Giraffes. How can anyone not find these incredible creatures fascinating? When I think of giraffes a few words spring to mind; graceful, peaceful, wise, majestic but one word that I seem to envision more clearly than the rest is strength.
They are incredibly unique in so many ways, I don’t think there is a single species out there that can be compared to the giraffe. So there is of course the most evident feature of a giraffe that is their height, new born giraffes are taller than most humans but let’s not focus on the obvious. An adult giraffe’s tongue can be up to 50cm long, that’s half a meter people, HALF A METER!! Can you imagine having a tongue longer then a ruler?! They must be super animals, they only need like half an hours sleep per day which is one of the many adaptations they have that do not make them an easy target for predators. That’s before we consider the potential for a 30cm diameter hoof wacking a lion square in the head.
One of my favourite things about these animals is the way they always look like they’re in slow-mo. I love that it’s so deceptive, like have you ever really looked at a giraffe on the move? We all laugh because they look so clumsy and slow but think about it, they might walk slowly but every stride they make is like five meters long. I wish I was a giraffe, to be able to move long distances with minimal effort involved, and on top of that they spend most of their time eating, that’s the dream! I also love that like zebras and leopards, each individual animal has its own unique marking in some way or another, like a fingerprint.
Do yourself a favour, if you ever find yourself in the north of Botswana, go into Chobe National Park, even if it is just for an afternoon. I will definitely be writing about my Chobe experience one day, I was just in complete awe of this place. But in terms of giraffe, never in my life have I seen so many of these animals in the same place. I swear we saw giraffe by the thousands, individuals, bachelor herds, breeding herds, you name it. Giraffe are not a species that are considered ‘special to see’ by many people but in Chobe, the sheer number of them is something that will no doubt leave you speechless as it did me.
I am in love with these animals for so many reasons, but the way they just look so calm and kind has to be why I feel such a strong connection with them.