Giraffe: The national animal of Tanzania and some interesting facts

by - 4/07/2024

There are 6 giraffes in this picture. How many can you spot?

I have been fascinated with the tallest animal in this world when I was 5 years old. My mother was in the hospital for a long time and my father took me to the Alipore Zoo (the largest zoo in India) to make me happy. I vividly remember that day. It was one of the best days of my life because of 2 reasons.  I had the yummiest fish fingers (I was only 5, how much could I have explored) and I saw a giraffe family which made me fall in love with them for life. There was a father, a mother and their young one (who was very tall but way shorter than his parents). The baby was continuously trying to drink milk from its mom and it was the best vision of my life. When I visited my mom in the hospital after the zoo excursion, I was elated and related her the entire experience.

After that, I have seen these giants a couple of times in zoos, but my interest for them really wished to catch them in the wild. The first stuffed animal that I got for my daughter was a tall giraffe. Yes, I was that obsessed. And when I went shopping in the Global Village, I bought a wooden giraffe from the Kenyan stall. So one of the topmost bucket list items that was getting struck off when we planned our visit to Tanzania, was getting to see them in the wild. And it was way more exciting than I had dreamt!

Mikumi National park has hundreds of giraffes. The funny part is that you can spot them on the highway too, while driving. These tall creatures lose their way out of the jungle on to the highway and the vehicles have to come to an emergency halt. The first time that happened, we were both startled and bewildered. Then it became fun.

While on the safari, we spotted a group of 14. There were families too, just like what I saw in the Alipore Zoo, 30 years before. The young ones are cuter than they can be described!

Our first giraffe spotting happened at the beginning of our safari. It walked from the grassland to the trail and stood in front of our safari car, staring at us for an indefinite amount of time. Then it pooped on the trail and again walked away. We still chuckle thinking of its poop!

Now some fun facts about them:

🦒Their groups are called towers. No wonder why!

🦒Their average height is 18 to 20 feet. And neck alone is 6 feet, which makes drinking water a bit challenging.

🦒Their tongue can be upto 18 inches long and helps manoeuvre the thorns and barks.

🦒Kicking is their way of self defence.

🦒They sleep standing up.

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🦒Their spots are like fingerprints ie unique to each animal.

🦒They make a lot of sounds like moaning and are not mute, contrary to popular belief.

🦒Their hearts are really powerful, and are about 2 feet long!

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  1. Nice article. I didn't travel overseas... But I am curious... Is tanzania a good choice? ATISH