Giraffes: The Tallest Mammals on Earth

Giraffes are the tallest mammals on earth, found in Africa. They can grow up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) tall and weigh up to 3,000 pounds. Their long necks, spotted coats, and prehensile tongues make them one of the most recognizable animals.

Giraffes are herbivores and mainly eat leaves, flowers, and fruits from trees and shrubs. They prefer acacia, mimosa, and wild apricot trees, but will also eat from other plant species depending on their availability and the season. Their long necks and specialized tongues help them reach and consume leaves from tall trees that other herbivores can't reach. They have a slow digestive system, which allows them to extract as many nutrients as possible from their food.


Painting by Barry Lungu - Shona artist from Harare Zimbabwe

Giraffes live in social herds, but male territorial behavior can occur during mating season. Their gestation period lasts for 15 months, and they give birth to a single calf that can stand and walk within an hour of birth. The calf will nurse for up to a year before being weaned.



The Bond. Charcoal on A1 paper. Tonderai Mujuru


Shona Stone sculpture made from green Verdite.  Sculpture is not signed.

Unfortunately, giraffes are facing many threats in the wild. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to human activities, such as agriculture and mining, are major threats. Poaching for their meat, hides, and tails is also a significant problem. Due to these threats, giraffes are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Giraffes are fascinating creatures, and there is still much to learn about them.

Do giraffes have more vertebrae than other animals? Test your knowledge!

Enjoy a preview of your next safari in Zimbabwe with a short Youtube Video of Giraffe at a waterhole