Tanzania Wildlife and Animals

Tanzania is iconic Africa. Where the snowclad summit of Mount Kilimanjaro surveys the plains of the Serengeti, wildlife abounds in staggering numbers. This is the site of one of the world’s most remarkable natural spectacles: the annual Great Migration when nearly two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle traverse the savanna in pursuit of water and new grass. Predators like lion and cheetah stalk in their wake. Farther south, in Tarangire National Park, vast herds of elephant outnumber people. With some of the continent’s greatest concentrations of wild animals, Tanzania is duly famed as a top safari destination.


Tanzania’s fauna is notable both for sheer numbers and variety, with representatives of 430 species and subspecies among the country’s more than four million wild animals. These include zebras, elephants, wildebeests, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes, antelopes, dik-diks, gazelles, elands and kudus. Tanzania is also known for its predators, with Serengeti National Park one of the best places for spotting lions, cheetahs and leopards. There are also populations of hyenas and wild dogs and, in Gombe Stream and Mahale Mountains National Parks, bands of chimpanzees. In addition, Tanzania has over 60, 000 insect species, about 25 types of reptiles or amphibians, 100 species of snakes and numerous fish species.

Complementing this are over 1000 species of birds, including various types of kingfisher, hornbills (around Amani in the eastern Usambaras), bee-eaters (along the Rufiji and Wami Rivers), fish eagles (Lake Victoria) and flamingos (Lakes Manyara and Natron, among other places). There are also many birds that are unique to Tanzania, including the Udzungwa forest partridge, the Pemba green pigeon, the Usambara weaver and the Usambara eagle owl.