Setswana Name: 
Scientific Name: 
Giraffe camelopardalis

Male: height to top of head 3,9-5,2m; height to shoulder 2,6-3,5m: tail 96-150cm; mass 970-1400kg

Female: height to top of head 3,7-4,7m; height to shoulder 2,0-3,0m; tail 75-80cm; mass 700-950kg

Identification pointers: Large size; long legs and neck; patchwork patterning. Cannot be mistaken for any other species.


The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world, and is never hard to recognize with its long neck and legs. A giraffe’s fur is covered in a lattice pattern with large, irregular patches all over its body. The colour of the patches ranges from light fawn to dark brown. At the top of its head, knob-like horns can be seen and are most developed in adult giraffe bulls.


Giraffe are most comfortable living in dry savanna woodland and populations are well distributed throughout the northern and central parts of Botswana. Good giraffe sightings can be experienced in the Khutse Game Reserve and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.


Giraffes rest during the hot hours of the day (around midday), and are very active during the morning, evening and night times of the day. They occupy undefended territories between 20km2 and 85km2. Giraffe do socialize in herds, but will often wander away from the herd.

A giraffe’s call is a snorting or grunting sound.


These herbivores browse for their food supply, and have the advantage of height which enables them access to food supply other herbivores cannot reach.
Giraffes feed on a selection of trees and brushes; their long tongue, which can reach up to 45cm in length, is an essential took helping the giraffe reach food. Giraffe can spend anywhere from 15 to 20 hours in each day feeding!


The gestation period of a giraffe is approximately 450 day; giraffe produce calfs which weigh about 100kg which are able to stand and walk within an hour of birth. Giraffe calf has a very high mortality rate in their first year of life. They get prayed on by lions hyenas and sometimes even leopards  and remains isolated with its mother from the herd for up to 3 weeks.