Have you seen a Rothschild giraffe in its natural habitat? Safari Uganda for a Uganda wildlife safari and have a look this animal that was earlier described by the early explorers as a cross between a camel and a leopard. Is this true? How could this happen? The beauty of them is that they are the most recognizable animals in the animal kingdom. Book a Uganda safari, engage in a Uganda wildlife tour to any of the parks that host this giraffe-like Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park.
During my wildlife tour Uganda in Murchison Falls National Park Uganda, it was one of my favourite animals I saw in the park. I found them to be majestic and elegant creatures to watch. They are extremely curious and sure to steal your heart with their long necks. They have a beautiful patchwork coat that is unique and lovable.
The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most endangered giraffe species, with fewer than 700 individuals remaining in the wild. The giraffe is certainly an awkward-looking creature but very unique. A giraffe moves both right legs simultaneously, followed by both left legs. Its favourite food is the hideously spiky acacia, which it strips of leaves using its long, dark purple tongue. Giraffes are the world’s tallest land mammal because its newborn giraffe stands at about six feet (2m) tall! Unlike our necks that are short, the giraffe’s neck contains just seven vertebrae; exactly the same as humans.
Many travellers on safaris Uganda or Uganda tours confuse the male with a female. After reading through this article, you will know how to differentiate the male from the female during your Uganda wildlife safari tour game drive in the park.
Both male and female giraffes have ‘horns’. I have said horns because it is the easiest way I can make you see them however they are actually called ‘ossicones’. These Ossicones are formed from ossified cartilage and are covered in skin. The male giraffes have larger ossicones which they use for fighting, causing all the fur to rub off leaving them with grey bald spots on top of them.
The female giraffes don’t fight so their ossicones are thinner and have fur standing upon them.
How do you differentiate them?
When you look at a male and female giraffe together during a wildlife safari in Uganda, you will see that they are almost impossible to tell apart, except for the fact that males are bigger than females. Here are a couple of distinctions between male and female giraffes I found interesting:
Although both sexes have horns, the male giraffe horns are normally bald on top while the female horns have hair on them. They are ossicones, which are horn-like protrusions.
The males have 3 ossicones while the females have 2. Males develop calcium deposits that form bumps on their skulls as they age, which makes it look as though they have additional horns that’s why people say they have 5 horns. These calcium deposits help to protect a male’s head during a fight.
When giraffes mature well, Male giraffes are always taller than females. Males grow up to 19 feet tall from their feet to their horns and weigh up to 4,300 pounds while the female giraffes grow up to 16 feet tall and weigh up to 2,600 pounds.
At an old age, the males often grow darker in colour compared to the females. Is it because all females look of after themselves well?
More Interesting Facts About Giraffes
Giraffes weigh more than your car.
This is the most amazing fact I got around. Giraffes look thin because they are so tall, but an adult male can weigh up to 3600 pounds and an adult female has an average of about 1800 pounds. The average car in the United States according to the scales is between 1800 and 3000 pounds.
Giraffes can go a really long time without drinking water
Many travellers have gone for Uganda wildlife safaris but none of them has told us they saw a giraffe around water. Until you see it, will never realize how hard it is for the world’s tallest animal to take water. They swag with their height because they are able to reach the best leaves at the very top of the trees. But imagine the efforts a giraffe has to go through just to get a sip of water. To get one, they are required to get into a pretty awkward position of spreading their front legs wide to crane their neck downward. Not only does it strain their neck, but the awkward position leaves them extremely vulnerable to predators like crocodiles.
God must have been wise to help them with a digestive system can obtain almost all the water that they need from the leaves that they eat. Adult giraffes only need to drink once every couple of days, which is why it’s pretty rare to come across a giraffe drinking water.
Giraffes run at a good speed
Most travellers on Uganda safari tours including me have not seen a giraffe take off. In most cases, you will spot the giraffes leisurely around, however, they have the capacity to run. How fast do giraffes run? Their long legs help them run up to 35 miles per hour over short distances or to cruise comfortably around at 10 miles per hour over longer distances.
Giraffes consume 75 pounds of foliage each day
Giraffes are usually spotted using their long necks to plucking leaves off the tops of trees during tours in Uganda. This is because they spend most of their time of the eating and they consume about 75 pounds (34 kgs) of foliage every day. Their favourite meal is the leaves of acacia trees.
The giraffe tongues are genius. Many plants and shrubs in Africa have various barricades, but the giraffes’ tongue is able to navigate around those defences for a tasty meal of leaves, flowers, buds or even fruit when it’s in season.
Just like we, we always have friends we get along with. Giraffes too have a symbiotic relationship with some birds. These birds help giraffes keep clean by eating mites and dirt off of them. This what we call “friends with benefits” these days. What do the birds get in return? A tasty meal and a joyful free ride!
All giraffes spotted coats are different
It’s very hard to leave out the giraffes beautiful spotted coats when talking about their facts. All the giraffes have a unique pattern. Their spots also darken with age, and scientists have said that they can calculate their age from this darkening.
At the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, the guides can all identify each individual giraffe by their unique coats and know them by name.
A herd of giraffes is called a tower
Giraffes are exceptionally social and non-territorial. They live in groups of up to 30 animals that include both males and females with different ages. A group of giraffes is called a tower, and individuals with come and go from the tower at will.
What do giraffes feed on?
Giraffes are herbivores who use their long, black, prickly tongues to grasp and remove leaves, flowers and fruits from tall trees and other vegetation. Several ways to identify a male giraffe from a female giraffe exist, besides referencing their reproductive organs.
Male giraffes are not as social as female giraffes. Just like other male animals, males’ giraffes establish dominance among herds by fighting or clashing their horns and necks against those of other male giraffes. Male giraffes are less selective than female giraffes when foraging for food; they also eat vegetation at higher elevations than females, who prefer to forage for food at or below body height.
Uganda wildlife safari packages that will take you visit these giraffes
- 3 Days Murchison Falls Safari Uganda
- 2 Days Murchison Falls safari Uganda
- 7 Days Uganda Budget Wildlife Safari Tour to Murchison Falls
- 2 Days Uganda Safari to Lake Mburo National Park
- 3 Days Uganda Safari to Lake Mburo National Park
- 3 days Uganda Safari to Kidepo National Park
Other Uganda safari packages
- 3 days Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda
- 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari to Bwindi
- 1 day Jinja tour excursion
- 1 Day Tour Ngamba Island Chimps
- 1 Day Kampala City Tour
- 3 Days Queen Elizabeth Park Safari Uganda
- 2 Days Wildlife safari in Uganda Queen Elizabeth
- 4 Days Wildlife Safari in Uganda to Queen Elizabeth National Park
- 7 Days Uganda Budget Wildlife Safari Tour to Murchison Falls
- 3 Days Uganda Gorilla tour to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
- 2 Days Chimpanzee Trekking Safari
- 5 days Wildlife and Chimpanzee Safari in Uganda
- 3 Days Chimpanzee trekking safari in Kibale Uganda
- 4 Days Wildlife Chimpanzee Safari
- 5 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda
- Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour
- 10 Days Uganda Gorillas Chimps Safari
- 4 Days Uganda Gorilla Trekking and Wildlife Safari
- Uganda Gorilla Safari
- 6 days Uganda Gorilla Tracking safari
- 13 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari
- 8 Days Uganda safari tours
- 9 Days Uganda Safari