The Nile crocodile is an opportunistic apex predator and a very aggressive species of crocodile, known for its voracious appetite.
The size of the prey depends on mostly the size of the crocodile. Young hatchlings generally feed on smaller prey, preferring small fish, frogs, insects and small aquatic invertebrates before taking on larger fish, amphibians and small reptiles. Juveniles and sub adults take a wider variety of prey with additions such as birds, turtles, snakes, Nile monitors and small to mid-sized mammals, such as various monkeys, duikers, rodents, mongoose, hares, pangolins, porcupines, bats, dik-dik, and other small ungulates up to the size of a Thomson’s gazelle. Various birds including, storks, small wading birds, waterfowl, fish eagles and even small swift flying birds may be snatched.
Adults are apex predators and prey upon various birds, reptiles and mammals, in addition to prey consumed also by the younger specimens. Large birds such as ostrich, and large snakes such pythons are among non-mammalian prey. Among the mammals, the bulk of the prey is antelopes. In general, gazelles, waterbuck, bushbuck, impala, sitatunga, lechwe, eland, kudu, gemsbok, sable antelope and wildebeest are among the most common prey. Zebras, warthogs and baboons are also readily taken. The largest adults sometimes take on larger prey such as giraffe, Cape buffalo, young hippos, and young elephants.
Cooperative hunting and pack hunting has been observed in populations of Nile crocodiles living in large bodies of water, or in very high traffic areas of rivers and lakes.