5 Weird African Animals You Didn’t Know Existed

The vast and diverse continent of Africa is home to an astonishing array of wildlife, some of which defy conventional norms and expectations. From creatures with bizarre appearances that seem straight out of a fantasy tale to animals with unique behaviors and adaptations that challenge our understanding of the natural world. African ecosystems are a treasure trove of weird and wonderful beings. Welcome to our list of 5 Weird African Animals You Didn’t Know Existed. Everything Unexplained brings you our top most puzzling and weird looking but some of our cutest too!

The Elephant Shrew

Imagine a creature so tiny that it seems to blend perfectly with its surroundings, yet has a unique set of features that make it stand out in the animal kingdom. Meet the elephant shrew, a fascinating and often overlooked group of small mammals that inhabit the diverse landscapes of Africa. Despite their name, elephant shrews are not shrews at all; they belong to a distinct family called Macroscelididae.

These strange minature creatures are actually distant relatives of elephants. These small mammals exhibit a unique elongated snout, reminiscent of an elephant’s trunk, which they use for a variety of purposes. The snout is a versatile tool that helps them search for food, probe crevices, and navigate their surroundings. This specialized adaptation allows them to exploit a range of ecological niches, from forests to deserts. We definately want one!

elephant shrew

Black Rain Frog

The Black Rain Frog isn’t as unhappy as his sad frown suggests. This amazing frog possesses the remarkable ability to puff up its body when faced with threats. Therefore, creating an imposing presence. This amphibian inhabits the Southern Coast of Africa, thriving at elevations soaring up to 3,300 feet. Unlike other frogs, it doesn’t rely on open water for survival; instead, it’s a burrowing species great at crafting tunnels reaching depths of around six inches. These subterranean passages serve as tunnels for both water sources and a delectable insect feast, sustaining the frog’s nourishment.

One of Black Rain Frog’s most interesting features is its unique sounds. When threatened or agitated, this amphibian emits a loud and distinctive call that sounds remarkably like a cat’s meow! This odd sound is a form of defense, deterring potential predators and warning them of its presence. However, this frog is still the cutest and saddest frog we have ever seen.

african rain frog

Prickly Bush Viper

The prickly bush viper (Atheris squamigera) is renowned for its exceptional camouflage. Its name aptly reflects its appearance, as its scales are adorned with a texture of thorns or prickles. This cryptic coloration and texture helps the snake to blend seamlessly with its surroundings. This camouflage serves as a dual-purpose defense mechanism: it aids in both ambushing unsuspecting prey and eluding potential predators.

Their tails are prehensile, which helps them to grasp, climb, and hang upside down. They hunt mostly in trees but can hunt for prey on the ground. They ambush their prey by hanging from trees or hiding in foliage and curling up into an S-shape before lunging at prey, killing them with their venom. Spiny bush vipers are nocturnal creatures, spending the daytime basking on top of flowers in small trees about 10 feet off the ground. They may also climb reeds and stalks, but they prefer the terminal leaves and flowers of smaller trees.

african snakes

The Hammer Head Bat

The hammer-headed bat, owes its weird name to its most striking feature – its elongated head resembling the shape of a hammer. This unique adaptation serves as a sensory tool, helping the bat navigate through its environment with exceptional precision. The elongated snout houses specialized structures that aid in echolocation, allowing the bat to locate and catch its insect prey with remarkable accuracy even in the darkest of nights. These bats are known to roost in large colonies, often consisting of thousands of bats.

As a nocturnal creature, the hammer-headed bat is perfectly adapted to thrive in the cover of darkness. It emerges from its roosts at nightfall, taking to the skies in search of its preferred diet – a variety of insects. In addition, this includes beetles and moths. With the aid of its sophisticated echolocation system, the bat emits high-frequency sounds that bounce off objects. Thus, enabling it to create a mental map of its surroundings and locate potential prey. Nevertheless, this creepy guy makes it into our top five.

strange creatures

The Gerenuk

In the arid landscapes of East Africa, a remarkable creature roams the savannas and dry woodlands – The Gerenuk. The gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) is instantly recognizable by its slender and elongated neck, earning it the nickname “giraffe gazelle.” This graceful creature boasts a unique combination of features, blending the characteristics of both gazelles and giraffes. Its long legs and neck are perfectly suited for browsing on foliage high in trees. Mean while its sleek body and delicate head make it a true icon of elegance in its habitat.

What sets the gerenuk apart from its fellow antelope species is its incredible ability to stand on its hind legs to reach high branches. This allows the gerenuk to reach a range of leaves, shoots, and fruits that other herbivores cannot reach. Its flexible neck and strong hind limbs enable it to stretch up to an astonishing height of over six feet. Meanwhile, making it a master of vertical feeding. This specialized feeding behavior not only provides the gerenuk with a unique ecological niche but also reduces competition for food resources. They almost look like a mini giraffe!


In a land where nature thrives in its most diverse and enigmatic forms, Africa’s peculiar creatures remind us of the endless wonders that still await discovery on our planet. We hope you enjoyed 5 Weird African Animals You Didn’t Know Existed. Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

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