern and southern Africa. They have a population of around 750,000 in the wild.

Spotted Hyena

Also known as the "Laughing Hyena," Spotted Hyenas' natural habitat extends all across the sub-Sahara and into eastern and southern Africa. This aggressive scavenger, hunter, and carnivore feasts on whatever it can and has been known to go after animals as large as wildebeests to ones as small as lizards.


The world's tallest animal, the Giraffe, is renowned for its long neck and beautifully spotted coat. Males can stand up to 19 feet tall, while females reach upwards of 15 feet. Even babies are tall, with a newborn calf reaching at least 6 feet tall! Native to a wide range across the African continent, Giraffes can be found in countries as far north as Chad and all the way down South Africa.

African Civet

African civets are found across the sub-Saharan region and weigh only about three to ten pounds. Indeed some Ostrich eggs are bigger than a fully grown adult Civet! With a lifespan of around 12 years in the wild, Civets are sought after by hunters for their pelts and secretions used in manufacturing certain perfumes.


The Hartebeest is a member of the antelope family, noted for its large size, elongated face, and fanciful horns. Weighing up to 440 pounds and standing just over three feet tall, up to eight different subspecies of Hartebeest have been identified and can be found all across central, western, and southern Africa.