What to know About Maasai giraffes in Tanzania

What to know About Maasai giraffes in Tanzania :  One of the nine giraffe subspecies recognized by IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) is the Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi), commonly referred to as the Kilimanjaro giraffe can be sighted on a Tanzania safari. The distinctive jagged edges and uneven shapes of the Masai giraffe’s spots set it apart from other giraffe subspecies. It is the tallest land mammal because it is the tallest of all the giraffe subspecies. It is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because only an estimated 32,000 are believed to be left in the wild.

Masai giraffe habitat.

The Masai people are distributed across Tanzania and central and southern Kenya. This ungulate is found in herds of ten to fifteen giraffes, each headed by an alpha male who is superior. The majority of giraffes are now primarily found in grassy plains and open fields due to habitat loss and destruction. This may be advantageous for those hoping to see them on safari, but it also makes it simpler for poachers to hunt them.

The diet of the Masai giraffe.

Roughly 70–83 percent of a giraffe’s 24-hour period is spent eating. They have a preference for trees and will eat the fruit, twigs, leaves, and bark.

They even consume the prickly acacia tree’s leaves. They can remove the leaves quickly and deftly thanks to their prehensile tongue and nimble, tough lips. The hard palate and leathery lips of the giraffe protect it from injury even if it manages to get tangled in its mouth. The females will occupy the lower branches while the taller males feed higher up on the trees. The amount of moisture that giraffes extract from tree leaves enables them to go for weeks without drinking.

What to know About Maasai giraffes in Tanzania
What to know About Maasai giraffes in Tanzania

What are ossicones and how do giraffes use them?

Ossicones are two bony protrusions of the skull on top of a giraffe’s head. The thick skin covering these nubs is topped with dark hair.

Ossicones on giraffe head.

Ossicones, which giraffes have from birth, are almost flat at first and grow and attach to the skull over the course of the following three to five years. The giraffe’s head gains weight from these ossicones, making it a more formidable opponent in necking fights.

Where to see the Masai giraffe on safari.

In Kenya, the most common giraffe species is the Masai giraffe. When on safari in Kenya, visitors can visit Masai Mara, Nairobi National Park, Amboseli National Park, Chyulu Hill National Park, and Tsavo in hopes of spotting the Masai (pardon the pun) and among others.

In Tanzania the Masai giraffe, or national animal, can be found in many national parks and game reserves, including the following: Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Saadani, Nyerere, Ruaha, Mikumi and Mahale Mountains.

Please take a look at the following tour operators if you’re interested in seeing the Masai giraffe and are organizing a safari in Kenya or Tanzania contact us at Focus East Africa Tours as we can offer you additional information and a personalized quote.

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