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Kruger wildlife

The incredible diversity of habitats and wildlife is ultimately what makes Kruger National Park so special.  Its ecosystems play host to 147 mammal species, 517 bird species (of which 253 are resident), 114 reptile species, 50 fish species and tens of thousands of invertebrate species. 


The Big 5 mammals – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo – are present in good numbers in Kruger.  This term has been co-opted by the tourism industry but originated as a hunting term in the nineteenth century to describe the five mammals that were most dangerous to hunt on foot. 


It’s not all about the Big 5 though and the huge array of predators and herbivores, both big and small, is one of the park’s great attractions.  As a quick reference guide, the following population estimates are made for some of Kruger’s larger animal species.​

Kruger animal population estimates:

  • Lion

  • Leopard

  • Cheetah

  • Wild dog

  • Spotted hyena

  • Crocodile

  • Elephant

  • Buffalo

  • Giraffe

  • Hippo

  • Zebra

  • Wildebeest

  • Kudu

  • Impala















Source: SANParks

Many more of these animals, plus the huge numbers of other species resident in the area, can be found in the neighbouring private concessions and game reserves, highlighting just how huge and important the Greater Kruger wilderness area is for the future of these animals. 


Figures deliberately not quoted here are the populations of white and black rhinos.  These species have come under intense pressure from poaching over the last 5-years and all reference to populations and locations within the park are deliberately avoided throughout this website and in the KrugerExplorer App to avoid even the slightest risk of alerting poachers to these animals' whereabouts.  Further reading on this terrible, man-made disaster can be found in our blog post called The Rhino Murder Crisis.​

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KrugerExplorer Animals

For those wanting to learn about the many animals found in Kruger, the KrugerExplorer App wildlife field guide is unprecedented in its detail and has profiles on over 700 species found in the park.  The profiles include information on physical characteristics and how to identify the species, diet, habitat, behaviours, where in Kruger to find the species, 'Did you know?' facts and 'Kids Corner!' games for little ones.  



