There are is no other word to describe a giraffe but graceful. Impossibly, unimaginably graceful. When you spot that dusty head amongst the trees, nibbling on a tree and loping amongst the bush, what a thrill – the world’s tallest living terrestrial animal. But then the giraffe steps out onto the open plains and you’ll think: how can this creature possibly exist? What a strange sight: all gangly legs and incredibly long neck, but so very graceful.
Plett Game Reserve is home to herd (or a tower, which is the correct collective) of five giraffes (2 males and three females). They are the South African giraffe species, with a lovely chestnut & cream colour, which usually lives in savannahs and woodlands where plant foods are available. Our giraffes are often spotted by guests as they drive into the reserve to reception or in the valley that forms a part of Plett Game Reserve.
Because of their height, giraffes are fascinating creatures, herbivores that feed on leaves, flowers, fruits and woody plants and a ruminant, which means that they chews their food, then swallow it for processing and then visibly pass the half-digested cud up the neck and back into the mouth to chew again. They live in towers of related females and their offspring, or bachelor towers of unrelated adult males but they’re sociable and may gather in large groups. Fully grown giraffes stand 4.3-5.3m and their hearts (which can weigh more than 11kg) must generate approximately double the blood pressure for a human to maintain blood flow to the brain!
Although generally quiet & non-vocal, giraffes have been heard communicating; for example, males emit loud coughs during courtship, females call their young by bellowing and calves will emit snorts, bleats and mewing sounds.
Altogether, the giraffe is an animal that needs to be seen to fully appreciate their wild grace and beauty. You can view our giraffes as part of a 4×4 or horse safari at Plett Game Reserve.