Giraffes are one of the most jaw-dropping creatures you can see if you are going for a safari in Africa!
These fantastic animals are known by the scientific name Giraffa camelopardalis, perfectly describing their appearance as leopard and camel. Towering high above the trees with beautiful orange mixed cream patches, giraffes, when fully grown, can reach a height of even 5.7 meters and a weight of 1190 kg.
Females tend to be smaller in size than male representatives. Although they have long necks, their bodies are short. The long necks make them very safe from predators, but they are most vulnerable when drinking water as they need to spread their legs and bend down in a difficult position to do so.
Giraffes perfectly blend with nature during the rainy seasons, making it hard for anyone to spot them. Therefore, the best time to go on a safari in Africa is in the dry season if you want to see these spectacular animals!
Get your e-Visa before you go!
Foreign visitors traveling to various African countries usually are required to carry visas. Kenya and Tanzania, which will be mentioned in this article a few times as a perfect spot to see giraffes, are two of such destinations.
Luckily, the Kenyan government has introduced quite recently an electronic visa system functioning as a waiver of traditional visas. Nowadays, citizens of certain countries can apply for an e-Visa if they wish to visit Kenya for business, tourist or transit reasons. The application form can be completed online, and it shouldn’t take you up more than a couple of minutes!
You can find the visa application form on the website evisa-kenya.com and apply from home!
All applicants need to pay a fee for the Kenya e-Visa, which is 99 Euro. Those willing to obtain an e-Visa to East Africa can apply for an electronic travel permit that costs 149 Euro.
The time needed to process the application is 72 hours. However, don’t wait too long and apply min. 3 business days in advance of your Kenyan trip!
Here is a list of the five most authentic places where you can meet giraffes in Africa.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger National Park is one of the best places in Africa to go for a safari as it is home to ‘the big five:
- African buffaloes.
However, there is also another very good reason. One more particular animal species that you can meet there are the beautiful giraffes!
Kruger National Park is not only great for giraffe sightings, but it is also a place where you can learn everything about them. The guards here have a broad knowledge and are ready to answer any questions you have in mind.
Therefore, this is an excellent opportunity to take your kids with you, especially if you’re on a family vacation in Africa. Your young travel companions can experience an exciting lesson on how these creatures eat, drink water, fight, and the details of different species of giraffes residing in Africa. The guards will also unveil the secret of how to identify male and female giraffes. The kids will be overjoyed!
Interested in South Africa? Read more about the most uncommon things to do around Cape Town!
The Giraffe Manor, Nairobi
Another fantastic African encounter with giraffes can be experienced at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. This is because not only will you see these creatures up close but also, you will get a chance to feed them in person!The Giraffe Manor is a guesthouse in which you can sleep and have a delicious breakfast every morning of your stay.
However, the most exciting part is that every morning these giraffes- Rothschild’s subspecies take a moment to peep in through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Don’t get frightened, they like to be guests at your breakfast table and enjoy a lot when feeding them! After breakfast, you can also head to the Giraffe Center and see these creatures in a more convenient place than your hotel room.
Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
The Samburu National Reserve is a lesser-known safari destination in Africa. It provides a home to its own five types of animals; reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, and Somali ostrich. It is much smaller in size when compared to the other national parks in Africa.
The reticulated giraffe you can see here is a rare type of giraffes with only a population of 9000 individual giraffes worldwide. Therefore, many conservation measures have been taken to protect this subspecies.
They are characterized by having large, polygonal, liver-colored spots outlined by bright-white lines, in which these blocks are also seen in the giraffe’s legs. You can also go for either a walking tour or a biking tour in the Samburu National Park to get more adventures!
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Etosha National Park is another excellent place to see giraffes in the wild as it has a waterhole that giraffes frequently visit to quench their thirst. The environment is naturally dry with an arid climate, and therefore, you can see herds of giraffes here.
They are often attacked by predators when drinking water. This is because, as mentioned earlier, they have to be in a vulnerable posture to do it.
You will get the chance to take photographs when the giraffes are in this position. However, they come in as pairs or in more numerous groups to drink water so that one can look out for the predators lurking around while the other drinks water peacefully. Check it yourself how these incredible animals can care about each other!
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Also known as the Giraffe Park, the Selous Game Reserve, located on and off the beaten path of Tanzania’s National Park, is one of the best places to see thousands of giraffes in Africa. It was named after Frederick Selous Courtney, who was a wildlife explorer.
Due to the rich vegetation and exotic wildlife encompassed in a landscape twice the size of the Serengeti National Park, it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982.
It also has the largest concentration of giraffes on the continent, and these safari trips can be coupled with other adventurous activities as well. For example, you can arrange for a cruise boat ride or a game reserve, try camping in one of the safari lodges, and so on to maximize this experience.
If you are an adventure seeker, you can even go for a hot air balloon ride to get breathtaking aerial views of the wildlife. Incredible experience guaranteed!
Giraffes are fantastic creatures and will never fail to amaze you! As you can see, there are many authentic places to meet them in the wild in Africa. These places are only a few examples where you can see them in their natural habitat.
- Kruger National Park
- the Giraffe Manor
- Samburu National Park
- Etosha National Park
- Selous Game Reserve
Most of these places have unique experiences of their own. And some even provide a home to a particular subspecies of giraffes.
Pack your bags and get ready to go wild because when being in Africa, a safari trip is a must-do! Don’t forget first to apply for an appropriate e-Visa (to Tanzania, Kenya, or East Africa) to make your ‘giraffe experience’ possible! When traveling with your family, obtain a separate e-Visa for each family member.