Algeria is a stunningly beautiful country in North Africa that attracts tourists from all over the world and is the largest country in Africa. Being so vast, it’s no surprise that Algeria has plenty to offer to its wandering visitors. From the snowy Atlas Mountains to the golden plains of the Saharan desert, Algeria has no shortage of diverse habitats.
However, with a diversity of habitats comes a diversity of wildlife. If you fancy yourself as an eco-tourist or just love to see what wild new animals each country has to offer, then Algeria certainly will not be a disappointment. But, in among some of Algeria’s most fascinating creatures are also some of their most deadly.
Dangerous animals don’t pose a substantial threat to the average tourist or holidaymaker in Algeria, but it is always a good idea to be prepared for any new adventure. We have compiled a guide to seven of the most dangerous animals you might come across in Algeria. Ranging from huge beasts to the small but deadly, pay attention to these most dangerous animals you can find in Algeria.
1. Horned Desert Viper
The horned desert viper is a venomous type of snake that is commonly found in North Africa. It is most easily distinguished, unsurprisingly, by its horns. However, some hornless varieties do exist. If you are planning on spending the majority of your time in Algeria around its deserts, then you need to keep an eye out for these slippery guys.
If the horns above their eyes don’t make them appear menacing enough to keep away from, then the effects of their venom will. While one bite from one of these snakes won’t release enough venom to be lethal to a human, it will cause you considerable pain and discomfort.
The venom from the bite of a horned desert viper can cause severe swelling, cell death, and bleeding at the sight of the wound, and can lead to disorientation and nausea in the victim. As is always the case, immediate medical attention is required, although there is no need to be overly distressed because their bites can be easily treated.
2. North African Boar
The North African Boar is related to a Wild Boar but is specifically endemic to parts of North Africa such as Morocco, Tunisia, and, of course, Algeria. These guys might just look like the hairier relative of the humble farm pig; they might even bring to mind the whimsical figure of Pumba from the family favorite The Lion King. However, make no mistake about it: these boars are miniature beasts, and are notorious for being particularly aggressive and violent, and can cause some serious injury to humans in severe cases.
Not only are North African Boars heavier than they look, but they’re also a lot quicker than they appear, too. This is part of what makes them such frightening opposition for humans. However, they are only likely to attack humans if they feel threatened or cornered. For example, if piglets are nearby that a female is trying to protect, or if they feel that they are being hunted. This is why it is imperative not to do anything that could startle these boar if you encounter them, especially if you notice its young nearby. If you believe that you have angered a boar, try as best as you can to remain calm and put distance between you and the boar, preferably reaching higher ground if possible.
Not only can they be vicious in terms of their physical aggression, though. They are also known to carry a multitude of diseases that pose a threat to humans, such as influenza, hepatitis, and tuberculosis. This is but another reason why, if you encounter one when in Algeria, it is important to maintain a safe and non-threatening distance at all times.
3. Northwest African Cheetah
We all already know that cheetahs are renowned for their incredible pace and carnivorous hunting skills as one of the world’s most beautiful and alluring, though dangerous, big cat predators. The Northwest African Cheetah is, unsurprisingly, a subspecies of the cheetah that resides in North Africa, and they can be found in the Ahaggar National Park in central Algeria.
Otherwise known as the Saharan cheetah, these deadly creatures are potentially more endangered than they are a danger in themselves. In fact, there are believed to be less than 190 cheetahs remaining in the wild in Algeria. They are sighted incredibly infrequently, but they do still roam free in the Hoggar Mountains of central Algeria.
This being the case, if you are in that region of Algeria and are planning on trying your hand at some hiking in nature, be very aware that these special creatures may well be nearby and, therefore, you could become part of their dinner if you’re not careful. However, the likelihood of you stumbling upon their settlement is small, because you will most likely be following a proper guide through these mountains.
4. Striped Hyena
Believe us when we tell you that you will not be laughing if you encounter one of these chuckling fiends while you’re traveling through Algeria. The striped hyena is native to North Africa, East Africa, and the Middle East, and there are thought to be more of these animals in Algeria than the rest of the region due to their dwindling population. This being the case, it is important to have a greater awareness of hyenas when on vacation in Algeria than elsewhere in North or East Africa.
Typically, hyenas are particularly timid around humans, and so seemingly don’t pose too much of a threat. However, this should not fool you. While they’re not the first creature that come to mind when you think of threatening mammals, hyenas have been known to attack and even kill humans in the past. If you encounter a hyena at night in particular, you are more likely to experience their bolder side and feel more under threat in their presence.
Being more abundant in Algeria than elsewhere, this is one animal that you should be wary of. While they don’t have a particularly high fatality rate, this does not minimise the potential threat they pose in Algeria, and, as is the case with all wildlife, you should always exercise caution and be respectful and non-threatening if you are in their habitat or encounter a striped hyena in the wild in Algeria.
