Sand Rivers

Twigas…Supermodels of the bush

14 July 2012

If you want to see Giraffe (or Twiga in Swahili) then Selous is the place for you, we often refer to Selous as "Giraffic Park" because we see so many of them, interestingly the population of giraffe in Selous only occurs north of the Rufiji river where we are in just 10% of the reserve, south of the river, in the remaining 90% of the reserve, there are none. No one can really explain why the giraffe do not occur south of the river, it does not seem to be an issue of habitat as the habitat is similar just to the south of the river and along the western side of the Selous, it seems to be the impassable river that prevents their occurrence in the south, but even the river is not a real explanation as there are plenty of dry season shallow areas or sand bars along the river where the giraffes could pass if they wanted to. The large giraffe population has grown from the few individuals that in was in the early 1960's to thousands nowadays, because they are well protected in the reserve which has ensured steady population growth and of course they are Tanzania's national animal!

Herds or journeys of giraffe as we call them are fascinating to observe in the wild, when they run they do so in a graceful 'slow-motion' like gallop, when they drink they splay their legs so that their long neck can reach the water, when they fight the sound of their necks clashing is incredible and the force even more so, one giraffe was once spotted bolting an eland 20 meters into the distance!

We are lucky to be with a great population of such beautiful and elegant animals.

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