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26 April 2010, JellyBean @ 7:10 am

From vicious birds to lost spirits, Africa has a wide range of interesting mythological creatures and characters in their cultural myths. In this article, you will learn of a few, including one that has the characteristics of a vampire.


Some people living in Central Africa tell the tale of obambos – a certain type of ghost that lives in the bush. It is said that eventually, the obambo wishes to have a house of their own and will appear to a close relative to make this request. During the night, the women of the village will gather to sing and dance.

The following day, people visit the grave of the deceased and adorn its final resting place with an idol. Close to the home of the person that the obambo visited, the village will erect a small hut. Inside the bier on which the deceased was carried to his grave is placed inside, along with some of the dust from their grave. Over the door, a white cloth is draped.


Southern African tribes, such as the Zulu, Xhosa, and the Pondo, mention the impundulu in their folklore. This mythological creature, which is referred to as the ‘lightning bird’ is seen as a black and white bird – about the same size as a human. With its wings and talons, it is supposed to hold the power to call thunder and lightning. In witchcraft circles, the bird is described as having the same qualities as a vampire.

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