As the sun sets in the plains of the Masai Mara, the soundscape becomes tense and menacing. It’s a dark moonless night, and wildlife cannot rely on vision to spot predators anymore.
Every little sound takes on new meaning, and being a bit jumpy is preferable to being eaten. Zebra seem to get startled very easy, their neighing calls reverberating around the savanna every few minutes. Lions and hyenas don’t feel too threatened in the dark. They have excellent vision and prefer to hunt at night. They call to advertise their territory, to coordinate hunts and sometimes just because they enjoy the acoustics of a certain location. OK, maybe I made up this last one but how cool would that be?
This is what the African savanna used to sound like until a few hundred years ago. These days you can hear this soundscape only in small pockets of wilderness, usually in national parks. The natural soundscapes are an indicator of a healthy and thriving ecosystem, and they need to be preserved along with the wildlife, nature and people who call them home