IntroductionThe African Savanna grasslands are expansive areas with scattered trees that lie between the continents rainforests and deserts and run along the equator. This African landform is where the great cats such as lions stalk their prey and where the African elephants roam. On this page are lists of interesting facts, written for kids and adults, about the African Savanna. This information includes what animals live there and where the Savanna is located.
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African Savanna SeasonsThere are two seasons dry (winter) and wet (summer) on the African Savanna. The dry season is long, lasting from October through March. This season is very dry and only about four inches of rain falls during the entire season. It is during this season that water holes dry up and you see animals sneaking in to get a sip of water while trying to avoid crocodiles waiting to attack them. The wet season (summer) is very different from the dry season. Between fifteen and twenty five inches of rain fall on the savannas during this time. It can rain for many hours non-stop. It gets very hot and humid on the grasslands during this season and as this hot air rises it hits cooler air causing rain.
Plants found on the African SavannaThere are many different types of plants found on the African savanna all of which have to be able to withstand long periods of drought in order to survive the long dry season. Below is a list of the most common plants found on these African landforms.
- River bushwillow - This shrub has leaves that change colors with the change in the seasons. It blossoms a yellowish flower that has a poisonous fruit.
- Okra - This plant has yellow or white flowers and can grow over six feet tall. The okra produces fruit that can be eaten.
- Bermuda Grass - This grass makes a thick mat on the ground and can survive through droughts.
- Thorny Trees - These trees include the senegal gum acacia, umbrella thorn acacia and the whistling thorn acacia.
- Other trees - The non-thorny trees, baobab, manketti, candelabra, and the Jackalberry tree are also found on the African grasslands.
Animals found on the African SavannaThere are an abundance of animals found on the grasslands that are all well equipped to withstand the extreme conditions. These animals are dependent on each other to keep the environment in balance. Savanna animals are all in a constant search for food and water. Some of these animals are listed below.
- Lions - can grow up to ten feet long. They live in groups called prides. The males are larger than the females and have a shaggy mane.
- African elephants - are the largest land mammals on earth and can weigh up to twenty thousand pounds.
- Cheetahs- are the fastest land animals in the world. In short spurts they can reach a speed of seventy miles per hour.
- Zebras - roam the savanna in large herds eating grass. Their senses are very keen which helps them avoid being caught by predators.
- Cape buffalo - This aggressive large bovine is very unpredictable and dangerous. They kill over two hundred people on average every year. It is a popular target for hunting safaris.
- Giraffes - are the tallest animals in the world reaching up to twenty feet tall. Their long necks help them reach the leaves at the tops of trees where other animals cannot reach. One of their favorite trees to eat leaves from is the acacia.