The nation animals of Tanzania The Giraffes walk with the grace and pride, and will never go unnoticed during an African Safari. Roaming wild and free in the savannah, there are plenty of them to appease you from their fruit picking to water sipping elegance. Do not just pass by these human-friendly creatures. Here are 10 amusing facts about the giraffes that will make you look forward to meet them on your next wildlife adventure.
Meet the Tallest Mammals of Earth
If the Dinosaurs would exist, they may have been a little conscious of some competition here. The average height of the giraffe is 5 m and tallest one can measure up to 5.9 meters. That is just a little more taller than the double-decker bus. A female giraffe is just slightly shorter to 14 feet while the male giraffe is 18 feet tall.
Have you seen a giraffe running?
Often spotted walking with grace and charm, giraffes can run as fast as 35 miles per hour. The open vast landscape makes for a fun playground especially for shy calves. They can also run really quick as they see lions approaching them, one of the only threatening predators to giraffes.
“You can’t find us everywhere”
Giraffes are only present in sub-Saharan Africa and their population has slashed down from 200,000 to 100,000 in the past 30 years. This is due to deforestation, poaching and trophy hunting. Their population is highly concentrated in Tanzania especially in the Northern and Southern Safari Circuits.
Wait near the watering hole or a river
It may be very rare to see the giraffe drinking water. With their extra tall bodies, they have to spread their tall legs or sometimes kneel down to reach to the ground. Like camels they drink water once in few days and depend on seeds, plants and fruits to quench their thirst. They can eat tons of leaves every week.
They are not sleepwalking.
Due to their height and the constant fear of predators, giraffes spend most of their time standing. They will sleep for only 5-30 minutes during the day, no, not by comfortably laying down. Just short power naps while standing and that is all that they need.
The deadly fight and some love
A small tiff between 2 giraffes can be rather dangerous. The fighters use their necks aggressively that may cause blows and muscular damage, often leading to death. Their small horns are used for a playful fight and they love to intertwine their necks when they feel loved, also called necking.
There are no albino giraffes but there are white giraffes with dark eyes and lack of pigmentation. Till date, only one has been spotted in the Serengeti National Park.
Giraffes often roam together in a group referred to as a tower with 10-20 members. They do not have territories and the tower consists mostly of mothers and their young ones. Like a nursery, other giraffes will also take care of the young calves while the parents are away foraging.
Giraffe and the Lion. Who wins?
While a lion may get opportunistic to kill the giraffe when it lowers its neck to drink water, a giraffe’s legs are so strong that it can break the lion spine or skull just with a single kick. Giraffes can get aggressive and poise a serious threat to predators and also to themselves.
No two giraffes can ever be identical and their patterns vary just like the human fingerprints. The age of the giraffe can be estimated by its spots; the darker the patterns, the older the giraffe. There are 4 species of giraffes the reticulated and the Maasai add both found in East Africa, and the latter has darker patches.
Did your safari guide share with you any other interesting facts about the giraffe other than these? We would love to know what you learned.