What Are The Most Common Trees In The Serengeti National Park? Six Serengeti trees you can’t miss seeing on your Tanzania safari tour: The Serengeti National Park serves as Tanzania’s wildlife landscape’s “benchmark” for everything. It is a top safari destination for tourists from around the world, offering a variety of tourist activities like game drives, walking safaris, and hot air balloon safaris, as well as attractions like the famous great wildebeest migration, the African Big Five, and numerous bird species.
There are numerous habitat types in the Serengeti National Park, but the vast plain is the main one. Beyond the large grassy spaces, the environment most notably has a variety of trees that give it an African flair. What kinds of trees are most prevalent in the Serengeti? In this blog post, we’ll discuss our list of the top 6 trees that are frequently observed in the Serengeti National Park, which is one of the questions that the majority of tourists who are interested in seeing and learning about vegetation and trees ask.
The greatest undisturbed animal migration in the world takes place against the backdrop of the Serengeti’s boundless plains. Every year, hundreds of thousands of ungulates, including more than a million wildebeest, travel a 1,000-kilometer circular route that connects Tanzania and Kenya, two neighboring nations. However, even without the massive migration, there is a huge animal population that includes predatory predators and vegetarian four-legged buddies. Much to the joy of travelers on one of the highly sought-after safari tours. Below are top 6 trees that are common seen in the Serengeti National Park:
- The umbrella acacia (Acacia tortilis)
The tree that best embodies Africa is the umbrella acacia. They stand in the savannah, affording shade like strong parasols. The scene would fit in nicely with all stereotypes of Africa if you imagined a giraffe peering over the top while nibbling acacia leaves or a lion taking a siesta underneath.
The most prevalent umbrella acacia species in the Serengeti is Acacia tortilis (Vachellia tortilis). Without meaning to, they provide food for a variety of animals, like other acacias do. The giraffes are extremely bothersome to them; therefore, they produce tannins to protect themselves. They “poisoned” the leaves of the discourteous patrons, ruining their dinner. Although this does not result in death, it makes the stomach uncomfortable. The acacias also send out messenger substances (ethene) to alert other species nearby because they’ve discovered that banding together boosts their chances of surviving in the Serengeti. In this way, before anyone even pounces on their leaves, they can already prepare the tannic overdose.
Have you ever witnessed giraffes grinning while touring the feeding area? They probably do that to make fun of the finicky behavior of the acacia. They move against the wind in quest of food, not downwind with the messenger particles toward their favorite meal.
- Commiphora (Commiphora Africana)
Commiphora africana would be the remedy in the event that a giraffe actually ingested too many tannin-overloaded acacia leaves and experienced digestive issues. Traditional Chinese medicine uses the berries, roots, and bark for a number of conditions, including stomach aches. However, it can also be used to treat skin rashes, liver issues, and pediatric colic.
The Serengeti’s eastern region is where Commiphora africana, one of several Commiphora species, is most prevalent. They are easily distinguishable from umbrella acacias despite having a different shape.
- Yellow fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea)
Additionally, diseases relate to this tree but in a different way than what could be expected at first. First off, the word “xanthophloea” in the scientific name of the tree, which refers to the tree’s unique yellow bark, is derived from Greek. In this sense, the translation alludes to a yellow fever tree rather than the disease yellow fever.
Fever tree is a colloquial name that combines two concepts: First off, due to its propensity to flourish in marshy regions, floodplain forests, lakeshores, or regions with high groundwater levels. These are primarily moist locations with black cotton soil in the Serengeti, including those beside rivers. However, European immigrants in the area noted that these yellow trees were more prevalent in regions where malaria was present. They came to the conclusion that malaria is caused by “fever trees.” Today, we know better: mosquitoes that live in swampy environments, where this kind of tree thrives, are the vectors of malaria.
- Sausage tree (Kigelia africana)
Undoubtedly, it will be difficult to locate this large tree in the Serengeti. When you see it, it’s even more astounding. There are many clues in the German name. It is known as a “liver sausage tree” there. Actually, the growth on this tree, which is supported by long stalks, resembles enormous liver sausages. These fruits can easily reach 60 cm in height and beyond. But take caution, they are toxic.
Baboons can open the hard “berries,” yet the fruits are preferred by huge creatures like elephants. If the ripe fruit is not consumed right away, it will eventually fall from the tree and decay there. However, in both situations, they either release seeds right away or after a protracted, thrilling journey through the digestive system, What Are The Most Common Trees In The Serengeti National Park?
The Serengeti’s sausage trees are the worst places to set up camp, according to any guide: “If the 5–10 kg fruit doesn’t destroy you, the elephants will when they come to pick the fruit,” they say. In addition, it is a widely held notion in the area that hanging sausage tree fruit inside your hut will fight off storms.
- Strangler Fig (Ficus thonningii)
The strangler fig even has a name that sounds menacing. You shouldn’t approach it too closely, it seems. Consider yourself standing in the light when all of a sudden a tiny plant starts to crawl up on you. There is no chance for you to flee. Additionally, this parasite persistently branches and thickens as it uses your body to ascend toward the light. You will be choked out gradually while also dissipating into the plant’s ever-narrowing web. The rotting process is already starting inside of you, even though it is currently hardly apparent from the outside. What’s left is the shell of a plant that doesn’t require you to live any longer.
Nature may indeed be harsh. Although the strangler fig is attacking trees rather than people in this instance, the outcome is the same. However, the tree consistently and in huge amounts provides very nutritious leaves, twigs, and bark that improve the quality of life for wildlife.
In the area, strangler figs are revered as sacred trees. For instance, among the Agikuyu and Mount Kenya tribes, fanning the smoke from a roasted, fattened lamb up a tree as a gift to their god Ngai can bring rain.
- Candelabra Euphorbia (Euphorbia candelabrum)
It literally translates to “candelabra tree,” because at first glance, it resembles a massive candelabrum filled with innumerable candlesticks. There is nothing that you would want to serve at a supper for two. Or perhaps the scene of a Bush dinner?
However, I do not advise setting the candelabra tree on fire. This plant is a spurge. The plant’s white latex sap is lethal. Smoke inhalation is generally not advised but especially not when combined with the smoke’s spurge ingredients. The thick, milky broth can irritate skin just from touching it, and if it gets in the eyes, it can blind you.
The tree, which is common throughout the Serengeti, particularly in its western and northern regions, has another unique quality: It has the top of a cactus and the bottom of a conventional tree, giving the impression of being a hybrid plant.
Tanzania has many notable features. One of the most popular safari locations is the Serengeti. If you have any questions or need assistance planning your Safari tour to Tanzania, whether it be a private safari or a group tour, please contact us. We are always up to date on the scenario when we are on site. So please contact us!