Most Endangered African Safari Animals


African wildlife faces numerous threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and illegal trafficking. This has led to the endangerment of various species, such as the African black rhinoceros and pangolin. While conservation efforts have made positive strides, challenges persist. This article provides an alphabetical list of 11 most endangered African safari animals, encompassing mammals, birds, amphibians, and rodents. Many of these species are gradually recovering, and some safari visitors can contribute by volunteering at conservancies.

Ethiopian Wolf

Most Endangered African Safari Animals

The Ethiopian wolf, also known as Simien fox or jackal, is one of the rarest and most endangered wolf species globally. With less than 500 remaining in the wild, they face threats from canine diseases and habitat loss. Found in the Bale Mountain region of Ethiopia, conservation efforts are ongoing, but their numbers continue to decline.


Most Endangered African Safari Animals

The Addax, on the brink of extinction, is one of the most threatened species globally. Primarily located in the Sahara Desert, the majority of the Addax population in Chad originated from Abu Dhabi. Although there were two new births reported in Chad in 2021, the overall numbers remain low, and the population continues to decline.

Grevy’s Zebra

The Grevy’s zebra, also known as the Imperial Zebra, holds the title of the most endangered zebra species. Taller than other subspecies, with distinctive features like large ears and narrower stripes, their population dramatically declined from around 15,000 before the 1970s. Conservation efforts aim to reverse this trend, with less than 100 Grevy’s zebras in Ethiopia and the remaining 2,400 in Kenya.

African Penguin

Most Endangered African Safari Animals

African penguins, the sole penguin species in Africa, face threats from oil pollution and fishing nets. Inhabiting islands between Namibia and South Africa, they are also known as Cape penguins or South African penguins. Conservation measures are crucial for their survival, as they navigate the challenges posed by human activities.

African Lion

African lions, represented by Panthera Leo Leo and Panthera Leo Melanochaita subspecies, have seen a drastic decline in their population over the past six decades. Extinct in 25 African countries, they are now scattered across 28 countries, with only six locations having more than 1000 lions. Despite conservation efforts, their vulnerable status persists, emphasizing the need for continued protection.

African Wild Dog

Most Endangered African Safari Animals

Known by various names like painted dogs and African hunting dogs, these social creatures face challenges due to habitat fragmentation. Despite conservation efforts, the wild dog population continues to decline, with scattered populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Regions like southern Africa maintain healthier wild dog packs, while other areas struggle with fragmented populations.

Hooded Vulture

The critically endangered hooded vulture, a sub-Saharan African bird, has suffered an 85% population loss in the past 50 years. Mainly found in Gambia, with smaller populations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and other sub-Saharan African countries, the hooded vulture’s scruffy appearance and distinctive voice make it an important focus for conservation efforts.

Black Rhino

Most Endangered African Safari Animals

Black rhinos faced severe threats in the 20th century, leading to a population drop to 2,500. Conservation efforts have seen positive changes, with the black rhino population in Africa increasing to 3,142 according to the IUCN red list 2020 survey. However, ongoing protection is crucial to counter the persistent threat of poaching, driven by the belief in the medicinal properties of rhino horns.


Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are mammals clad in scales. Poaching remains a primary cause of their decline, making them one of the most trafficked wildlife species. Africa hosts four pangolin subspecies, each facing different levels of vulnerability. Conservation efforts focus on protecting these unique creatures from extinction.


Most Endangered African Safari Animals

Cheetahs, dangerously close to extinction, face threats from poaching for their skin and body parts. Cheetah cubs are also traded as pets to the Middle East. The Big Cats Census predicts a further 53% decline in their numbers over the next 15 years. Once roaming African and Asian continents, cheetahs are now confined to six African countries, emphasizing the urgent need for conservation measures.


Most Endangered African Safari Animals

African great apes, including the common chimpanzee, face an 80% population decrease in the next 3-4 decades. Endangered and found only in the forests of Equatorial Africa (except for Gambia, Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso), chimpanzees are crucial for biodiversity. Conservation efforts are essential to ensure the survival of these intelligent and social primates.


The plight of endangered African safari animals reflects the broader challenges facing wildlife conservation. While some species are making progress in their recovery, ongoing threats like poaching and habitat loss necessitate sustained efforts. Visitors to African safaris have an opportunity to contribute by supporting conservation initiatives and volunteering at conservancies, aiding in the protection and preservation of these remarkable creatures for future generations.