Despite their size, giraffes are quite timid and easily spooked.
Males often roam by themselves, whilst smaller groups contain out of a few females with their offspring. After about 15 months of pregnancy, the mother gives birth. Within an hour, the young calf is able to walk and follow the herd. Male juveniles stay within a group until they are old enough to either leave or are abandoned.
A giraffe’s ears pointing upwards signal awareness, ears down shows relaxed mode. This herd was highly entertaining to watch.
They exhibit highly sociable behaviour, an interesting fact I have never seen before.
This is the first time I was able to observe the herd dynamics at this close range for a fair period of time.
Once this herd of 4 adults and one very young offspring spotted me and classified me as not dangerous, it was giraffe life as usual.
The young one emerged from bushes as tall as him and was friendly greeted by mom.
“Look, there’s an oversized Zebra!” Say the giraffes on seeing my car.
Mom quickly disappeared to the other side of the track and left another giraffe, with noticeable darker patterns in charge.
Whether she was a sister or possibly attracted to the other two adult giraffes wasn’t quite clear.
Clear was that she showed a lot of attention to the same aged and in height males.
These two restored the pecking order with each other, giraffe style.
Giraffes use their neck to fight. These two giraffes necks were swung in a great pendulum, then like a sledgehammer, they hit, using the horns on the head to strike the other one’s body. Ouch!
I heard the impact noise, standing not too far away.
The impact sent shock waves throughout the neck.
The wound can be seen on some photos.
Shortly after, peace was restored and they rejoined the darker female.
This was a rather amusing gathering to watch.
Back and forth, walking like an Egyptian.
Meanwhile, the youngest seemed intrigued by Zimba or was looking for its mom.
Like a well-shaved unicorn, it stood not far from me. How cute is this?
Mom in charge kept a good eye out on what this youngster is up too. Eventually, one by one crossed the 2 wheel track to rejoin with ‘mother’.
Even though, not everyone was too sure about me,
the leaves up high in the tree seem to be tastiest.
This lone male was feeding on higher leaves as well.
Only giraffes can reach these leaves for obvious reasons.
Fortunately, but very annoying, he entered the de-bug cleaning station.
Every now and then, he shook the cleaning birds off, only for them to land on a different spot.
He clearly wasn’t impressed. Giraffes are most vulnerable when they bend down to eat or drink. Up to 35 lt per session will last them for a good week.
Having this giraffe moving towards me to bend down for some grass, shows how contained these animals are around humans.
I have not seen a giraffe eating grass before.
It looks like an unstable construction.
Another loner stood right on the sand track to feed on leaves the off the spiky acacia trees. Aware, but without a care in the world, he kept on carefully selecting his menu. Incredible to watch.
He was almost too close for my zoom. I really did enjoy watching this, the tallest animal in the world at ‘Moremi Giraffic Park’.
2 thoughts on “Giraffic Park, Moremi National Park, Botswana”
Nice play on words, Giraffic! And I never realised they could be different colours or shades
I was somewhat surprised too… but we’re in Africa after all… 😉