Where Are Savannas Located Around the World?

savannas-located-around-world Credit: Jack Mallon/CC-BY-2.0

Savannas cover half of Africa and large portions of Australia, India and South America. Perhaps the most famous savanna is that of Tanzania in Africa where giraffes, wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, elephants, lions and cheetahs roam freely. Another famous savanna is in northern Australia where kangaroos migrate while searching for food.

Savannas are one of the major terrestrial biomes on Earth. They consist mainly of open grassland and few trees. Any woody plants that grow in a savanna adapt for dry conditions and drought. Plants contain long roots to find water deep in the ground. Some grasses have a bitter taste or sharp stems to prevent animals from eating them.

Fauna on savannas either migrate to find food or burrow underground to survive. Massive herds of zebras, wildebeests and kangaroos move to find water in drought conditions. Meerkats burrow underground to give birth and raise young in cooler temperatures. Birds of prey find ideal hunting conditions on savannas as the flat, open grassland offers a tremendous view for hawks to see potential food sources.

Temperatures can be hot or cool during dry seasons, and wet seasons in the savanna are warm. Most savannas receive less than 30 inches of rain annually, therefore wildfires typify a savanna biome. Lightning strikes from early-season storms ignite grass that is dry from the winter, and strong winds spread the flames.