The fauna and wildlife in Egypt is as diverse as its wide variety of terrains and landscapes, from South Sinai to Siwa. There are so many different kinds of animals living in Egypt. The most common kinds of animals found here, even in urban landscapes, include horses, donkeys and camels. Desert wildlife, on the other hand, is much more interesting and features a number of endangered species or rale animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. We have compiled a list of the most widespread and unique wildlife in Egypt as well as the regions to which they are indigenous to.
Hands down, these are the most iconic wildlife in Egypt. For millennia, the humble camel has been the preferred mode of transport in this region due to their amazing ability to traverse arid, desert landscapes for long distances without the need for a lot of water. Camels can actually travel for multiple weeks without needing any food or water, simply utilizing their body fat and the liquids stored within its hump. Speaking of the hump, it naturally makes a perfect seat for the rider, making it seem like the camel was made specifically for riding. There are primarily two main species of camels, one with one hump and the other with one hump. The one-hump camel is definitely the most popular of the two in Egypt.
The Egyptian Wild Cat
Similar to the domesticated housecat, the Egyptian Wild Cat is one of the most common wildlife in Egypt. I looks very similar in size, shape and demeanor to house cats but their tail is a bit different. It is not as tall or thin as the typical house cat. They are quite a rare sighting, so if you happen to see one, you are quite lucky.
The biggest wild cats in all of Egypt, the Desert Lynx is one of the most striking wildlife in Egypt. It is not as large as the jungle versions but are still massive monsters. Prowling through the deserts of Egypt, the Desert Lynx has a unique brown color that blends in seamlessly with the sand of the desert. They hunt birds for the most part and their bodies have evolved over time to grow strong legs to be able to jump up and snatch up birds completely oblivious to their fate.
Amongst desert wildlife in Egypt, the desert fox is definitely the most common and can be found in desert landscapes all over Egypt. Over thousands of years, the desert fox has evolved well to live in this unforgiving climate. The native fennec is actually the smallest fox species in the world, allowing it to retain its body heat and water well. Their massive eyes and ears also give them a big benefit, allowing them to spot and hear predators and prey with ease. Although they are wild animals, they are actually also kept as pets. Yes, people in Egypt have foxes as pets and they raise them from a young age so they can be domesticated easily.
Although they are not unique to Egypt, they can be found all across the globe and are highly adaptable to blend into any ecosystem. This is perhaps because they eat literally anything. Although they can be quite adorable, to Egyptians at large, they are quite annoyances and cause great destruction to farms or domestic animals. You can find them all over Egypt, running around the streets or wherever really. Do not be alarmed, though. They are harmless and will often quickly run away from human beings or larger predators.
One of the most endangered wildlife in Egypt, the Arabian Leopard is believed to still be in existence in Sinai, however, the last time one was spotted in the region was back in 1996. There are a couple still in the Negev desert but they have gone completely extinct in the Hejaz mountain region of Saudi Arabia. However, due to the very treacherous terrain and difficult to traverse mountain range in Saudi coupled with the very sneaky and sly nature of the Arabian Leopard makes it very hard to determine if there is still a population of these rare species. In fact, the last definite specimen we have was back in the 1950s when they shot one near Mount Sinai.
Native to the South Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, the Gazelle is endangered and very vulnerable. Currently, there are only two species left in Egypt and both of them are basically on the brink of extinction. The Dorcas Gazelle still live in South Sinai and preside mostly on sandy level landscapes and valleys. The slender creatures pass through the valleys to make their way into eastern and western Sinai. They traverse the southern valley ecosystem to make their way there. In the main area of Egypt, the gazelle once used to be the cheetah but, like many of these wild large mammals has long gone extinct. So now illegal poaching has been the primary way of them dying out. Fortunately, this barely happens anymore in Sinai due to increased environmental awareness and campaigns to stop the hunting. However, despite these widespread organized efforts to save the gazelles, the species is still very vulnerable and on the brink of disappearing completely. In terms of their social system, the Dorcas Gazelle species live primarily as pairs or small intimate groups. They are herbivores, so they eat a wide variety of plants to sustain themselves. The valleys that exist in the region offer them water.
Luckily, unlike many of the wildlife in Egypt on this list, the rabbit or hare is very widespread and found everywhere in Egypt, and also in Sinai. Despite this, it can be difficult to actually spot one because of their secretive nature, hiding often and sustaining themselves by eating plants at night when there is less traffic. Egypt’s rabbits are often grouped up with the rest of Africa’s rabbits but the real truth is that they probably are part of a more specific, unnamed North African species.