My personal opinion is that giraffes are the mammals that represent Africa the best. Where else in the world will you find a mammal that comes close to a giraffe? They almost look like a mix between a camel and a horse, hence their Afrikaans name “Kameelperd” directly translating to “Camel horse.”
There are nine different subspecies of giraffe in Africa, but only one of them is found in South Africa, which you most likely will get to see if you come and visit us at Sabi Sabi.
Giraffes are the world’s tallest land mammals, mainly because of their long flexible necks which enables them to reach the leaves of tall trees without a problem. They also have long tongues that can reach 45cm in length that gives them an even greater height advantage.
One disadvantage of their long neck, is that when they drink water they have to splay open their front legs and lean down to get to the water. This puts them in and awkward position making them more vulnerable to predators.
Even though lions do prey on giraffe, giraffe have a defensive weapon, which is their powerful kick that can seriously injure or even kill a lion when kicked in the head or chest area.
When I think of Africa, I always imagine a herd of giraffe moving through a big open area, it gives you the idea that they are on a journey of their own. That might be why a herd of giraffe is commonly known as a “Journey of Giraffe”.