9 Fascinating Swamp Animals In Africa! With Pictures!

Last updated on February 5th, 2022

Africa is an intriguing continent with a myriad of animals in their unique natural habitats. I suppose the natural beauty of the continent is equally breathtaking.

Sometime back, I  got a chance to meet a group of travelers who had just returned from a trip to Arica. So naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to interview them.

They were representatives of an animal conservationist group, and I represented the local newspaper.

My interaction with them increased my knowledge of the swamp animals in Africa and the dangers these creatures face. Some of the swamp animals in Africa are as follows:

Swamp animals in Africa:

  • Sitatunga
  • Elephants
  • Hippos
  • Crocodiles
  • Buffalos
  • Hyenas
  • Frogs
  • African Rock Python
  • Rhinos

1. Sitatunga

sitatunga drinking water at swamp 17102021

The Sitatunga is a unique antelope found in Africa. Its habitat is what makes the creature unique.

You will discover Sitatungas in swampy, marshy areas that are covered in reeds and grass.

The animal loves to hide behind the reeds making the creature challenging to spot. The shape of the Sitatunga is also unique.

The rear legs are much longer than the front legs making it easier for the animal to stay in the marshy regions.

Additionally, the unusual shape of the Sitatunga gives it the advantage of running in and around damp areas. This makes it easier for the animal to escape predators.

2. Elephants

elephant walking in swamp 17102021

In Africa, you will find two types of elephants. Some inhabit the dense rainforests of central Africa and the other species of elephants that roam the grasslands of Sub-Saharan Africa.

But both species of elephants love to take a mud-bath. Mud-baths help the elephants keep their skin moist and free of any bugs and ticks.

This way, you will often see images and videos of elephants lying in swamps or taking a bath.

An elephant may not be a swamp-dweller like a Sitatunga, but it does like to spend a reasonable amount of time in a swamp or a water body.

3. Hippos

hippo in swamp 17102021

Hippopotamuses are found in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. They are amphibious creatures and spend nearly sixteen hours of the day in the water.

These massive animals are seen submerged in water because it is the only way to cool their skin.

Hippopotamuses emerge from the water in the evening to graze on a type of tough perennial grass called hippo grass.

Hippos are social animals, and they live in groups, called schools or pods. Despite appearing to be gentle, hippos are pretty aggressive.

They are known to fight threats to their schools quite violently. 

4. Crocodiles

crocodile in swamp 17102021

The Nile crocodile is an enormous crocodile found in Africa. The habitat of the Nile crocodile extends from Egypt to Central Africa, East Africa down to South Africa.

Crocodiles prefer freshwater swamps and marshlands. Sometimes you might find Nile crocodiles at the mouth of a river where the water is salty.

The Nile crocodile is known to be an excellent hunter. There have been records of adult male Nile crocodiles weighing over 1500 pounds.

Such a crocodile can hunt and kill a wildebeest, which is usually the prey of a lion.

5. Buffalos

buffalos in swamp 17102021

The African buffalo is a massive creature easily distinguished by its vast horns. This animal is also an excellent grazer and can travel many miles in search of suitable grassland.

Although the African buffalo is chiefly found in the savannah region, most animals are submerged in marshy and swampy lands.

The African buffalo prefers a habitat that is covered with thick grass compared to open lands.

Therefore, you will often find these creatures lying half-submerged in the swamps of the Serengeti.

6. Hyenas

hyena in swamp 17102021

The hyenas live in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa and you will mostly find them in savannas, woodlands, grasslands, and the Montane forest.

Contrary to popular belief, hyenas do not live in caves or crevices. Instead, they live in the swamps and under bushes.

During the day, you will find hyenas resting under bushes near the wetlands.

Hyenas are scavengers, and they are primarily nocturnal. But they can also be predators when required. Hyenas hunt in packs, and they prefer to hunt animals that come near the swamps in search of water.

Being swamp dwellers themselves, it makes it easier for them to pursue their prey.

7. Frogs

african clawed frog 17102021

The African clawed frog is one of the few species of frogs that live entirely in swamps or water bodies. You can find these frogs in the ponds and rivers of Sub-Saharan Africa.

These frogs hardly ever leave a water body, except when they need to find a new water body.

The African clawed frog is entirely carnivorous and is dependent on dead and living animal matter for survival.

You can easily distinguish this frog by the three claws in the front limb. It often uses the claws to dig the earth at the swamp’s bottom or the water body in search of worms.

The frog is also known to consume tadpoles and smaller fishes for survival.

However, one of the animals that eat frogs is crocodiles since they both dwell in swampy areas.

8. African Rock Python

african rock python 17102021

The African rock python is a species of constricting snake that is native to the Sub-Saharan region.

The African rock python is an excellent swimmer and can remain submerged in water for several hours.

However, they come out of the water only to hunt and are nocturnal by nature. These snakes need a significant amount of water to survive, and hence, during the dry season, these snakes become dormant.

These snakes are not dangerous as they do not attack unless they sense danger.  But the African rock python has sharp teeth, and when attacked, these snakes can bite, which can cause deep lacerations.

9. Rhinos

rhino in swamp 17102021

Rhinos are another majestic animal native to Africa. These animals are primarily found in grasslands that have easy access to water.

Rhinos are often found wallowing in water bodies as this gives them access to the grass on which they feed.

Rhinos are essential for dispersing several types of seeds that grow on the grasslands, and their presence near water bodies becomes vital.

The water holes near which rhinos live allow these animals to share their space with other herbivores.


The animals that live in African swamps are sitatungas, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, buffalos, hyenas, frogs, African rock pythons, and rhinos. Aside from the swamp, some of these animals do forage for grass in the savannah and other dryland areas. 

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