African Giraffe habitat information and fun facts

These African animals are the world's tallest mammals.

Let us  explore some of the interesting facts and information about these beautiful safari animals.


What is the habitat where you are most likely to see these wildlife animals in the African bush?

You will notice from giraffe pictures take in their natural habitat that these African animals prefer woodlands areas.

This is where they will find food trees for them to browse.

Giraffes use grasslands only for traveling.


African giraffes information


If fresh green food is available they do not need water.

If that is the case you are unlikely to see them at rivers and lakes.


Interesting giraffe fact

Something you will probably notice when in the bush is that the build of this animal makes it difficult for it to groom itself.

It is therefor usually peppered with ticks.

When you see them scratching against trees it is because they are trying to rid itself of these parasites.


They usually feed and move around during the cooler parts of the day in the early morning and late afternoon.

These African safari animals do sometimes feed at night if there is bright moonlight.

You will see them resting in the midday heat, either standing up or lying down.


How fast can a giraffe run?

They can gallop at up to 34 miles per hour (56 km/h).

When you are on African safari look out for the very distinctive walking gait of this African animal.

Because its legs are so long a walking they move both right legs forward and then both the left legs.

When they gallop, this changes and they simultaneously swing the hind legs ahead of and outside the front legs.


How do giraffes fight?

From fighting facts about these safari animals we have learned that in real fights old bulls swing their heads like medieval maces.

See in the giraffes fighting photo below how the one animal lands a  thundering blow on the body of the oponent with its head.


Giraffes fighting facts

Can giraffes jump?

Interestingly they can hardly jump at all.

The highest fence a giraffe has been recorded clearing was only 1 meter high.


The neck is so long that the swing looks slower than it is and the blows less hard but the sounds of their impacts can be heard from 100 m away.

Broken jaws and necks and combatants being knocked unconscious have been recorded.

A bull rides the blows of the opponent by jumping slightly at the moment of impact.

They cannot jump and swing at the same time so the two opponents give the impression that they are taking turns to give and receive blows.

Fights like this can go on for more than half an hour.

After the fight - the winner will emphasize his dominance by briefly mounting the loser.


How tall is a giraffe?

The tallest one wins

High-ranking bulls intimidate subordinates by standing with their necks vertical in order to exaggerate their height and bulk.

The maximum head height of males are 5,5 meters and 4,5 meters for females.

The shoulder height of males are 3,3 meters and it is 2,8 meters for females.


How do these tall animals mate

A wandering bull tests the reproductive condition of females he encounters by sniffing her urine.

A female that becomes receptive for mating will be approached by a series of increasingly high ranking bulls.


Giraffe information

A higher-ranking challenger displaces each suitor.

By the time the female is receptive the top bull will be courting the female.

Copulation is very brief.

Cows leave the herd to give birth in cover.

In the Serengeti nearly all the calves are born in traditional calving grounds to which a female will return.

A female gives birth standing up, or even while walking.

At first the mother chases other giraffes away so that her calf bonds only to her.

The calf can stand within an hour and lie hidden for 1-3 weeks.

While it is still wobbly on its legs its mother guides it with nudges of her head and forelegs.


little giraffe

Calves suffer heavy predation and the first year mortality is 48% in the South African lowveld.

Calves in the same herd establish social bonds by playing with each other.

The calves first eat solid food at two weeks.

They are weaned between 12 and 14 months and leave the mother at 15 to 17 months.


Interested in some more giraffe information?

Here we further discuss:

  • How can you tell the difference between the male and female sexes from a distance when on safari?
  • Whether these African animals are very social?
  • What they eat etc.
  • Interesting information about how they defend themselves agains predators.
interesting facts about giraffes



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