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Aim High, Stand Tall, Get Spotted, Be a Giraffe

The Rothschild giraffe, also known as the Baringo or Ugandan giraffe is a subspecies of the Northern giraffe. The name Rothschild’s is in honor of the London zoologist Lionel Walter Rothschild who first described the subspecies in the early 1900s.

The Rothschild’s giraffe is one of the most endangered species of giraffes and it can be difficult to spot them in the wild. Nevertheless, you can have a close encounter with the world’s tallest mammal while on your Uganda wildlife safari.

You have probably seen a giraffe in pictures somewhere or on screen, but how much do you know about it? Well, I got you on this.

  • Height

Thanks to their long necks and towering legs, giraffes are the world’s tallest mammals. Averaging heights of about 14 to 16 feet.

This is of good advantage to the giraffes as they are able to browse on leaves and buds on treetops that few other animals can reach. They also have really long tongues.

Their height is helpful too when it comes to a look out for the predators in the African savanna.

  • Weight

The Rothschild giraffe weights about 2,500 pounds with the adult males weighing more than the females by several pounds.

It doesn’t have to come as a surprise that the tallest mammal weighs this much.

  • Diet

The Rothschild giraffes are herbivores. They feed solely on plants with their favorite being the acacia tree leaves and buds. They use their long necks and tongues to reach the fresh leaves on top of acacia trees.

Their great tongue helps them to reach the leaves whose stems are covered by thorns without hurting themselves.

They spend most of their time eating given their large size. On the other hand, giraffes do not drink water as much as they eat because they get most of the water they need from their leafy meals. This is beneficial to them because bending their long legs and extending their long necks makes them vulnerable to predators. It is a really awkward positon too.

Giraffes are also ruminants, like cows.

  • Behavior

Rothschild’s giraffes are social animals and as long as they do not feel threatened, they are good with being around other animals.

They live separate from each other (males and females) but remain in the proximity. The only time the two genders interact is when they are going to mate.

  • Reproduction

The female Rothschild giraffe has a gestation period of 14-16 months.

Rothschild giraffes mate at any time of the year.

The female usually gives birth to one calf per birth and the mother cares for her young one for the whole 1st year of its life (Mother-calf bond is the strongest in the society).

They give birth while standing. The baby giraffe falls about 6 feet down. Ouch..! That’s a long fall. You might say, thinking this might hurt the baby giraffe but no. It actually helps in bursting the amniotic sac and breaking of the umbilical cord.

The mother and the baby giraffe stay away from their group after birth for a period of 10 days to a month.

Males are generally lager than the females and they have nothing to do with raising the baby giraffes.

  • Habitants

Rothschild’s giraffes live in grasslands, savanna and open woodlands of Uganda (Murchison falls National Park, Lake Mburo National park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Pian Upe Game Reserve) and Kenya (Lake Nakuru National park).

In the wild, giraffes live for around 25 years.

  • Giraffes have 2-5 horns

Well these horns are actually known as occicones. The Rothschild’s giraffe has 5 occicones. 2 on top of the head (most visibly seen), 1 in the middle of its forehead and the other 2 behind its ears (hard to notice).UGANDAN GIRAFFE

  • Giraffes are fast

Oh yes, these tall and large mammals can really run. Averaging speed of 37 kmh for short distances and maintaining a speed of 30 kmh for long distances.

Giraffes walk funny too. They swing both legs on the same side forward at the same time. Oh yeah, this is definitely different from most mammals.


A giraffe’s heart is 2 feet long and weighs about 25 pounds – well, it has to be that big to pump blood all the way up to its brain.

A giraffe has a really high blood pressure.


  • Comes out front feet first, with the neck and head stretched out.UGANDAN GIRAFFE
  • A baby giraffe is called a calf.
  • Drops up to 6 feet to the ground when its born. Talk about a dramatic entrance.
  • Stands and walks within 30 minutes after birth.
  • Begins nursing as soon as it stands
  • 5-6 feet tall at birth. Oh wow, what a sight to see of a newborn calf.
  • Doubles its height within the first year of its life.
  • They can weigh anywhere from 100 – 150 pounds.
  • Up and running within 24 hours.
  • They are born with horns / occicones. Though lying flat close to their heads so as not to hurt mother and calf during birth.


Giraffes have about 9 different species and the Rothschild’s Giraffe is among the endangered species.

Stand out of the crowd and explore these African beauties while on your Uganda wildlife Safari. You should definitely visit Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park or Murchison Falls National park to get a glimpse of the tallest land mammal in the world.

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