Nile crocodile in Tanzania, one of the dangerous 7 animals
Nile crocodile in Tanzania, one of the dangerous 7 animals

Published on January 09 2020 | Updated on November 03 2021
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The dangerous seven game of Africa


  • The dangerous seven is the big five plus hippo and Nile crocodile

  • Not to be confused with the dangerous seven, the big seven is the big five plus cheetah and wild dog

An erroneous safari query is the genesis of this post. Not long ago, we received an email from someone looking to go on safari. We receive numerous emails requesting safari pricing, but this one was different. This person was looking for a hunting safari. According to their email, they’ve been on several hunting safaris and are now keen to hunt the big seven. If you’re curious to know more about the dangerous seven, and aren't interested in hunting safaris or creepy taxidermy sites, this post is for you.

What are the dangerous animals of Africa?

Like the Jackson 5, the dangerous seven started out with fewer members. Big game trophy hunters used the term ‘big five’ to describe the five most dangerous African animals to hunt on foot, mainly due to their size and personalities. In today's parlance, the big five describes wildlife most visitors to Africa wish to shoot from within the comfy confines of their safari vehice, and with a camera, not a rifle. This is a wonderful thing, since some of the big five animals are facing extinction. 

The big five animals continue be a big lure for photography safari enthusiasts and, appearing in alpha order, are:

African buffalo  (also called cape buffalo)

Cape buffalo, one of the big five safari animals


Elephant in Zambia, one of the big five safari animals


Leopard in Zambia, one of the big five safari animals


Lioness with cubs. Lion is one of the big five safari animals.


Rhino in Serengeti, Monarch Safaris. Rhino is one of the big five safari animals

What are the dangerous seven animals of Africa?

The dangerous seven game includes all of the big five plus two more animals which certainly merit being called dangerous, as they each account for at least 300-500 human deaths each year. The last two animals of the danger seven are: 


Hippo in Zambia. Hippo is one of the danger seven game animals

Nile crocodile

Nile crocodile, one of the dangerous seven game animals

Where to see the dangerous seven animals on safari

Generally speaking, parks and reserves that feature the big five will feature the dangerous seven. Your African Safari has a list of all national parks and reserves where the big five can be found. All score either a 9/10 or 10/10 for safari suitability. The score is based on park size, quality of wildlife, ease of access and park infrastructure.

The big seven animals of Africa

As you now know, the dangerous seven is the big five plus the Nile crocodile and hippopotamus. The dangerous seven is used primarily by trophy hunters. Safari enthusiasts looking to shoot their wildlife with a camera will be after the big seven: the big five plus wild dogs and cheetah. This combination is more difficult to come by and may require visits to more than one park or reserve.
Our top choice for spotting wild dogs: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
For cheetah: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Kruger is also home to the big seven. 

Wild dog in Zambia

YAS was created to help preserve, protect and promote African wildlife. As such, trophy hunting safari tours are not condoned or allowed. From Wikipedia: “The African lion, African leopard and African bush elephant are all classified as vulnerable. The southern white rhinoceros is classified as near threatened while the black rhinoceros is classified as critically endangered.”

Sources and credits

Rhino photo courtesy of Monarch Safari Guides

About the author

Has been on: 15 safaris

Your African Safari (YAS) is a safari-planning resource for anyone planning an African safari. It features information on over 2600 tour operators including company and vehicle descriptions, user reviews, safari itineraries and photos. It also features detailed information on 14 countries and 84 parks and game reserves.

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African Queen

Said on 03 November 2021 18:48

Big five, little five and big seven. Seen them all. :)


Said on 27 November 2022 17:52

I can't wait to see them myself. Sounds fantastic.


Said on 27 November 2023 18:46

Qué artículo tan interesante! Estoy planeando un viaje a África y me topé con esto. No tenía idea de los "Dangerous Seven", siempre había escuchado hablar del "Big Five", ¡pero esto es otra cosa! La idea de ver a esos animales en su hábitat natural suena increíble, y me alegra saber que la tendencia se está moviendo hacia la fotografía en lugar de la caza. Definitivamente, apuntaré a ver a los "Big Seven", especialmente a esos elusivos perros salvajes y guepardos. ¡Gracias por la info y las recomendaciones de parques, voy a tener que hacer un itinerario pronto.

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About YAS

Your African Safari is a safari-planning and safari review site. It was created to help support a healthy African wildlife population. All reviews are vetted before being approved and only ethical tours are published