Endemic Animals of South Africa








Black Wildebeest
Black Wildebeest
Black wildebeest are characterized by their white, long, horse-like tail. They also have a dark brown to black coat and long, dark-colored hair between their forelegs and under their belly. Calves are born with shaggy, fawn-colored fur. Males are darker than females. Black wildebeest have bushy and dark-tipped manes that stick up from the back of the neck. Both sexes have strong horns that curve forward, resembling hooks. The horns have a broad ...
base in mature males and are flattened to form a protective shield. In females, the horns are both shorter and narrower. Black wildebeest have scent glands that secrete a glutinous substance in front of the eyes, under the hair tufts, and on the forefeet.
Discover more
Black Wildebeest
Bontebok
Bontebok
Bontebok are one of the rarest antelopes found in South Africa. These elegant antelopes are chocolate brown in color, with a white underside. They have a white stripe running from their forehead to the tip of their nose and a distinctive white or light brown/tan patch around their tail. The horns of bontebok are lyre-shaped and clearly ringed. They are found in both sexes and can reach a length of half a meter.
Discover more
Bontebok
Armadillo Girdled Lizard
Armadillo Girdled Lizard
The Armadillo girdled lizard is a unique heavily-armored reptile native to South Africa. It has a stocky, flattened body that can be light brown to dark brown in coloration. The underbelly is yellow with a blackish pattern, especially under the chin.
Discover more
Armadillo Girdled Lizard
Speckled Tortoise
Speckled Tortoise
The Speckled tortoise is the world's smallest species of tortoise native to South Africa. It has a flattened shell with slightly serrated edges. The shell is orange-brown in color and is covered in hundreds of black spots. The males have a noticeably concave belly. This tiny tortoise can be distinguished from the other tortoises in its genus by its speckles, and by five toes on its forefeet ( many of its relatives have four toes on all four ...
feet).
Discover more
Speckled Tortoise
Giant Girdled Lizard
Giant Girdled Lizard
The Giant girdled lizard is a large lizard from South Africa. Its back is brown in color with different shades and the abdomen is yellowish to brown. Its throat and mouth are yellow. The skin of this lizard is hygroscopic and is able to absorb moisture. The tail is quite strong and covered with strong scales.
Discover more
Giant Girdled Lizard
Blesbok
Blesbok
The blesbok or blesbuck is an antelope endemic to South Africa and Eswatini. It has a distinctive white face and forehead which inspired the name, because bles is the Afrikaans word for a blaze such as one might see on the forehead of a horse.
Discover more
Blesbok
Riverine rabbit
Riverine rabbit
The riverine rabbit, also known as the bushman rabbit or bushman hare, is a rabbit with an extremely limited distribution area, found only in the central and southern regions of the Karoo Desert of South Africa's Northern Cape Province. It is the only member of the genus Bunolagus because of unique traits that separate it from the other leporids. It is one of the most endangered mammals in the world, with only around 500 living adults, and 1500 ...
overall. They have a diet which consists of mostly plants and vegetation, but their usual food sources are being diminished, causing a scarcity for their population. This food loss is also connected to other problems such as with forming burrows. A unique aspect of its biology is that females can only produce one offspring per year. This contributes to how it is classified as critically endangered, which is the most severe classification available. Other unique traits include being nocturnal, and producing two different types of droppings. Currently, there are conservation plans being enacted to help with its decreasing population and habitat.
Discover more
Riverine rabbit
Cape mountain zebra
Cape mountain zebra
The Cape mountain zebra is a subspecies of mountain zebra that occurs in certain mountainous regions of the Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. It is the smallest of all existing zebra species and also the most geographically restricted. Although once nearly driven to extinction, the population has now been increased by several conservation methods, and is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
Discover more
Cape mountain zebra
Orange-breasted sunbird
Orange-breasted sunbird
The orange-breasted sunbird is a species of small, predominantly nectar-feeding bird that is endemic to the fynbos shrubland biome of southwestern South Africa. It is the only member of the genus Anthobaphes, in the family Nectariniidae, though it is sometimes placed in the genus Nectarinia. The birds are sexually dimorphic, with females being olive green while the males are orange to yellow on the underside with bright green, blue and purple on ...
the head and neck.
Discover more
Orange-breasted sunbird
Cape grysbok
Cape grysbok
The Cape or southern grysbok is a small antelope that is endemic to the Western Cape region of South Africa between Albany and the Cederberg mountains.
