Kopjes

Catching Some Rays in the Serengeti

Lions sunning on top of a large rock, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

As we were driving across the Serengeti, we began to see huge boulders and isolated stacks of rocks jutting from the plains. They were a stark contrast to the endless grass covered plains. The granite and gneiss outcroppings in the western Serengeti are called kopjes. They are over 550 million years old; the surrounding rock/soil through which they protrude is over 1200 million years old. The ancient stacked rocks are the result of volcanic activity. Serengeti soil is composed of volcanic rock and ash covering an older layer of metamorphic rock. The softer rocks and ash eroded, revealing the granite kopjes. The rock formations are an important part of the Serengeti’s ecosystem. They provide habitat for a plants, animals, insects, birds and reptiles. Lions often use the kopjes as vantage points to look for game and predators and as lounging areas. The kopjes pictured here is one of the simpler formations we saw.

Join Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: Rock

Categories:

Africa, Tanzania, wildlife

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