Beasts of the Nile

Dromedary camel – The second-largest species of camel, the dromedary has come to be a key image associated with Egypt. They are technically Arabian in origin but are now kept and used domestically throughout Egypt. They are commonly used to transport both goods and people, and are also a popular source of milk.

Red spitting cobra – This venomous snake is a native resident of Egypt’s southern regions. It preys primarily on amphibians like frogs, however records indicate they will also take on birds and rodents. Human attacks are recorded too, with bite symptoms including muscle pain, numbness and disfigurement of the skin.

Hippopotamus – Hippos are found the entire length of the Nile, but due to many decades of poaching, their numbers are dwindling. The species is semi-aquatic, inhabiting the river itself, its many lakes and swamps as well as the fertile banks. They are one of the most aggressive animals in Africa, often attacking people on sight.

Grey heron – A large bird that frequents various parts of Africa, the grey heron is a common sight along the length of the river. Standing at approximately 100 centimetres (39 inches) tall and sporting a pinkish-yellow bill, the heron can typically be found on the Nile’s banks and throughout the Egyptian Delta, where it feeds on fish, frogs and insects within the shallow waters. The bird appears in a lot of Ancient Egyptian artwork.

Nile crocodile – A dark bronze-coloured species of reptile, Nile crocodiles frequent the banks of the river throughout Egypt and other east African countries. These crocodiles are the largest found in the continent and are agile and rapid predators, feeding on a wide variety of mammals.