Dry Bushland

Altitude: 0 - 2750 m

Large areas of Kenya, including Tsavo, Samburu and Kora national reserves are covered in dry and thorny bushlands, also known as acacia-commiphora woodlands. These woodlands are home to some amazing partnerships. Look carefully and you will see trees, birds, insects and animals cooperating to thrive in this tough environment.  

With thanks to Stephen Kameti and his son Elijah who took us to visit the acacia-commiphora woodlands of Kora national park and to Mark Nicholson who helped us get the facts right.

This printable fact sheet (great for schools and wildlife clubs) about acacia-commiphora woodlands is available free of charge.  Email Tree Safari if you would like us to send you one. 

More facts about acacia-commiphora woodlands

Acacia-commiphora woodlands are found in arid and semi-arid zones of Kenya from sea level to 1500m.  These areas are dry for most of the year and sometimes the rain doesn’t come at all.  Plants and animals have adapted themselves to these harsh conditions. You will notice that many Commiphora and Euphorbia trees have no leaves, or very small leathery leaves and photosynthesize from the bark.  Many trees drop their leaves to prevent water loss, and when it is very dry their  roots  can go down very deep to reach the water table. 

Acacia-commiphora ecosystems are under threat as people cut down the trees and poach wildlife.  Kenya has protected several areas of Acacia-commiphora woodlands including Kora, Amboseli, Maralal, Nairobi ,Tsavo, Samburu and Shaba national parks and reserves.

Click on the links below to read about some trees that grow in the dry bushlands.

African Acacias (now Senegalias, Vachellias and Faidherbia).

Baobab tree

Creamy peacock flower tree


Diamond leaved Euclea

Erythrina abyssinica

Click here



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Acacia-Commiphora_bushlands_and_thickets https://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/at0711

A field guide to the Acacias of Kenya  Coe, M and Beentje H  1991

Colin Tudge – The Secret Life of Trees  2005 – Penguin

Noad T and Birnie A  Trees of Kenya. An Illustrated field guide.

Map from Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Acacia-Commiphora_bushlands_and_thickets