African Savanna

Our African Savanna is located in the lower Zoo, past the gondola station, just behind the giraffes. Here you’ll find an enormous four-acre area enclosure for our amazing elephants, a spacious tree-filled enclosure for our lions, two aviaries filled with beautiful birds and mammals, and an expansive home for our zebras.

Meet Our Animals

The African Savanna is a large open grassland with scattered shrubs and trees.

The Savanna in Africa


The African Savanna is a large open grassland with scattered shrubs and trees, and usually has a very rainy season and a very dry season. There are several different kinds of savannas around the world. The savanna that most people are familiar with (and is represented at the Zoo) is the savanna of east Africa.


Here you will find amazing wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, and lions. In the wild, herbivores (animals that eat plants) need vast areas of land to accommodate the large numbers of animals living in the herd. During the dry season they walk many miles to find enough food and water for all the members of the group. Where ever there are herbivores, there are sure to be carnivores (animals that eat meat) close behind. During the rainy season food and water is plentiful and many species meet by the ponds and lakes that appear. Here at the Zoo, we provide plenty of food, water, and shelter from the hot sun, as well as enough space to roam around.

Making Our Animals Feel at Home

The Oakland Zoo is committed to providing the best animal care and species specific habitats for all of our animals. In the wild animals are always using their senses to detect potential danger or food in their surroundings. In an effort to replicate these natural behaviors animals are introduced to different smells, sounds, textures, and tastes. These sensory stimulating objects are called enrichment items. Look for these items next time you visit.

In January 2012 we completed the new giraffe barn. The new barn is designed to better accommodate the giraffe and their unique needs: twenty-five foot ceilings, a birthing area, space for medical procedures, a heating system for cold winter months, two large doors to help them easily move in and out of the barn, and a floor made of material suited for giraffes. This amazing new area was made possible by the generous donations of over 100 individuals who contributed to the Zoo's Raise the Roof project.

How You Can Help

We gratefully accept donations of goods that serve as enrichment items.

Learn More

Oakland Zoo actively supports conservation programs in Africa.

Learn More