Scientific Name

Over 200 species of African bats — Africa is home to 20 percent of the world’s bats.


Varies by species, with the smallest only 5 grams (.18 ounces) and the largest about 377 grams (13 ounces)


Varies by species — the largest African bat (hammer-headed fruit bat) has average wingspan of 840 mm (33 inches).

Life span

15 years in the wild


Tropical and lowland rainforests as well as savannas


Herbivorous or frugivorous


Average 9 months


Humans, owls, hawks, falcons, and snakes.

Live in colonies of
or more
There are over
bat species in Africa
Bats hang by their
While they eat


Humans are killing bats.

In some parts of Africa, bats are considered a delicacy. Elsewhere, they are considered pests and killed to prevent the destruction of fruit crops and due to the musky odors and noise emanating from their roosting places. Elsewhere, the flying mammals are slaughtered because of superstition. In West and Central Africa, they are harvested for bushmeat.

People are encroaching on bats’ habitats.

Bats are highly susceptible to environmental factors and climate change. As human populations grow and in turn agriculture, settlements, and roads expand human-wildlife conflict increases. While overall population abundance is unknown, a well-known colony in Uganda declined in numbers over a 40-year period, dropping from 250,000 to 40,000 individuals.


Our solution to protecting the bat:

Expand conservation tourism.

African Wildlife Foundation brings together communities with private investors to construct lodges benefitting people and wildlife. In Botswana, Ngoma Safari Lodge, a high-end luxury lodge, brings tourism revenue into the local economy, which is then invested back into the community and into continued conservation efforts in the area. The lodge protects wild spaces, allowing the bat, and other wildlife, to have space to live undisturbed.



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Learn how we're protecting Africa's species each and every day so we never have to live in a world without elephants, rhinos, and other precious wildlife.