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Savannah Zone in a Zoo

What is Savannah Zone

Savannah Zone is a unique feature found in a number of Europe’s zoos, as part of their initiative to replicate and highlight distinct biozones across the globe.

It aims to re-create the magic and diversity of the grassy, tree-dotted landscapes that are the hallmark of the world’s savannah regions. Visitors to these zoos are given an engaging, playful, and educational glimpse into the habitats and wildlife usually seen on a safari in the wild savannahs of Africa and Australia.

Which European Zoos have Savannah Zone

The Concept of Savannah Zone in European Zoos

The Savannah Zone is a meticulously designed space within many European zoos, aimed at authentically replicating the sprawling savannahs found in Africa and Australia. It employs a unique combination of carefully chosen vegetation, wide-open areas, and strategically placed water holes to mimic the natural environment.

Wildlife in the Savannah Zone

The Savannah Zones in these zoos are home to an assortment of fascinating wildlife. Visitors can expect to see a range of animals typical of a savannah ecosystem, from towering giraffes and lumbering elephants to agile gazelles and elusive cheetahs. These animals are selected for their adaptability to the savannah environment and their compatibility with one another.

The Viewing Experience

The viewing experience in the Savannah Zone is designed to be immersive and educative. Wide viewing areas ensure that visitors can see the animals in a setting that closely mirrors their natural habitats. Information boards are placed strategically to provide fascinating insights into the animals’ lives and their savannah home.

The Importance of the Savannah Zone

The Savannah Zone plays a vital role in raising awareness about these unique biozones and their inhabitants. By providing a glimpse into these ecosystems, they encourage visitors to understand the importance of their conservation. Moreover, they offer an unforgettable experience of ‘wild’ Africa and Australia right here in Europe.

Which European Zoo has the largest Savannah Zone?

Berlin’s Tierpark Zoo is home to the largest Savannah Zone in Europe. Spanning an impressive 15 hectares, this Savannah Zone contains more than 30 species of animals, including zebras, ostriches, emus, red-capped robins and meerkats. Visitors can explore the area on foot or enjoy a thrilling ride on the Savannah Safari train, which takes them on a journey of discovery through this natural landscape.

The Tierpark Zoo also hosts ‘Savannah Nights’, during which the park is open until late and visitors can observe the animals in their nocturnal environment. It is a truly magical experience to witness the beauty of the savannah in an evening setting.

All this makes Tierpark Zoo’s Savannah Zone the most remarkable in Europe, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience Africa and Australia without ever leaving Berlin.

What type of animals Savannah Zone has

A Diverse Array of Animals

The Savannah Zone is renowned for its diverse array of animals. It houses species that are emblematic of the savannah ecosystem, each playing a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the zone.

The Towering Giraffes

Towering above all, giraffes are one of the highlights of the Savannah Zone. Their long necks and legs, combined with their unique spotted coats, make them an impressive sight. They play a key role in the ecosystem, browsing on the tops of trees and helping to keep the vegetation diverse.

The Mighty Elephants

Elephants, with their enormous size and gentle demeanor, are a firm favourite among visitors. Their presence contributes significantly to the Savannah Zone, as they act as ‘ecosystem engineers’ by controlling the vegetation and creating habitats for other species.

The Agile Gazelles

Gazelles, with their slender bodies and remarkable speed, are an essential part of the Savannah Zone. They serve as prey for predators, maintaining a balance in the food chain. Their grazing habits also help in controlling the growth of grasses.

The Elusive Cheetahs

Cheetaahs, known for their unmatched speed and agility, are apex predators in the Savannah Zone. They play a critical role in controlling populations of herbivores and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

The Savannah Birds

The Savannah Zone is also home to a variety of bird species. From the large, ground-dwelling ostriches to the small, colourful bee-eaters, these avian species add a vibrant dimension to the zone. They play essential roles in the ecosystem, from dispersing seeds to controlling insect populations.

Interactions Among Species

The interactions among the various species in the Savannah Zone is a spectacle in itself. Visitors can observe hunting strategies of predators, defensive mechanisms of prey, and social behaviours of herd animals. This, in itself, offers a valuable lesson in the dynamics of a savannah ecosystem.

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What you should see in Savannah Zone

Roaming Giants of the Savannah

Nothing quite prepares visitors for their first encounter with the awe-inspiring elephants of the Savannah Zone. These magnificent creatures, known for their intelligence and social behaviour, make for a captivating sight as they go about their daily routines.

The Tall Residents

Giraffes are another highlight of the Savannah Zone. With their towering heights, these gentle giants are hard to miss. Visitors can often see them delicately navigating the vegetation, reaching up high with their long necks for tasty leaves.

Speedsters of the Plains

A thrilling sight for many is the cheetah, known as the fastest land animal. While they are often seen resting during the day, visitors may occasionally witness a burst of their incredible speed, a truly unforgettable experience.

The Agile Gazelles

Gazelles, famed for their agility and speed, are also prominent residents of the Savannah Zone. Visitors may witness their playful antics and social interactions, which are a joy to observe.

