On Safari in East Africa: Giraffes

We had a spectacular month exploring East Africa – a real dream come true and centerpiece of our trip. It was awe-inspiring to see first hand in the wild what we had only seen in zoos. Handpicking the best of the best of the thousands of photos we took, the On Safari in East Africa series showcases the animals we were privileged to see in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Giraffes

Giraffes are really tall, yet incredibly graceful. Seeing giraffes gently roam the savanna was like a vision of Africa in my head come to life. 

One day we witnessed the ritual known as “necking” amongst a group of males. They were swinging their necks wildly at each other – quite amazing to see! Males establish social hierarchies in this way. Whichever giraffe uses his neck and head most effectively and remains standing the longest is the winner and allowed to mate with the female.

Not only long necks…giraffes have really, really long tongues! So feeding them little food pellets was pretty funny. (And slimy.)

Their favorite food though is acacia leaves. I kept wondering how they manage to eat these thorny things. Apparently, this is where that massive tongue comes in handy  to scrape off the leaves. Plus they have very tough lips to guard against scratching.

FACT

The giraffe is the tallest mammal in the world. Even newborn giraffes are taller than most humans.