Discover more
Cape grysbok
Cape parrot
Cape parrot
The Cape parrot or Levaillant's parrot is a large, temperate forest dwelling parrot of the genus Poicephalus endemic to South Africa. It was formerly grouped as a subspecies along with the savanna-dwelling brown-necked parrot and grey-headed parrot, but is now considered a distinct species.
Discover more
Cape parrot
Cape dwarf chameleon
Cape dwarf chameleon
The Cape dwarf chameleon is a chameleon native to the South African province of the Western Cape, where it is restricted to the region around Cape Town. As with most chameleons, its tongue is twice the length of its body and it can be shot out of its mouth using a special muscle in the jaw. This gives the chameleon the ability to catch insects some distance away.
Discover more
Cape dwarf chameleon
Cape sugarbird
Cape sugarbird
The Cape sugarbird is one of the eight bird species endemic to the Fynbos biome of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa.
Discover more
Cape sugarbird
Geometric tortoise
Geometric tortoise
The geometric tortoise is a critically endangered species of tortoise and one of three members of the genus Psammobates. It is found in a very small section in the South-Western Cape of South Africa.
Discover more
Geometric tortoise
Cape siskin
Cape siskin
The Cape siskin is a small passerine bird in the finch family. It is an endemic resident breeder in the southern Cape Province of South Africa. This locally common but shy and unobtrusive siskin is found in the southwestern and southern Cape's rocky slopes, coastal cliffs and fynbos-covered mountains. It also occurs in towns and the suburbs of Cape Town.
Discover more
Cape siskin
Knysna woodpecker
Knysna woodpecker
The Knysna woodpecker is a species of bird in the family Picidae. It is endemic to South Africa, where its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, moist savanna, and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss. It belongs to a species complex that includes the golden-tailed and Mombasa woodpeckers.
Discover more
Knysna woodpecker
Protea canary
Protea canary
The protea canary, also known as the protea seedeater, white-winged seedeater or Layard's seedeater, is a small passerine bird in the finch family.
Discover more
Protea canary
Bush blackcap
Bush blackcap
The bush blackcap is a species of bird in the family Sylviidae. It is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests and subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Discover more
Bush blackcap
Red lark
Red lark
The red lark, also known as the ferruginous lark or ferruginous sand-lark, is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. It is found in western South Africa and possibly Namibia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland and subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Discover more
Red lark
Victorin's warbler
Victorin's warbler
Victorin's warbler or Victorin's scrub warbler, is a species of African warbler, formerly placed in the family Sylviidae. It was recently split from the genus Bradypterus and now belongs to a monotypic genus Cryptillas.
Discover more
Victorin's warbler
Botha's lark
Botha's lark
Botha's lark is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. It is endemic to South Africa. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland and pastureland. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Discover more
Botha's lark
Agulhas long-billed lark
Agulhas long-billed lark
The Agulhas long-billed lark, also known as the Agulhas lark or Agulhas longbill is a small passerine bird. It is an endemic resident breeder in the Western Cape, South Africa. Its restricted range is centred on the Agulhas arable farmlands, from east of the Hottentots-Holland mountain range to Mossel Bay, and occupies a maximum of 15,000 km2 .
Discover more
Agulhas long-billed lark
Scopus xenopus
Scopus xenopus
Scopus xenopus is an extinct species of hamerkop that lived during the Pliocene of South Africa. It was first described by Storrs L. Olson in 1984. Compared to S. umbretta, the modern hamerkop, S. xenopus was larger and had a foot structure more adapted to swimming.
Discover more
Scopus xenopus
Cape bulbul
Cape bulbul
The Cape bulbul is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is an endemic resident breeder in coastal bush, open forest, gardens and fynbos in western and southern South Africa. This species nests mainly in the southern spring from September to November. The nest is thick walled cup concealed by foliage in a small tree or shrub.
Discover more
Cape bulbul
Forest buzzard
Forest buzzard
The forest buzzard, is a species of bird of prey found in Africa, though some authorities have placed it as a subspecies of another species, the mountain buzzard, Buto oreophilus. This is a resident breeding species in woodlands in southern and eastern South Africa.
Discover more
Forest buzzard
Cape rockjumper
Cape rockjumper
The Cape Rockjumper or rufous rockjumper is a medium-sized insectivorous passerine bird endemic to the mountain Fynbos of southernmost South Africa.
