Known for their long necks, towering height and unique pattern, giraffes are one of Africa’s most iconic species and we are lucky to be able to spot them at The Outpost Lodge, Pel's Post, Tshwene Lodge and Ekuthuleni Lodge. Here’s the low-down on these gentle giants.

THEY ARE THE TALLEST MAMMALS ON EARTH

If you had to guess, what height do you think a male giraffe would reach? It’s difficult to fathom the height of these beautiful animals until you see them, up close and personal. A male giraffe can reach a staggering 5.5 meters and can weigh 800-1200 kilogrammes. Females are slightly smaller, weighing around 650 kilogrammes and measuring approximately a meter shorter than their male counterparts. Just their necks can measure nearly 2 metres!

THEY ARE FIERCE FIGHTERS

For the most part, giraffes are peaceful. However, occasionally males fight in order to establish dominance and, when they do, it can be a fierce display. Giraffe bulls swing their necks and deliver a hefty blow with their head to the body of their contender. If you are 100 meters away from the fight, you may well be able to hear it (it is really that loud), and the fight can last as long as an hour!

THEY ARE MILD INSOMNIACS

They may be the tallest animal in the world, but giraffes only sleep for about 30 minutes every day. And what’s even more shocking is that these daily dozes occur in five minute stretches. On top of this, they mostly sleep standing up.

THEY ARE HUNGRY HERBIVORES

Giraffes require over 30 kilogrammes of food a day – and with a plant-based diet of leaves, fruit and seeds this means they spend a lot of time eating. They love the leaves of the acacia, mimosa and wild apricot tree. Due to their towering height, they are able to to access the leaves on the tallest part of the tree, allowing them to obtain food that’s out of reach for smaller animals.

THEY RESEMBLE A CAMEL AND A LEOPARD

Giraffes used to be known as ‘camel leopards’, due to the fact that they have a long neck like a camel and markings similar to that of a leopard. Their scientific name, ‘Giraffa camelopardalis’, still pays homage to this. And just like a leopard, their puzzle-like spots act as great camouflage.

Feeling inspired to book a safari getaway? Take a look at our four bush escapes and get in touch for any help planning your itinerary or stay – The Outpost Lodge, Pel's Post, Tshwene Lodge and Ekuthuleni Lodge.