The majestic giraffe is often high up on guests lists of species they would like to see and spend some time with. We totally understand this. They are every bit as beautiful as you imagine they might be. There are several species up and down East and Southern Africa and so in fact you could see a few different looking giraffe’s as you travel East to West, or North to South. Differences in giraffe species are generally in the pattern of their markings. We absolutely love these gentle (until cornered) giants and they can incredibly useful on game drives, as their height often means they spot predators in bushes or areas you wouldn’t see them – when you see a group of (tower) giraffe all crowding round and peering in a bush it generally means there is a predator lying up.
The name giraffe originates from the Arab word zarafa which means fast walker. When giraffe are on the move they are known as a journey, when a group of giraffe are stationary they are known as a tower. They famously used to cover vast distances but this has been hampered by the encroachment of human settlements within their previous migrationary routes. It may amaze you to know that the giraffe population is actually under threat and a special fund named the Giraffe Conservation Foundation is busy with work across Africa to relieve pressure on giraffe populations.
Recently the GCF translocated 14 giraffe from Namibia to Angola Iona National Park which was a journey of over 1300 kms – a route that previously giraffe would have taken on their own but no longer can due to population growth in these areas. Natural Selection, one of our partners in Namibia with some exceptional lodges, recently funded some of this translocation including monitoring the giraffes on arrival for a further 12 months. Of course many of the more famous species often get more recognition for their endangered label, but giraffe are under pressure too.
Natural Selection has fantastic safari properties across Namibia and Botswana. One of our favourites is Hoanib Valley Camp – set in a remote and wild area of Western Namibia this camp truly offers an escape from reality. GCF is the flagship initiative in association with Hoanib Valley Camp and will continue to be so until further notice. GCF also do amazing work with educating local communities on pressures on the environment.
All of the safari properties we work with work in association with numerous conservation and community initiatives or have started their own. We do not work with properties who are not environmentally friendly, and we do not work with properties who do not have clear conservation and community ethics. We were very proud to say that during the pandemic every single one of our safari properties was able to keep their staff on, the whole community came together and the safari properties and tour operators (us) supported each other admirably to get through the toughest challenge to tourism and the world that we have lived through.