5. Egyptian Cobra
The Egyptian cobra might just be the most dangerous animal on our list for Algeria. While this slithering little guy may appear mysterious and whimsical when moving to the rhythm of the flute, the Egyptian cobra is actually one of the most lethal snakes in Africa and is responsible for a high number of human deaths each year. Plus, they’re not at little as you might think, either. Some have been known to grow to upwards of five feet in length.
This venomous serpent has the capacity to be able to kill a fully grown elephant in under three hours with a single bite, thanks to the highly potent toxins in its poison. One bite from an Egyptian cobra can result in severe pain, bruising, swelling, redness, and blistering at the site of the bite, as well as effects such as fainting, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, convulsions, fits, and even death.
All of these should be plenty of very persuasive reasons to be vigilant of snakes in Algeria, and to seek medical attention immediately if you believe that you have been bitten by an Egyptian cobra (although if you have been bitten by one of these snakes you will almost certainly be aware of this fact). Luckily, the anti-venom serum is widely available these days and so a bite can be treated if you respond quickly, although this does not minimize the potential danger of a cobra attack. If you find yourself on the boundaries of the desert in Algeria, be cautious, as this is where these guys may well be lurking.
6. Red Spitting Cobra
The red spitting cobra is every bit as fun as its Egyptian brother, but with an added weapon in its arsenal. While these cobras can also elicit a deadly bite or, at the very least, an excruciating wound, they also have the capacity to spit venom at their prey, making them something of a double threat. Woe betide any vacationers in Algeria who clumsily stumble upon one of these serpents.
Being able to grow to nearly five feet too, these cobras are hard to miss. Similar to the Egyptian cobra, a bite from one of these snakes can leave you worse for wear, in extreme pain, and can be potentially fatal. However, if you get spat at by one of these rude reptiles, there is no need to panic too much.
Their venom does nothing when it makes contact with the skin, and can only cause problems if it gets into your bloodstream or your eyes. If you get venom in your eyes after a spitting match with one of these cobras, it could leave you blind. And, unfortunately, the red spitting cobra is known to be a pretty exceptional shot with a fairly accurate aim. So, as usual, you must seek medical attention immediately. If you come across one of these, make sure that you shield your eyes as best as you can and attempt to flee from the snake as quickly, but as calmly, as you can manage so as not to startle it.
7. African Wild Dog
The African wild dog is the largest canine in Africa, but is also, sadly, one of the most endangered. While their numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate because of human factors such as hunting and habitat destruction, there is still a chance that you might bump into one, or an entire pack, when on vacation in Algeria. Their habitat tends to be dry terrain, near deserts and away from greenery. So, if you visit this sort of area in Algeria, chances are you won’t be too far from a family of African wild dogs.
While it seems that we humans pose a far greater and more significant threat to the lives of African wild dogs than they do to ours, they are still, after all, carnivorous predators. And, as should be the case when considering any predatory animal, you should be both aware of this fact and wary of them. True, we have negatively impacted their population so severely that they have developed a deep-rooted distrust of humans, so they are increasingly difficult to spot.
They tend to hide away from us if they know that we are nearby, which does not put you in obvious danger when traversing their habitat in Algeria. However, it is still important to note that they are one of the most efficient and vicious predators on the continent of Africa, so if you do find yourself on their bad side it can be potentially deadly. If you are encountering any parts of Algeria where the wild dog is known to reside, you will likely have been told about it prior to your excursion, or will be accompanied by a trained and knowledgeable guide. If you are lucky enough to see one of these creatures in the wild, be calm, quiet, and respectful so as not to scare them away, or make them view you as a threat to themselves or their pack.
Are there deadly snakes in Algeria?
Yes, there are deadly snakes in Algeria. As well as the venomous cobras we have mentioned, there are a number of other dangerous snakes that can be found in Algeria, such as the highly venomous boomslang snake and a large number of venomous vipers that can be found in Algeria’s arid regions. Algeria is also home to boas which, while nonvenomous, can still pose a threat to humans.
Are there sharks in Algeria?
Yes, there are a number of sharks in the waters around Algeria. In fact, the waters of Algeria are incredibly diverse with the number of sharks that live there, from different kinds of hammerhead sharks to the great white shark. Shark attacks are rarer than you think, but surfers should still beware off the coast of Algeria.
Are there crocodiles in Algeria?
No, there are no crocodiles in Algeria. At least, there are no native crocodiles left in the wild in Algeria. There used to reside the Nile croc, but these are unfortunately now extinct in the wild in Algeria and can only be found at facilities such as zoos or conservation parks in Algeria.