Skip to Main Content
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


Widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Distribution of subspecies (from Vercammen and Mason 1993)
    • P. a. aeliani - northern Ethiopia and Djibouti
    • P. a. africanus - Sahel to central Ethiopia; probably extinct in Mali and Niger
    • P. a. massaicus - eastern and central Africa
    • P. a. sundevallii - northern part of the southern African sub-region
  • Regional extinction likely in Niger (Cumming 2008)
  • Sympatric (occupy the same region) with the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)
    • Regions of Somalia and Kenya (Cumming 2008; de Jong and Butynski 2014; Grubb and d'Huart 2013)
      • Overlap believed minimal


Prefers open-country, most typically (from Meijaard et al. 2011 unless otherwise noted)

  • Unlike most African pigs
  • Inhabit savanna grasslands, open bushlands, and woodlands (Cumming 2008; Meijaard et al. 2011)
    • Avoid densely wooded areas without suitable grazing (Vercammen and Mason 1993)
    • Absent, most often, from forests, thickets, cool montane grasslands, deserts, and steppes
      • Except near the Danakil desert and Bale Mountain forests (Ethiopia) and the Goda Mountain forests (Djibouti) (Cumming 2008; Meijaard et al. 2011)
  • Often near water sources (from Meijaard et al. 2011 unless otherwise noted)
    • Typically in range of perennial surface water (Hayward and Hayward 2012)
    • Survive in regions that lack drinking water for several months each year (de Jong and Butynski 2014)

Elevation range

  • 0-3,500 m (0-11,483 ft) (Cumming 2008)

Distribution Map

Distribution Map of Common Warthog

Common warthog distribution.

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution information (IUCN)

Page Citations

Cumming (2008)
de Jong and Butynski (2014)
Grubb and d'Huart (2013)
Hayward and Hayward (2012)
Meijaard et al. (2011)
Vercammen and Mason (1993)

SDZWA Library Links