There are reports of two different species, one that mainly inhabits the mountains (called Hadjel, Gassingram, or Vossoko), and a Water-inhabiting one (called Mourou N'gou, Mamaimé, or Dilali).
The Mountain type, according to the reports, is larger than a lion and lacks a tail. The teeth protrude from the mouth, and the feet are hairy. The coloration is red or reddish-brown with white stripes. It is strong enough to carry off large antelopes. It is nocturnal and cave dwelling in the Ouadai district of the Ennedi mountain range. Natives described it to western explorers, who identified it as a Machairodus sabertooth.
The Water type is of unknown relation to the first, although it is also larger than a lion (8–12 feet), very fierce, and has protruding teeth. The animal's color pattern is red with white markings (comparable to mountain cats), to leopard-like with stripes, to uniform brown. Its teeth are always described as "walrus-like" and the tail is always long in reports. Some have suggested an otter as a candidate. Its habitat extends into the Central African Republic. There are also tales of water lions infolklore in Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sudan. A cave drawing that illustrates a walrus-like creature with a long tail exists in South Africa.
A related footnote: the last lions in the Sahara also survived here, until they became extinct before mid-20th century (the last lion was seen in 1940)