Giraffe News

A truly humbling experience is to be in the presence of one of Africa’s many giants. Siting in silence and observing the behavior as well as mannerisms of these colossal creatures is without a doubt something to cherish and remember for years to come. Luckily for us, being up here in Thornybush Game Reserve allows us the opportunity to view these giants very frequently, almost on a daily basis. Seldomly from afar, but for the most part extremely close, sometimes even making regular appearances in and around our camp. Due to their relaxed, docile nature as well as how accustomed these specific animals have become to us guides and our vehicles it has enabled us to appreciate these animals even more and allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of their social structure and the daily tasks that they undergo for survival. Something that resonates with a lot of people.

This specific giant I am referring to is the giraffe – an iconic figure of South Africa and the Lowveld.

As majestic, prominent and dignified as giraffe are, they also play a principal role in maintaining the ecosystem around them as well as keeping these ecosystems in balance. They browse the foliage that other animals cannot necessarily reach, which in turn promotes growth of forage and opens up areas for themselves and other smaller browsers to make use of. In other words, this means that by protecting giraffes, we are protecting other species too. Their lives are so intertwined with acacia trees that some specific seedlings do not germinate until they have passed through the giraffe’s digestive system.

Not many people are aware of the concern surrounding the giraffe population today, but over the past few years, due to habitat loss, the ever-increasing population of us humans, poaching, disease, war and civil unrest, the population of these famed creatures has taken a turn for the worst. But through amazing conservation efforts in certain areas, these amazing giants continue to grow and prosper, despite all the challenges they are faced with in today’s world.

Report and images by ranger Kaden