Botswana Wildlife Guide

Giraffe [Giraffa]

Best places to see Giraffe in Botswana

Giraffes are seen throughout northern and central Botswana especially in the wilderness areas - including the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve.


The giraffe of Botswana are of the southern Africa race or commonly known as the southern giraffe. The Botswana giraffe population is stable.

Giraffe have the loosest social structure in the animal kingdom with the groups changing in size constantly as individuals move from one place to another. Despite this loose social structure male Giraffe tussle for dominance for it is the stronger that gets the females when they are in heat.

The fighting between male Giraffe is an extraordinary affair with the two combatants pushing and shoving with their backsides to gain ascendency - and hitting each other with their necks and heads. The fights can be vicious although seldom does one get badly hurt. One will always back off before serious injuries.

Giraffe in Botswana are preyed upon by lions and hyenas and a personal observation was of a leopard attacking a six hour old baby. After some time of holding it by the throat the leopard was chased off by the mother.

The baby slowly hobbled to its feet with help from the mother but it was very badly injured. The mother began to move off slowly for the baby to follow but it finally succumbed to its injuries. The mother hung around for some time before moving off.

Giraffe of the Okavango Delta

The Giraffe of the Okavango Delta suffer from an eye infection that often blinds them in both eyes resulting in the particular animal staggering around until taken by a predator or falling and been unable to stand up. This disease flares up at unspecified times.

Explanations have been given as grass seeds infecting the eyes - however this does not seem realistic as giraffe are generally browsers and spend less time than other animals with their heads near grass. Tests have been done but still no one knows for sure what the cause of the disease is. Personal observations are of huge weeping wart-like protrusion from the eyes.

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