Acacia rat

African bush elephant

African civet

African pipistrellus

African pygmy mouse

African wild cat

African yellow bat

Anchieta's bat

Angolan free-tailed bat

Angoni vlei rat

Ansorge's free-tailed bat

Banana bat

Banded mongoose

Black rhinoceros

Black-backed jackal

Blue wildebeest

Botswana long-eared bat


Burchell's zebra

Bush dassie



Bushveld gerbil

Bushveld horseshoe bat

Butterfly bat

Cape clawless otter

Cape hairy bat

Cape porcupine

Cape serotine bat


Chacma Baboon


Chestnut African climbing mouse

Commerson's leaf-nosed bat

Common duiker

Common molerat

Damara woolly bat

Darling's horseshoe bat

Dwarf mongoose

Eastern rock elephant shrew

Egyptian free-tailed bat

Egyptian fruit bat

Egyptian slit-faced bat


Fat mouse

Four-toed elephant shrew

Geoffroy's horseshoe bat


Greater cane rat

Grey African climbing mouse

Hildebrandt's horseshoe bat


Honey badger

House mouse

House rat




Lander's horseshoe bat

Large-spotted genet


Lesser woolly bat

Lichtenstein's hartebeest


Little free-tailed bat

Long-tailed serotine bat

Madagascar large free-tailed bat

Mauritian tomb bat

Melck's house bat

Midas free -tailed bat

Mountain reedbuck

Multimammate mouse

Namaqua rock mouse

Natal long-fingered bat

Natal multimammate mouse



Peak-saddle horseshoe bat

Peters' epauletted fruit bat

Red veld rat


Rock dassie

Rufous mouse-eared bat

Rüppell's bat

Rüppell's horseshoe bat

Rusty bat


Schlieffen's bat

Scrub hare


Sharpe's grysbok

Short-snouted elephant shrew

Side-striped jackal

Single-striped grass mouse

Slender mongoose

Small-spotted genet

Somali serotine bat

South African lesser bushbaby

Southern Africa pouched mouse

Southern Africa spiny mouse

Southern giant pouched rat

Southern reedbuck

Spotted hyaena



Sundevall's leaf-nosed bat

Swinny's horseshoe bat

Thick-tailed bushbaby

Tree squirrel


Vervet monkey

Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bat


Water rat


Welwitsch's hairy bat

White rhinoceros

White-tailed mongoose

Wild dog

Wood's slit-faced bat

Woodland dormouse

Woodland thicket rat


Common ostrich

Helmeted guineafowl

Crested guineafowl

Natal spurfowl

Swainson's spurfowl

Crested francolin

Coqui francolin

Shelley's francolin

Harlequin quail

White-faced whistling duck

Fulvous whistling duck

Spur-winged goose

Knob-billed / comb duck

Egyptian goose

African pygmy goose

African black duck

Yellow-billed duck

Red-billed teal

Southern pochard

Kori bustard

Red-crested korhaan

Black-bellied bustard

Purple-crested turaco

Grey go-away-bird

Burchell's coucal

Senegal coucal

Great spotted cuckoo

Levaillant's cuckoo

Jacobin cuckoo

Thick-billed cuckoo

Diederik cuckoo

Klaas's cuckoo

Black cuckoo

Red-chested cuckoo

African cuckoo

Common cuckoo

Double-banded sandgrouse

Mourning collared dove

Red-eyed dove

Cape turtle dove

Laughing dove

Emerald-spotted wood dove

Tambourine dove

Namaqua dove

African green pigeon

Speckled pigeon

African finfoot

African crake

Black crake

Allen's gallinule

Common moorhen

Lesser moorhen

Red-knobbed coot

Little grebe

Common buttonquail

Water thick-knee

Spotted thick-knee

Black-winged stilt

Pied avocet

Blacksmith lapwing

White-crowned lapwing

Senegal lapwing

Crowned lapwing

African wattled lapwing

Kittlitz's plover

Three-banded plover

White-fronted plover

Greater painted-snipe

African jacana


Curlew sandpiper

Little stint

African snipe

Common sandpiper

Green sandpiper

Marsh sandpiper

Wood sandpiper

Common greenshank

Temminck's courser

Three-banded courser

Bronze-winged courser

Collared pratincole

African skimmer

Grey-headed gull

Whiskered tern

White-winged tern

Reed cormorant

White-breasted cormorant

African darter

Yellow-billed stork

African openbill

Black stork

Abdim's stork

Woolly-necked stork

White stork

Saddle-billed stork

Marabou stork

African spoonbill

Hadada ibis

African sacred ibis

Glossy ibis

Striated heron (green-backed heron)

