|Similar to the main photo in this post of December 14th, once again,we looked toward the driveway to discover giraffes coming our way. What a glorious sight!|
On December 14, 2013, two weeks after arriving in Marloth Park, 12 magnificent Giraffes visited us in our yard as described in this post. No words can express how elated we were when we discovered their long gangly legs lumbering down our narrow driveway.
Male giraffes weigh as much as 4000 pounds, 1814 kg, and be as tall as 20 feet, 6 meters. Females are much smaller at 2500 pounds, 1133 kilograms, and be as tall as 14 feet, 4.27 meters. A male can weigh as much as a pickup truck.
|The four giraffes kept a watchful eye on us as they wandered in the yard munching on treetops.|
Giraffes have the same number of vertebrae as humans and must exercise caution when drinking. during which they spread their front legs to reach down to the water. They are especially vulnerable to predators in this position.
|Oxpeckers are the giraffe’s friend, eating ticks and other insects off of the giraffe’s hide.|
After an exquisite and memorable hour-long visit on December 14th, we both wondered if they’d ever return. Our ‘safari luck” had given us more than we’d ever imagined. At times, we’ve giggled over how skeptical we’ve been to leave the house in the event they return when we aren’t at home.
|With many of their preferred acacia trees in our yard, the giraffes were happily munching, able to reach the tops of the trees impossible for other wildlife.|
While most wildlife visits seem to last an hour or less, it would be relatively easy to miss an event, never knowing that we missed. The hope that giraffes would return was held with a somewhat sad acceptance that we’d been lucky they’d visited us once. Why would we be so lucky for a second visit?
|We weren’t certain why this giraffe was bending down. Unless drinking they seldom lower their long necks. Again, we see oxpeckers hanging on.|
Alas, yesterday morning, while busy taking videos of 70-80 Impalas having visited us, then making their exit along a worn animal path in the yard (which we’ll share tomorrow), I turned to look back toward the driveway for any stragglers.
There they were; leggy, colorful, and laden with oxpeckers picking at insects in their chosen habitat on the giraffe’s hide.
Whispering to Tom I mouthed, “Check out the driveway!” Turning his head away from the path of the impalas at the far end of the yard, an even deeper smile came across his face, as we both held our breath in anticipation.
While the impalas were here, we’d remained seated fearful that moving would scare them off with their skittish nature. After an hour of hardly moving, the giraffes’ appearance prompted further caution, although they appear to be less nervous around people. Although, given a loud noise or sudden movement, they too will quickly wander off into the bush.
|A few more nibbles close to the carport and they were on their way. Instead of walking on the driveway, they wandered away through the dense bush.|
Finally, we were able to stand as we excitedly took the two videos included here today and the accompanying photos. With their enormous height, it’s difficult to take photos of several in one shot unless they’re tightly packed when arriving or departing, walking along the driveway or road.
At one point we quietly ventured indoors to the second-floor veranda from which we took the shorter of the two videos.
There were only four of them. Last time there were 12. We weren’t disappointed by any means. How could one be disappointed when the tallest creature on the planet comes wandering into their yard? Not us!
After a while, they departed via the bush preventing us from getting a photo of the four of them together as we’d done in the past.
Wonder what today will bring? Whatever it may be, they are welcomed!