7 Fierce PREDATORS found in Sudan! (2024)

What are the different kinds of PREDATORS found in Sudan?

Types of predators in Sudan

These are often the first animals you think of when you imagine visiting Sudan! The exciting, beautiful, and sometimes terrifying carnivores are some of the most fun to learn about. 🙂

In this article, you’ll find interesting facts, photos, and even range maps of these amazing animals!

7 Predators Found in Sudan:


#1. Lion

  • Panthera leo

Types of predators in Sudan

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 160-208 cm (63-82 in) long.
  • They have short tawny coats, white undersides, and long tails with black tufts at the ends.
  • Males have manes, while females do not.

These predators range throughout savannas and plains in Sudan.

They prefer areas with plenty of cover and prey. In the past, lions had a much larger range, and some populations still live in semi-desert, forested, shrubby, and mountainous habitats.

Though intimidating, lions aren’t very effective hunters on their own. Instead, lions usually hunt in groups, called prides, to take down large herbivores like zebras, impalas, gazelles, wildebeests, giraffes, and cape buffalo.

Lions live in groups called prides which range from 2-40 individuals, though they are rarely all together at once. Female pride members are all related, as females don’t leave their mother’s territories. Females don’t have a dominance hierarchy and instead work together to find food and care for each other’s cubs.

On the other hand, males are generally forced out of their father’s territory at about 2.5 years of age, roam for two to three years, and then attempt to take over a pride by seriously injuring or killing the current leaders and their cubs. While we often picture one male as the “king,” male lions sometimes form coalitions of 2-4 males to take over a pride. These coalitions are often brothers, and the larger the coalition, the longer they’ll be able to reign over their pride.

While they don’t have natural predators, lions are still susceptible to starvation and attacks from humans. Their worldwide populations have declined significantly throughout their range. Sadly, some subspecies of lions are critically endangered, and some are already extinct.


#2. Spotted Hyena

  • Crocuta crocuta

Types of predators in Sudan

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 95–166 cm (37–65 in) long.
  • They have sandy yellowish or gray course, wooly coats with black or dark brown spots on their bodies though these may be absent in old individuals.
  • They are strongly built with massive necks, large heads, rounded ears, bushy-tipped tails, and longer front legs than back legs.

Spotted Hyenas are some of the most unique predators in Sudan!

These odd animals live in clans of 3-80 hyenas. Females lead the clans, and all of the females within the clan are dominant over all males. Males and females, there are separate dominance hierarchies.

One of the strangest features about these carnivores is that males and females are very difficult to distinguish. Females have skin and tissue in their genital area that allows them to mimic males, which may protect females from aggression from other females.

Female Spotted Hyenas are incredibly dedicated mothers. Incredibly, they nurse their young until 12 to 16 months of age. By the time the young are weaned, they already have all of their adult teeth which is very rare among carnivorous animals in Sudan.

Spotted Hyenas have a reputation as cowardly scavengers that steal food from other predators, but researchers have found that they kill most of their prey. Despite their odd, sloped appearance, hyenas are incredible runners and will chase prey for long distances at speeds up to 65 kph (40 mph). They usually work in groups to take down large animals.

Although Spotted Hyenas are not currently endangered, they are “Conservation dependent,” meaning that there are currently programs in place to protect them. If the conservation efforts were removed, their populations would begin to decline within five years.


#3. Cheetah

  • Acinonyx jubatus

Types of predators in Sudan

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 110-150 cm (3.6-5 ft) long.
  • They have relatively long legs, small, rounded heads, and short ears.
  • Their coloration is yellow, gray, or fawn speckled with a white or light tan underside, small black spots, and dark rings terminating in a white tip on the end of their tail.

Look for these predators in grasslands and deserts in Sudan.

Cheetahs are solitary except during mating. The cubs are cared for solely by their mother. When they’re young, the female will hide the cubs in tall vegetation, rocky outcrops, or marshy areas while she hunts, occasionally carrying them to new hiding spots. Once they are old enough to fend for themselves, the mother goes back to her solitary lifestyle until mating again.

Unlike most other big cats in Sudan, Cheetahs do not stalk their prey. Instead, they use their incredible speed (80-130 kph, or 50-80 mph) to charge. However, they can only maintain this speed for short distances.

When a Cheetah overtakes its prey, it strangles its target by squeezing its neck in its jaw. They feed mostly on gazelles but will also consume impalas, hares, and birds. Interestingly, most Cheetah hunts are unsuccessful, and they work much harder than other big cats to get a meal.

Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Researchers have found that they have little genetic diversity, which leaves them susceptible to disease and environmental changes. Despite this, some countries still allow Cheetahs to be hunted, and they are often persecuted for livestock losses.


#4. Banded Mongoose

  • Mungos mungo

Types of predators in Sudan

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 30-45 cm (12-18 in) long.
  • They have large heads, long tails, small ears, short, muscular limbs, five toes on their front feet with long, curved claws, and four toes on their back feet with shorter, heavier claws.
  • They have course brownish-gray coats with dark bands on their backs, dark feet, black-tipped tails, and gray-brown to orange noses.

