Reptiles and amphibians of Tanzania

Male Agama Lizard por wwarby.

Photo of a male agama lizard basking in the sun in the Serengeti National Park by wwarby (Flickr)


Tanzania is internationally recognised as a key country for the conservation

of African biological diversity. Its herpetofauna numbers about 130 amphibians

and over 275 reptiles, many of them strictly endemic and included in the

“IUCN” Red lists of different countries.

Amphibians and Reptiles of Mountains of Tanzania

Tanzaniaherps serves two primary purposes. The first is to provide the most current information available on the herpetofauna of Tanzanian Mountains, including information on identification, life history, habitat, status, threats, management concerns and distribution.

Books about Tanzanian reptiles

Pocket Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of East Africa (Recommended)

This is a lightweight and portable guide, partly adapted from the popular and highly acclaimed A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa by the same authors. Covering the most prominent 150 reptiles and 80 amphibians found in the region (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi), with concise text, photograph and map for each, this is a convenient and attractive pocket guide for a diverse and often conspicuous and attractive group of animals….
“For anyone with a general interest in wildlife, a comprehensible, portable, and fairly comprehensive field guide is a must. This pocket guide fulfils these criteria.” Scottish Bird News
Part of the well-known Photoguide series of books on African natural history, this guide covers the most common snakes, lizards, skinks, chamaeleons, terrapins and amphibians (frogs) of East Africa – covering a total of 260 species. The aim is identification and each species account features a brief text that highlights diagnostic features, a distribution map and a colour photograph.

News about Tanzanian reptiles

Tanzania forests yield 17 new species of amphibians and reptiles

Despite the vicinity of a major road, the rainforests of the South Nguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania were virtually unexplored until 2004, particularly from a herpetological point of view. New surveys have resulted in the discovery of 17 reptile and amphibian species new to science. These species are only known from the Nguru Mountains. Overall, the surveys recorded a total of 92 herpeto-faunal species of which 15 were species previously only known from other areas.

Golden toad saved from brink of extinction

One hundred Kihansi Spray Toads have been flown to their native Tanzania after a close brush with extinction, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

New chameleon species discovered in Tanzania Researchers have discovered a new species of chameleon in southern Tanzania.  The species is called the Magombera chameleon (Kinyongia magomberae).

Snake spits out new species of chameleon at scientist’s feet

Latest find in natural world was result of reptile coughing up lizard as conservationist studied monkeys in the jungle

Toad on brink of extinction, scientists race to study for bioactive compounds Following the construction of a dam in Tanzania, the Kihansi Spray Toad sits on the brink of extinction. Scientists are racing to study the amphibian for bioactive compounds with potential medical applications.

More sites


Despite their reputation, the vast majority of East Africa’s 650 reptile and amphibian species pose no threat to humans, and their ecological value cannot be overstated. Snakes play an important part in rodent control, while lizards and frogs devour mosquitoes and other pesky flying insects, and crocodiles are the aquatic equivalent to vultures, disposing of the carrion that might otherwise clog up East Africa’s lakes and rivers.