Discover more
Cape rockjumper
Chorister robin-chat
Chorister robin-chat
The chorister robin-chat is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is found in South Africa and Swaziland. Its distribution stretches from the southern Western Cape through the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland and Mpumalanga to northern Limpopo.
Discover more
Chorister robin-chat
Forest canary
Forest canary
The forest canary is a species of finch in the family Fringillidae. It is found in South Africa and Swaziland. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.
Discover more
Forest canary
Rudd's lark
Rudd's lark
Rudd's lark is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. It is endemic to South Africa. Its natural habitat is high-altitude grassland. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Discover more
Rudd's lark
Blue-mantled crested flycatcher
Blue-mantled crested flycatcher
The blue-mantled crested flycatcher or African crested flycatcher is a species of bird in the family Monarchidae found in eastern and south-eastern Africa. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
Discover more
Blue-mantled crested flycatcher
Knysna warbler
Knysna warbler
The Knysna warbler or Knysna scrub warbler is a very shy and cryptic warbler, endemic to the coastal regions of South Africa. Its population is small and probably declining, due to natural and artificial fragmentation of its habitat, and limited dispersal and reproductive ability.
Discover more
Knysna warbler
Karoo lark
Karoo lark
The Karoo lark should not be confused with the similarly named Karoo long-billed lark. The Karoo lark or red-backed lark is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. It is endemic to South Africa where its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.
Discover more
Karoo lark
Southern tchagra
Southern tchagra
The southern tchagra is a passerine bird found in dense scrub and coastal bush in southern and south-eastern South Africa and Swaziland. This species is a bushshrike, a group closely related to the true shrikes in the family Laniidae, and formerly included in that family.
Discover more
Southern tchagra
Drakensberg prinia
Drakensberg prinia
The Drakensberg prinia or saffron-breasted prinia is a small passerine bird. It lives in eastern South Africa and Swaziland. It lives in the Drakensberg's forest edges, wooded gullies and bracken covered slopes. The Drakensberg prinia was formerly considered to be a subspecies P. m. hypoxantha of the Karoo prinia, P. maculosa.
Discover more
Drakensberg prinia
Western leopard toad
Western leopard toad
The western leopard toad is a species of toad in the family Bufonidae. The species is endemic to the low-lying areas of the Cape Peninsula, the Cape Flats and the Agulhas flats of the Western Cape, South Africa.
Discover more
Western leopard toad
Arum frog
Arum frog
The arum frog, Horstock's arum-frog, arum lily frog, or Horstock's reed frog is a species of frog in the family Hyperoliidae. It is endemic to South Africa.
Discover more
Arum frog
Natal forest tree frog
Natal forest tree frog
The Natal forest tree frog is a species of frog in the family Arthroleptidae, subfamily Leptopelinae, and is endemic to the eastern coastal area of South Africa. A typical tree frog, it has large eyes and a broad mouth. Its colouration is highly variable: Some may be bright green, others cream coloured, and some may be cream with olive-green blotches.
Discover more
Natal forest tree frog
Rose's ghost frog
Rose's ghost frog
The Rose's ghost frog or Table Mountain ghost frog is a species of frog in the family Heleophrynidae endemic to South Africa. It is a medium-sized species with purple or brown blotches on a pale green background and large discs on its fingers and toes. It has a very restricted range, being only known from the slopes of parts of Table Mountain. The tadpoles live in permanent streams but these are in danger of drying up because of the ...
establishment of pine plantations. Because of its small range and changes in its habitat, this frog is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Discover more
Rose's ghost frog
Pickersgill's reed frog
Pickersgill's reed frog
Pickersgill's reed frog is a species of frog in the family Hyperoliidae. It is endemic to South Africa. It occurs in the coastal lowlands of KwaZulu-Natal between Sezela and St Lucia.
Discover more
Pickersgill's reed frog
Micro frog
Micro frog
The micro frog, or Cape Flats frog, is a species of frog less than 2 cm long in the family Pyxicephalidae, in the monotypic genus Microbatrachella. Its color varies from rufous brown with dark mottling, to tan or green, depending on the population. It is endemic to the south-western Cape area of South Africa, with a single population found on the Cape Flats of Cape Town and several populations on the eastern side of False Bay. It typically lives ...
in wetlands in coastal fynbos habitats, but its total area of occupancy is very small, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated it as being "critically endangered".
Discover more
Micro frog
1 - 40 out of 223 LOAD MORE