These cat-like predators live in varied habitats in Sudan.

Look for the Banded Mongoose in grasslands, woodlands, brushlands, and rocky country. They have large ranges, and individuals may travel more than 8 km (5 m) per day while foraging.

They’re primarily insectivores, feeding on termites, earthworms, grasshoppers, scorpions, slugs, and snails, but they’ll also feed on fruit, snakes, crabs, eggs, birds, and rodents. To break hard food like eggs and snails, they throw it at another hard object like a rock.

Banded Mongooses are social and usually live in packs of 10-20 individuals. That said, they’re very possessive of their food and eat it immediately without sharing. Typically, there is one dominant male in each pack.

Incredibly, mating is often synchronized so that the pack’s young are all born within a few days of each other. The entire pack will help care for the young, and lactating females will nurse any baby.

When it’s time to hunt, a few females stay behind to look after the young. Despite this careful guarding, only about 50% of young mongooses make it to 3 months of age.


#5. Rüppell’s Fox

  • Vulpes rueppellii

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 66 to 74 cm (26 to 29 in) long.
  • They have slender bodies and long, bushy tails with white tips.
  • Coloration is buff or sandy colored with white hairs in their dense undercoat and gray markings on their faces, but there are some gray morphs in rocky areas.

Rüppell’s Foxes are one of the most resourceful predators in Sudan.

Because Red Foxes often get the best territory, these smaller foxes have become highly adapted to inhospitably dry deserts. They’re nocturnal hunters, and they feed on almost anything that crosses their path. While they’re primarily insectivores, they’ll consume anything they can grab and eat, including small mammals and roots.

Their fur closely matches the substrate where they’re located, camouflaging them from predators such as Steppe Eagles and Eagle Owls. Rüppell’s Foxes also have a fascinating, skunk-like defense mechanism. When threatened, they will hump their back, raise their tail, and spray their attacker with a foul secretion from their anal gland.

Living in such harsh conditions, Rüppell’s Foxes have gained a reputation as incredibly tough survivalists. There’s even a legend that these foxes can drink water from the wind by keeping their head in a breeze. That’s quite a reputation for such a tiny animal!


#6. Nile Crocodile

  • Crocodylus niloticus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 2.8-3.5 m (9-11.5 ft) long.
  • Coloration is dark olive to gray-olive with yellowish bellies, but young individuals may be more greenish or brown with darker crossbands on their bodies and tails.
  • They have long, sturdy tails, long, powerful jaws, stout legs, and thick, scaly, heavily armored skin.

The Nile Crocodile is the largest freshwater predator in Sudan.

These reptiles have a nasty reputation as man-eaters, and it isn’t entirely undeserved. Nile Crocodiles are indiscriminate carnivores that feed on whatever they can catch, and because their habitat often overlaps with human settlements, run-ins happen.

Although the data can be unreliable, some reports indicate that Nile Crocodiles kill about 200 people annually.

These intimidating carnivores are patient, agile ambush predators. They will feed on nearly any prey that comes into range and may swallow it whole or rip it apart. Their conical teeth and strong jaws give them a uniquely powerful bite with a grip that’s nearly impossible to loosen. As if that weren’t enough, these incredible predators can swim at 30-35 kph (19-22 mph) and remain underwater for up to 30 minutes.

During mating season, males attract females to their territory by bellowing, slapping their snouts in the water, blowing water out of their noses, and making other noises. In areas with high populations of males, they sometimes get into physical altercations over females, especially if they’re similar in size. These altercations aren’t terribly common but can be quite a spectacle to witness!


#7. African Wildcat

  • Felis lybica

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 46-60 cm (18-24 in) long.
  • Coloration varies and may be tawny brown, sandy yellow, reddish, or gray with faint tabby spots and stripes, banded legs, and reddish or rusty-brown on the backs of their ears.
  • They have long legs, small ear tufts, and long thin tails with a couple of rings near the end and black tips.

These predators in Sudan are the ancestors of the domestic cat!

While they’re also known as Desert Cats, they can be found in many habitats, including steppes, savannas, and bushlands.

African Wildcats are skillful hunters with incredible hearing. Once they’ve located prey, they slowly and sneakily approach it and pounce once they’re in range. They usually feed on mice, rats, and other small mammals.

African Wildcats are most active at night. During the day, they tend to avoid the heat and rest under bushes or other shelter, although sometimes they can be observed out hunting on cloudy, overcast days. Additionally, when threatened, these cats raise their hair to make themselves seem larger and intimidate their opponents, similar to what we see in domestic cats.

However, they have some distinctly wild traits. For example, when they sit upright, their long front legs raise their bodies almost vertically (more so than domestic cats). This posture can be seen on Egyptian bronze mummy cases and tomb paintings. They also have high shoulder blades that give them a distinctive cheetah-like gait.


Check out these other guides about animals found in Sudan!


Which of these predators have you seen before in Sudan?

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