Squacco heron

Little bittern

Dwarf bittern

White-backed night heron

Black-crowned night heron

Western Cattle Egret

Grey heron

Black-headed heron

Goliath heron

Purple heron

Great egret

Yellow-billed egret

Little egret

Black heron



Western osprey

Black-winged kite

African harrier-hawk

European honey buzzard

African cuckoo-hawk

Hooded vulture

White-backed vulture

Cape vulture

White-headed vulture

Lappet-faced vulture

Black-chested snake eagle

Brown snake eagle


Bat hawk

Crowned eagle

Martial eagle

Long-crested eagle

Lesser spotted eagle

Wahlberg's eagle

Booted eagle

Tawny eagle

Steppe eagle

Verreaux's eagle

African hawk-eagle

Lizard buzzard

Gabar goshawk

Dark chanting goshawk

African goshawk


Little sparrowhawk

Ovambo sparrowhawk

Black sparrowhawk

Pallid harrier

Montagu's harrier

Yellow-billed kite

Black kite

African fish eagle

Common buzzard

Jackal buzzard

Lesser kestrel

Rock kestrel

Dickinson's kestrel

Amur falcon

Eurasian hobby

Lanner falcon

Peregrine falcon

Western barn owl

African scops owl

Southern white-faced owl

Spotted eagle-owl

Verreaux's eagle-owl

Pel's fishing owl

African wood owl

Pearl-spotted owlet

African barred owlet

Marsh owl

European nightjar

Rufous-cheeked nightjar

Fiery-necked nightjar

Freckled nightjar

Square-tailed nightjar

Pennant-winged nightjar

Speckled mousebird

Red-faced mousebird

Narina trogon

African hoopoe

Green wood hoopoe


Southern ground hornbill

Southern red-billed hornbill

Southern yellow-billed hornbill

Crowned hornbill

African grey hornbill

Trumpeter hornbill

Purple roller

Lilac-breasted roller

European roller

Racket-tailed roller

Broad-billed roller

Grey-headed kingfisher

Brown-hooded kingfisher

Striped kingfisher

Woodland kingfisher

African pygmy kingfisher

Malachite kingfisher

Half-collared kingfisher

Giant kingfisher

Pied kingfisher

Little bee-eater

White-fronted bee-eater

European bee-eater

Southern carmine bee-eater

Swallow-tailed bee-eater

Blue-cheeked bee-eater

White-throated bee-eater

Crested barbet

Black-collared barbet

Acacia pied barbet

Yellow-fronted tinkerbird

Yellow-rumped tinkerbird

Greater honeyguide

Lesser honeyguide

Scaly-throated honeyguide

Brown-backed honeybird

Bennett's woodpecker

Golden-tailed woodpecker

Bearded woodpecker

Cardinal woodpecker

Olive woodpecker

Brown-headed parrot

Grey-headed parrot

Meyer's parrot

Chinspot batis

Black-throated wattle-eye

Grey-headed bushshrike

Orange-breasted bushshrike

Gorgeous bushshrike

Brown-crowned tchagra

Black-crowned tchagra

Black-backed puffback

Tropical boubou

Southern boubou


White-crested helmetshrike

Retz's helmetshrike

Black cuckooshrike

White-breasted cuckooshrike

Magpie shrike

Southern white-crowned shrike

Red-backed shrike

Lesser grey shrike

Southern fiscal

Black-headed oriole

African golden oriole

Eurasian golden oriole

Fork-tailed drongo

Square-tailed drongo

African paradise flycatcher

Pied crow

Southern black tit

Grey penduline tit

Eastern nicator

Dusky lark

Chestnut-backed sparrow-lark

Grey-backed sparrow-lark

Sabota lark

Fawn-coloured lark

Rufous-naped lark

Flappet lark

Monotonous lark

Red-capped lark

Dark-capped bulbul

Sombre greenbul

Yellow-bellied greenbul

Terrestrial brownbul

Black saw-wing

Grey-rumped swallow

Brown-throated martin

Sand martin

Banded martin

Barn swallow

White-throated swallow

Wire-tailed swallow

Pearl-breasted swallow

Rock martin

Common house martin

Greater striped swallow

Lesser striped swallow

Red-breasted swallow

Mosque swallow

African palm swift

Alpine swift

Common swift

African black swift

Little swift

Horus swift

White-rumped swift

Mottled spinetail

Bohm's spinetail

Long-billed crombec

Willow warbler

Lesser swamp warbler

African reed warbler

Marsh warbler

Olive-tree warbler

Icterine warbler

Little rush warbler

Garden warbler

Red-faced cisticola

Lazy cisticola

Rattling cisticola

Rufous-winged cisticola

Levaillant's cisticola

Croaking cisticola


Zitting cisticola

Desert cisticola

Tawny-flanked prinia

Yellow-breasted apalis

Bar-throated apalis

Rudd's apalis

Green-backed camaroptera

Grey-backed camaroptera

Stierling's wren-warbler

Yellow-bellied eremomela

Green-capped eremomela