The Fierce Predators

Then there are the lions, the fierce predators that rule the savannah. Their majestic presence adds a sense of thrilling uncertainty, reminding visitors of the wild nature of the savannah ecosystem.

The Avian Inhabitants

Not to forget the birdlife, the Savannah Zone houses a variety of avian species. From large birds of prey to colourful songbirds, these feathered inhabitants add a vibrant touch to the experience.

The Smaller Wonders

Lastly, the Savannah Zone is home to many smaller creatures that are equally fascinating. From lizards basking in the sun to beetles scurrying among the grasses, these smaller wonders serve as a reminder of the rich biodiversity of the savannah.

What is the environment in Savannah Zone

The Geographic Setting

The Savannah Zone replicates the geographic setting of a natural savannah, ensuring the habitat is as authentic as possible. A savannah is characterised by a mixture of grasses and scattered trees, a climate that alternates between rainy and dry seasons, and a variety of soil types. By mimicking these conditions, the Savannah Zone provides a suitable environment for the species it houses.

The Flora

The vegetation in the Savannah Zone is thoughtfully planned and managed. It consists mainly of grasses and scattered trees, which are typical of savannah landscapes. This vegetation provides food and shelter for the various species living in the zone, contributing to a balanced and thriving ecosystem.

The Climate

The Savannah Zone mimics the climate of natural savannahs, which typically have a wet and a dry season. The wet season is characterised by heavy rainfall, promoting the growth of vegetation. During the dry season, water sources may become scarce, and the vegetation may become dry and brittle. This alternation of seasons adds an additional layer of authenticity to the Savannah Zone.

The Soil

The soil in the Savannah Zone is another crucial aspect. Savannah soils tend to be low in nutrients and may be sandy or clayey. The soil in this zone is managed carefully to ensure it supports the growth of typical savannah vegetation and provides a natural substrate for the animals.

The Water Sources

Water sources are also an integral part of the Savannah Zone. These may take the form of small ponds or waterholes, providing essential hydration for the inhabitants. In the wild, these water sources often serve as gathering spots for animals, especially in the dry season.

The Overall Ambience

The overall ambience of the Savannah Zone is one of openness and wild beauty. The vast expanses of grassland, punctuated by the occasional tree or water source, offer an immersive experience that transports visitors into the heart of a real savannah ecosystem. This unique ambience fosters a sense of wonder and respect for nature, inspiring visitors to care for our planet’s invaluable biozones.

Is Savannah Zone safe environment for the animals?

Animal Safety Measures in Savannah Zone

The Savannah Zone is meticulously designed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all its inhabitants. Zoos across Europe are committed to providing a secure and naturalistic environment that promotes the natural behaviours of the species it houses.

Enclosure Design

Primarily, the design of the animal enclosures in the Savannah Zone is carefully planned to accommodate the needs of each species. From wide, open spaces for the elephants and giraffes to areas of dense vegetation for cheetahs and other predators, every aspect of the enclosure design is tailored to replicate the animals’ natural habitats.

Nutrition and Health Care

Moreover, the nutritional needs of every animal in the Savannah Zone are meticulously catered to. A team of dedicated zoo nutritionists and veterinarians ensure that all animals receive a balanced diet and regular health check-ups. They closely monitor the animals for signs of ill health or stress and take immediate action when required.

Enrichment Activities

Enrichment activities play a significant role in maintaining the mental and physical well-being of the animals. These activities, which may include puzzle feeders, toys, or novel scents, are designed to promote natural behaviours and provide mental stimulation.

Security Measures

In terms of security, all animal enclosures in the Savannah Zone are fitted with secure barriers to prevent any potential escapes. These barriers are meticulously designed to blend into the naturalistic setting while ensuring complete safety.

Protection from Extreme Weather

Lastly, measures are also in place to protect the animals from extreme weather conditions. On hot days, shade structures and water sprinklers provide relief from the heat, while heated indoor areas ensure the animals stay warm during the cold season.

In conclusion, the Savannah Zone is a safe environment for the animals, where their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs are prioritized. It represents a shining example of modern zoos’ commitment to animal welfare and conservation.

Further Research


For those who wish to delve deeper into the fascinating world of Savannah Zones, the following online articles may prove to be enlightening:

  1. The Savannah Biome – This comprehensive article provides extensive information about the savannah biome, its flora, fauna, and climate.
  2. Zoo Habitat Design – The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums offers insight into the principles of zoo habitat design.
  3. Animal Nutrition in Zoos – A detailed document by the Zoological Society of London on the importance of nutrition in zoos.
  4. Enrichment Ideas for Zoos – This site provides a treasure trove of enrichment ideas for various species.

Remember, the goal of these biozones is not just to entertain but to inspire and educate the public about the incredible biodiversity of our planet and the importance of conservation. Whether you’re a seasoned zoologist or a casual enthusiast, your journey of discovery starts here!