10 Forest Animals From Africa

Africa is a continent renowned for its rich and diverse ecosystems, and its lush forests are no exception. These forests are home to a multitude of unique and captivating animals, each adapted to its specific environment. In this exploration, we will introduce you to 15 fascinating forest animals from Africa, showcasing their remarkable adaptations and vital roles in their ecosystems, Here is the list of forest animals from Africa,

Forest Animals From Africa

1. African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis)

African forest elephants are a distinct big eared animals found in the dense rainforests of Central and West Africa. African forest elephants are smaller than the other African elephant species, African savanna elephants. Their ears are more round, and their tusks are straighter and point downward (savanna elephants’ tusks curve outwards).

The size and shape of the skull and skeleton are also different. They play a crucial role in seed dispersal, helping maintain the forest’s diversity. African woodland elephants forage on leaves, grasses, seeds, fruit, and tree bark in family groups of up to 20 members. Because forest elephants eat mostly fruit, they play an important role in propagating many tree species, particularly the seeds of huge trees, which have a high carbon content.

African Elephant

2. Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

The Western Lowland Gorilla has a black coat. Except for the face, the entire body is covered in short, thin, gray-black to brown-black hair. Western lowland gorillas are the most widespread of all gorilla species, inhabiting the forests of Central and West Africa. These gentle giants are known for their social structures and remarkable strength. Adult males weigh between 300 and 500 pounds on average. They can reach a height of 6 feet (1.8 meters). Herbivorous gorillas eat the leaves and stems of herbs, shrubs, and vines. They also consume the fleshy fruits of over a hundred seasonal tree species.

Western Lowland Gorilla

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. Okapi (Okapia johnstoni)

Often referred to as the “forest giraffe” due to its striped legs, the okapi is a unique, elusive mammal. These forest animals can be found in the dense forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s central, northern, and eastern regions. These quietest animals can be found in the Maiko and Ituri forests. Their skin has a dark reddish-brown color with a silky feel. Okapi coats are very oily, which aids them in wicking water in their tropical rainforest surroundings.

These animals with long faces are closely related to the giraffe and serves as a flagship species for conservation efforts. Okapis are solitary creatures that get together to breed. Mating rituals have only been seen in captive situations due to their secretive nature. Okapis’ reproductive cycle has only been observed in captivity, but researchers believe their behavior is comparable in their natural habitat.


4. Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives and inhabit the forests of Central and West Africa. Chimpanzees live in equatorial Africa’s tropical forests and savannas, from Senegal in the west to Lake Albert and northwestern Tanzania in the east. Except for the face, hands, and feet, which are black, the skin is normally white. Younger animals’ faces may be reddish or white. Chimpanzees are extremely intelligent and can solve a wide range of issues brought to them by human trainers and experimenters. It is also one of the popular animals that eat bamboo.


5. African Forest Buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus)

The African forest buffalo is a smaller, more elusive relative of the African buffalo. African forest buffalo reside in Western and Central African rainforests, but their home ranges are often a mix of marshes, grassland savannas, and moist African rainforests. These grassland animals play a vital role in maintaining forest clearings. African forest buffalo live in herds of 3 to 30 individuals, unlike other African buffalo where a herd may have thousands of individuals. The dwarf buffalo diet consists primarily of grass and other vegetation found in savannas.

African Forest Buffalo

Image Source: Gregoire

6. African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata)

The African golden cat is a small, elusive feline native to the African rainforests. The African golden cat is unique to the African tropical forest and can be found across equatorial Africa, from Senegal to the Congo Basin and all the way to Uganda. Its striking appearance and secretive nature make it a rarely seen and mysterious creature. It preyed on rodents(such as squirrels), birds, hyraxes, bats, and primates. The caracal and the serval are the closest relatives of the African golden cat.

African Golden Cat

Image Source: Panthera

7. Red River Hog (Potamochoerus porcus)

The red river hog is a distinctive forest-dwelling pig known for its striking reddish fur and facial markings. It is a wild member of the pig family that primarily inhabits the dense forests and swamps of Central and West Africa. Red river hogs are mostly nocturnal and spend the majority of their time looking for food. They snuffle around in the soil looking for food with their big muzzle. Red river hogs are omnivorous, primarily eating on roots and tubers. Fruit, grasses, herbs, eggs, dead animal and plant parts, insects, and lizards supplement their diet.

Red River Hog

Image Source: Wikimedia

8. African Forest Hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris)

The African forest hedgehog is a small, spiky mammal found in the forests of West and Central Africa. The spines of hedgehogs are the most distinguishing feature which they are born with. An average adult carries roughly 5,000 of these needle-sharp points, each about an inch long. The skin begins to shrink immediately after birth, forcing the spines to emerge. These nocturnal creatures are known for their solitary behavior. They feed on nvertebrates like earthworms, beetles, earwigs, slugs, millipedes, and caterpillars. They also steal eggs and young from bird nests and will scavenge the remains of any dead animal.


9. African Civet (Civettictis civetta)

The African civet is a nocturnal mammal inhabiting the forests and savannahs of Africa. Known for its distinct spotted coat and ability to produce a musky secretion, it plays a role in seed dispersal through its diet. African civets eat a variety of foods. They mostly consume wild food, rodents, insects (including grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and termites), carrion, eggs, reptiles, and birds. African civets can consume foods that are dangerous or unpleasant to most animals, such as millipedes, extremely decomposed carrion, and Strychnos fruit. These animals are most known for the musk they emit to mark their territory (called civetone), which has been utilized in the production of perfume for centuries.

African Civet

Image Source: Wild in Africa

10. African Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca)

The African forest cobra is a highly venomous snake found in the dense forests of Central and West Africa. An average adult can reach lengths of up to 2.7 meters. Amphibians, fish, other snakes, monitors and other lizards, bird eggs, rodents, and other small mammals are also common prey for forest cobras. The forest cobra is a diurnal, agile species that climbs well and is one of the most aquatic cobras. In the summer, females will lay between 11 and 26 smooth white eggs. It is known for its striking appearance and potent neurotoxic venom.

African Forest Cobra

Image Source: Peter

These are the list of forest animals of Africa. Kindly share and do post your comments.

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