Legendary Creatures of Africa: the Eloko & Hoopoe

When it comes to creatures in Zaire and other places in Africa, the Eloko has made locals fearful of venturing into the deepest parts of the forest. In this article, you will also encounter a legendary creature associated with the Pygmy tribe , the Emela-ntouka.


In the forest, a creature believed to be the spirits of ancestors of people living in the area are said to dwell. Called the Eloko, the creature possesses the characteristics of a dwarf. If they are in the forest, legend says that they stay close because they are harboring a grudge against someone that is living. In the majority of instances, the Eloko are seen as malevolent creatures.

In central Zaire, the Biloko claim the densest and darkest parts of the rainforest as their home. It is said that they will guard what they see as their own possessions (the animals and rare fruits found in the forest) with a jealous and forceful passion. Tales talk of only the bravest of hunters being able to penetrate the deepest parts of the forest, and come back alive. It is believed that if a hunter survived, it was because he possessed a high level of magic.

The Biloko are said to stay in the hollowness of trees and hide in the leaves. Hairless, the only body cover they have is grass that grows on their skin. Other features of the beasts include eyes that pierce, snouts, and mouths large enough to open and swallow a human , dead or alive. In Central Africa, this creature is believed to have the power to cast a spell on those it comes in contact with. If you have an amulet as protection, you can avoid the effects of their kind of magic.


A myth associated with the Pygmy tribe deals with the Emela-ntouka , a creature of unknown origin that is believed to live in Central Africa. When translating its name, it actually means “killer of the elephants.” This legend of a creature is thought to be the same size as an African bush elephant with brownish to gray skin. A heavy tail follows behind the back of his body. Some tales liken him to the same shape and body type as a rhinoceros. Like the rhino, the beast has one horn or tusk that some people claim was made out of ivory.


Found throughout Afro-Eurasia, the Hoopoe is a colorful bird that possesses an elaborate ‘crown’ of feathers. Over time, the bird has made a strong cultural mark in Africa. During ancient Egyptian times, the bird was considered sacred, whereas in Persia, the bird represented virtue. To show the significance of the bird in regards to the Egyptian culture, the walls of Egyptian tombs and temples were adorned with the featured creature.