Interesting facts about giraffes in Akagera National Park

Rwanda Safaris

Interesting facts about giraffes in Akagera National Park: Giraffes are native to Africa and may be found across the continent’s sub-Saharan areas. Giraffe habitat consists primarily of open savannahs and grasslands where they can roam freely, peering out into the distance to see if any predators lurk nearby. These animals move in herds to places rich in shrubs and deciduous trees. They dwell in an extremely warm climate with dry and rainy seasons. Giraffes adjust to these shifts by eating a wide array of leaves and twigs (but Acacias often seem to be their favourite).

Unfortunately, their numbers are rapidly diminishing owing to hunting and habitat destruction, with the African Giraffe population dropping by 40%. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and African wild dogs all feed on them, with only approximately 20% of all young Giraffes growing to adulthood.

Giraffes were recently added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Endangered Species List, with three subspecies classed as severely endangered. So here are some amazing facts about Giraffes, such as the most prevalent subspecies, their nutrition, and what is being done to rescue them.

Interesting facts about giraffes in Akagera National Park
Interesting facts about giraffes in Akagera National Park

Though formerly thought to be a one species, the Southern Giraffe, Masai Giraffe, Reticulated Giraffe, and Northern Giraffe are now recognised as different species. They are classed depending on their colour, patterns, and geographic location. The Angolan Giraffe, Nubian Giraffe, West African Giraffe, Rothschild Giraffe, and Kordofan Giraffe are all subspecies.

The Palaeotragus, the first known giraffe species, existed roughly 20 million years ago. This prehistoric species was tall, but it lacked the long neck that Giraffes today have. Living in places of sparse soil compelled them to grasp for tree leaves. They developed genetically into the Giraffe we know today after countless generations of stretching.

Female Giraffes are referred to as cows, males as bulls, and young Giraffes as calves. They are a member of the Artiodactyla order, along with roughly 220 other animals. These animals (which include cows, deer, goats, and hippos) are all herbivores that prefer grassland settings.

This strange mammal has only one close genetic relative, the Okapi. The Okapi’s black and white, zebra-like legs might be misleading. A closer examination of its head reveals a striking likeness to the Giraffe’s long ears and face.

Giraffes live in herds of 10 to 15 individuals on average. This helps them survive predators by allowing them to take turns eating while others search for danger. Even though they are normally gentle, an adult Giraffe can fracture a Lion’s head with a single hard kick.

The Giraffe is not the only threat it faces from hungry beasts. In fact, the most hazardous ones are the size of a seed. Ticks feed on the Giraffe’s blood, making it weak and exhausted. Water can also include nematodes and flatworms, which can cause infections and skin diseases. In Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park, 79 percent of the Giraffe population has been found to be infected.

Surviving in Africa’s harsh bush offers little time for good sleep. Giraffes are continually on the lookout for danger, therefore they can normally function on only two hours of sleep every day. They usually sleep standing up, exactly like horses. They will lie down on occasion, curling their legs beneath their bodies but keeping their heads straight.

The species’ most distinguishing physical feature is undoubtedly its neck, which may grow to be six feet long and weigh up to 600 pounds. The Giraffe’s long neck creates the idea of a complicated anatomical system beneath. But, like humans, these tall animals have only seven neck vertebrae, each of which is around 10 inches long and coupled with ball-and-socket joints for flexibility.

The Giraffe’s neck length necessitates massive, hot air balloon-like lungs eight times the size of a human’s. However, because of the “dead air” that gets lodged in their lengthy tracheas, they breathe at a significantly slower rate. As a result, prior breaths are not completely expelled before the animal begins inhaling again.

The Giraffe is the world’s tallest living animal. Males reach a height of roughly 18 feet. Females are somewhat shorter than males, but may still reach a startling 14 feet in height, Akagera National Park.

Giraffes have massive hearts that weigh around 25 pounds and generate enough pressure to push blood up their lengthy necks and into their brains. They also have unique blood veins with valves that assist prevent blood from retracing due to gravity, Interesting facts about giraffes in Akagera National Park.

The two horns protruding from the Giraffe’s head are Ossicones, a type of thick cartilage covered in skin. To avoid harm at birth, baby giraffes are born with flat Ossicones, which develop as they mature into adults. Males have thicker Ossicones that they employ in mating bouts.

Giraffes are rather silent creatures: they have a larynx (a.k.a. voice box), but they seldom utilize it. If they get worried, they frequently utilise a single snort to inform the herd of a potential threat. They’re also known to make a gentle humming sound at night, possibly to aid in the identification of other herd members in the dark.

The Giraffe has lengthy hair, including its lovely eyelashes. This keeps dust out of their enormous eyes, which are the size of golf balls. They sit laterally on the Giraffe’s head, giving them excellent vision. They can’t see in full colour, but they can see red, orange, yellow-green, and violet tints.

Ugulates are animals having hoofed feet, such as the Giraffe. Each foot has two evenly spaced hooves. An adult Giraffe’s feet are around 12 inches broad. These huge hooves provide stability and keep them from sinking into sand.

Giraffes, sometimes known as “stink bulls,” have an unpleasant stench. To fight against insects and parasites, its hair produces natural repellents such as indole and 3-methylindole (compounds found in faeces). Researchers think that this strong odour signals to potential mates that they are parasite-free.

Giraffes have also been observed picking their nostrils with their grappling tongue.

Giraffe male necks are enormous and muscular. Bulls struggle to establish mating rights by swinging their massive necks like swords and inflicting strong blows by smashing their heads into one other’s bodies. Their thick skulls are calcium-coated to protect their brains. Although it is extremely unusual, deaths from these severe confrontations have been documented, Interesting facts about giraffes in Akagera National Park.

Female Giraffes mate with dominant males in the goal of passing on powerful genes to their offspring. Giraffes can mate all year since they ovulate every two weeks. Females that are ovulating emit pheromones that attract males, who may sip her urine to check she is ready to mate. The eager guys will follow her till she choose who she wants to breed with.

Interesting facts about giraffes in Akagera National Park
Interesting facts about giraffes in Akagera National Park

The Masai, also known as the Kilimanjaro Giraffe, is the biggest Giraffe subspecies, with males reaching heights of up to 19 feet. Their jagged, star-shaped patches help to identify them. Males have dark chocolate brown spots on their bodies, while females have a lighter dirt-brown colour. Unlike other Giraffe species, their spots go all the way down their legs and over their body.

The Masai Giraffe may be found in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, among other places. They are also the national animal of Tanzania, which has the most Giraffes of any African country.

The IUCN classified giraffes as “Least Concern” in terms of conservation considerations as recently as 2010. However, by 2016, the whole species has been classed as Vulnerable, and it is possible that it would no longer exist in its historical habitat in Angola, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Senegal.

Giraffes were given special protection by the UN-backed Convention on Migratory Species in 2017. Today, there are various sanctuaries and national parks all across the African continent that is working to create a safe refuge for them.

Visitors can always view giraffes in Akagera National Park in Rwanda during a guided game drive safari in the park or while on a boat cruise tour on Lake Ihema. Contact your trusted tour operator Explore Rwanda Tours and book a tour to Akagera  national park where you will get to see a variety of savannah wildlife animals including the Big Five animals.