Burnt-necked eremomela

Arrow-marked babbler

Cape white-eye

Northern yellow white-eye

Common myna

Wattled starling

Black-bellied starling

Cape glossy starling

Greater blue-eared starling

Meves's starling

Burchell's starling

Violet-backed starling

Red-winged starling

Yellow-billed oxpecker

Red-billed oxpecker

Groundscraper thrush

Kurrichane thrush

Bearded scrub-robin

White-browed scrub-robin

Brown scrub-robin

Grey tit-flycatcher

Southern black flycatcher

Pale flycatcher

Marico flycatcher

Fiscal flycatcher

Spotted flycatcher

Ashy flycatcher

African dusky flycatcher

White-throated robin-chat

White-browed robin-chat

Red-capped robin-chat

African stonechat

Mocking cliff chat

Arnot's chat

Familiar chat

Collared sunbird

Amethyst sunbird

Scarlet-chested sunbird

Marico sunbird

Purple-banded sunbird

White-bellied sunbird

House sparrow

Southern grey-headed sparrow

Yellow-throated bush sparrow

Red-billed buffalo weaver

White-browed sparrow-weaver

Thick-billed weaver

Spectacled weaver

Eastern golden (Yellow) weaver

Holub's golden weaver

Southern brown-throated weaver

Lesser masked weaver

Southern masked weaver

Village weaver

Red-headed weaver

Red-billed quelea

Southern red bishop

Yellow-crowned bishop

Fan-tailed widowbird

White-winged widowbird

Red-collared widowbird

Green-winged pytilia

Orange-winged pytilia

Red-headed finch

Cut-throat finch

Green twinspot

Pink-throated twinspot

Red-billed firefinch

African firefinch

Jameson's firefinch

Blue waxbill

Violet-eared waxbill

Common waxbill

Orange-breasted waxbill

African quailfinch

Bronze mannikin

Red-backed mannikin

Pin-tailed whydah

Shaft-tailed whydah

Long-tailed paradise whydah

Village indigobird

Purple indigobird

Dusky indigobird


African pied wagtail

Cape wagtail

Yellow-throated longclaw

African pipit

Buffy pipit

Plain-backed pipit

Striped pipit

Bushveld pipt

Yellow-fronted canary

Lemon-breasted canary

Brimstone canary

Streaky-headed seedeater

Cinnamon-breasted bunting

Golden-breasted bunting

Lark-like bunting


White-backed duck

Hottentot teal

Cape teal

Denham's bustard

Black coucal

African emerald cuckoo

Madagascan cuckoo

Rock dove / Feral pigeon

Red-chested flufftail

African rail

Corn crake

Striped crake

African swamphen

Greater flamingo

Lesser flamingo

Grey plover

Common ringed plover

Caspian plover

Lesser jacana

Eurasian (Common) whimbrel

Ruddy turnstone


Caspian tern

Rufous-bellied heron

Slaty egret

Great white pelican

Pink-backed pelican

Palm-nut vulture

Ayres's hawk-eagle

African marsh harrier

Red-footed falcon

Sooty falcon

African grass owl

Red-throated wryneck

Cape batis

Olive bushshrike

Crimson-breasted shrike

South African cliff swallow

Sedge warbler

African (dark-capped)  yellow warbler

River warbler

Fan-tailed grassbird (Broad-tailed warbler)

Common whitethroat

Chestnut-vented tit-babbler (warbler)

Southern hyliota

Rose-coloured starling

Cape robin-chat

White-starred robin

Collared palm thrush

Thrush nightingale

Capped wheatear

Olive sunbird

Cape sparrow

Scaly-feathered weaver (finch)

Yellow bishop

Swee waxbill

Western yellow wagtail

Mountain wagtail

Golden pipit



Southern tree agama

Flap-necked chameleon

Rainbow skink

Striped skink

Variable skink

Common tropical house gecko

Giant plated lizard

Rough-scaled plated lizard

Rock monitor

Nile monitor

Southern African python

African puff adder

Brown house snake

Cape wolf snake

Western yellow-bellied sand snake

Mozambique spitting cobra

Snouted cobra

Black mamba

Common boomslang

Rhombic egg-eater

Twig snake

Spotted bush snake

Leopard tortoise

Speke's hinged tortoise

Serrated hinged terrapin


Armoured ground cricket


Dung beetle

African monarch

Dancing acraea

Guineafowl butterfly

Diadem & mimic

Yellow pansy

Blue pansy

Painted lady

Lang's short-tailed blue

Small orange tip

Brown-veined white

African common white

African migrant

Citrus swallowtail

Giant African millipede

Baboon spiders

Golden ord-web spider

Jumping spiders

Huntsman spiders

Giant African snail




Blue water lily

Fever tree

Impala lily / Sabi star







Red bushwillow

Sausage tree

Shepher's tree

Sycamore fig

Water hyacinth

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