Acacia Woodland

A leopard lounging in an acacia tree
Acacia Woodland

Open Plan Design

Pockets of acacia woodland are dappled across Africa’s savanna, usually accompanied by a river or lake. Acacia trees are joined by other types of trees and vegetation, forming a loose canopy with spacious areas in between.

Let the Sun Shine In

The acacia and other trees here tend to have thin, tall trunks and a network of branches that stretch out to maximize exposure to sunlight—forming the “flat top” look they’re famous for.

Excellent Hangout

Acacia woodland is a haven for many animal species. Monkeys use the trees and scamper on the ground, birds perch and nest among the branch canopies, and big cats lounge in the shade the trees provide.

31

countries in sub-Saharan Africa contain acacia woodland

98

species of ungulates live in woodland habitats

600

acacia (Vachellia) tree species are native to Africa

A leopard

HEADLINER
LEOPARD

Eyes on You

One of the all-time classics of Africa's woodland, the leopard has big-cat style and smooth moves as it stalks prey through the tall grass. Gazelles, deer, and even monkeys won’t escape the intense gaze of this green-eyed feline.

leopard reclining in a tree

Up a Tree

A leafy, multi-branched tree is a safe place for a leopard to sleep away the day. It’s also a great place to stash prey—leopards can lug a carcass high up in a tree to feast in peace, and save the leftovers for later.

baby leopard looking back over its shoulder

That’s the Spot

Leopards have their own style when it comes to spots. Theirs are formed in clusters of black and brown in a shape that looks a bit like a rose—and they are called rosettes. This pattern simulates dappled light, providing camouflage as the leopard stalks through the brush.

facial close-up of a leopard

Going Solo

This African cat tends to be solitary, hanging out and hunting by itself. Leopards usually only get together for breeding season, and when a mother is raising cubs.

ALSO
STARRING

seated vervet monkey

vervet monkey

Girls rule in vervet society—females lead the social groups. A daughter may stay with her mother's group, while a son leaves to join another group when he matures. A dominance hierarchy for each gender helps keep the peace, along with grooming, which is a bonding experience.

close up of a bee-eater

BEE-EATER

Out of 27 species of bee-eaters, 20 live in Africa. Some bee-eaters live in colonies numbering in the thousands, and they dig nest holes into riverbanks. These busy birds do eat bees, and other flying insects—they perch in a tree, and then swoop out to snatch a snack in mid air.

Black-headed weaver perched on a branch.

Black-headed weaver

Weaving together strips of leaves, the industrious male black-headed weaver can build an intricate, hanging nest in about 11 hours. Then, he hangs below the nest entrance, calling and flapping his wings, showing off his handiwork in hopes of attracting a female.