Dangerous Critters to Watch Out For On An African Safari

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A safari is one of the highlights of a vacation spent in Africa. It’s an excellent opportunity to get close to nature and see all the beautiful, rare creatures native to Africa. But it can easily turn deadly if you don’t watch out for these dangerous critters:

Killer Bees

They’re not called killer bees for nothing. These bees are also known as Africanized Bees. They are aggressive, relentless and very defensive. It does not take much to aggravate these creatures. They will swarm on anyone or anything if they feel the slightest bit of a threat.

Unfortunately, death by killer bee attacks is a yearly occurrence in the US alone. In Africa, there is no accurate record for fatalities. Some health authorities estimate that at least 15 deaths in Africa is associated with killer bee attacks. The figure does not include those who are allergic to its sting.

The Black Mamba

Africa is as beautiful as it is dangerous. Mainly because of the unknown poisonous creatures that hide in plain sight. Case to point: the Black Mamba. It’s only the most fearsome snake in Africa. And for a reason, death is certain with just a bite. The Black Mamba can kill its prey in 12 minutes or less. Its venom is a combination of neuro and cardio toxins. A drop of poison is enough to kill several men. So always look out for olive or brown colored snake on the safari. This is one creature you don’t want to get too close to.

Puff Adder Snake

Another fearsome snake to watch out for on a safari is the puff adder snake. This unassuming snake causes the most number of deaths in Africa. Surprisingly, the puff adder isn’t aggressive. Most snakebites occur when the puff adder is stepped on. As a defensive reaction, the snake will naturally bite the offender. Unfortunately, its coloring makes it hard to detect so they are always stepped on accidentally by tourists.

Usually, death occurs when the victim is not treated right away. Instead of dying from the venom, the victims die of infections or gangrene.

African Ants

Just like the killer bees, the African ants are aggressive and relentless when in pursuit. A colony of African ants could devour a fully grown cow in less than an hour. More than 40 deaths are related to African ant attacks in Africa. They are known to attack anything that’s in their path. That includes pets, entire houses, and entire families.

The ants are notorious for their extremely painful bites. Their heads are larger than average ants. The pincers are very strong too. In one instance, the heads of African ants were used to clip an open wound close. The victim used the African ants’ heads to make a simple stitch. The heads held up until he was able to get medical attention.

Tsetse Fly

The tsetse fly is notorious for spreading diseases, particularly the Sleeping Sickness. Tsetse flies will transmit live organisms under the skin called trypanosomes. Once bitten, trypanosomes will infect the blood. The tainted blood will travel to the central nervous system and destroy the brain. After the brain is attacked, death follows. The key to preventing death by Sleeping Sickness is early detection. If detected early, the patient just need to take certain medication to reverse the effects of the bite.