Climate, Flora and Fauna of the Savannah


The sheet or tropical prairie is an ecosystem characterized by its grassy plains with a few scattered short trees. It has a warm climate and two seasons: one wet and the other dry, which explains the little diversity of its vegetation. Its soil is lacking in many nutrients and features large light green or yellow grasslands.

There are different types of savanna; in them the climate, the type of soil, the fauna and the flora vary. All of them are located in the southern hemisphere, the most recognized are on the African continent, for example: the Sudanese savannas, the bush savanna of Kenya. There are also some savannas in South America, northern Australia, and India.

Types of savanna

Savannas are classified according to their climate and type of soil in:

  • Savanna of the intertropical zone. Also known as chaparral, grassland, plains or pampas, it has low fertile soil that takes on a reddish color (rich in iron). Its weather is warm. Two periods of rain usually alternate (which generates the formation of swamps) with one of drought (which can cause natural fires). For instance: the Serengeti savanna in Tanzania.
  • Temperate savanna. Also known as prairie, this type of savanna has fertile soil, although the climate is usually cold and dry in winter. Two annual seasons alternate: one warm and the other hot.
  • Mediterranean savanna. This type of savanna has a dry and very little fertile soil. Rainfall is scarce, which generates a semi-arid environment.
  • Mountainous savanna. Being at high altitudes (alpine or subalpine areas) in this type of savanna, the climate is cold and suffers from abundant rainfall.

Savanna flora

Due to their climate and their not very fertile soils, savanna vegetables tend to store water in their deep roots, have seeds that are highly resistant to drought and have adapted to extreme climatic conditions.

The savannah is characterized by its different types of bushes and low plants. Grasses and bushes stand out. The savannah has a small number of trees (which are usually found on the banks of rivers).

In the case of the African savannah, the most frequent trees are acacias and baobabes, and the most frequent grasses are rhodesian grass, lemon grass, star grass and bermuda grass.

Savanna fauna

Savannah fauna

The fauna varies according to the type of savanna. The African savannah, which is the most studied and recognized, is characterized by the presence of mammals with long and strong legs, among which are deer, giraffes, elephants, lions, tigers, hippos and some reptiles such as crocodiles, lizards and iguanas. Many of these animals migrate during the dry season to other more favorable regions.

A large number of savanna animals are herbivores and feed on grasses and grasses; there are also a large number of predators that feed on these animals.

Savanna birds are characterized by having large wings that allow them to travel long distances, since many of them are migratory. There are a large number of scavengers.

Examples of savanna flora

AcaciaBaobabStraw grass
AlbiziaAmerican curatellaMopane
Carob treeSpurgePalms
AnogeissusBay grass
Themeda triandra

Examples of fauna of the savannah

DeerBlack mambaTiger
  • More examples in: Flora and fauna