Giraffe Hunting in Africa

Interesting facts about the giraffe

  • Giraffes are the tallest mammal on Earth. Their legs alone are taller than many humans—about 6 feet.
  • They can run as fast as 35 miles an hour over short distances, or cruise at 10 mph over longer distances.
  • A giraffe's neck is too short to reach the ground. As a result, it has to awkwardly spread its front legs or kneel to reach the ground for a drink of water.
  • Giraffes only need to drink once every few days. Most of their water comes from all the plants they eat.
  • Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up; they even sleep and give birth standing up.
  • The giraffe calf can't stand up and walk after about an hour and within a week, it starts to sample vegetation.
  • Despite the females’ attempts to stand over their calves during attacks by lions, spotted hyenas, leopards and African wild dogs, many calves are killed in their first few months.
  • A giraffe’s spots are much like human fingerprints. No two individual giraffes have exactly the same pattern.
  • Both male and female giraffes have two distinct, hair-covered horns called ossicones. Male giraffes use their horns to sometimes fight with other males.
  • Giraffes only need 5 to 30 minutes of sleep in a 24-hour period! They often achieve that in quick naps that may last only a minute or two at a time.
  • Whilst it was thought that giraffes did not make any sounds, this is now known to be untrue, as giraffes bellow, snort, hiss and make flute-like sounds, as well as low pitch noises beyond the range of human hearing.
  • To protect the giraffe’s brain from sudden changes in blood pressure when it lowers its head to drink, it has valves to stop the back-flow of blood and elastic-walled vessels that dilate and constrict to manage flow. NASA has done research on the blood vessels in giraffe legs to get inspiration for human space suits.
  • A giraffe heart weighs approximately 25 pounds and is the biggest of any land mammal. It is used to pump 60 liters of blood around its body every minute at a blood pressure twice that of an average human.
  • Female giraffe give birth standing up. Their young fall about 2m to the ground and can stand up within an hour of birth. Newborn giraffe are taller than most humans.

The difference between a male and female giraffe

Males and females have a type of horn called ossicones. The ossicones are made of cartilage and are covered in skin. The male has larger ossicones which are used for fighting and cause the fur to rub off exposing a bald spot on top of them. Mature males will nearly always have these grey bald spots on the top of the ossicones.

Giraffe male with no hair on his horns from fighting

Giraffe Male

Giraffe female with hair on her horns as a result of not fighting

Giraffe Female

Giraffe drinking

Giraffe drinking

Background information for African Giraffe Hunting

Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and open woodlands. They also feed on shrubs, grass and fruit. A giraffe eats around 75 pounds of foliage daily. Fully grown giraffes stand 14.1 – 18.7 feet tall, with males taller than females. The tallest recorded male was 19.3 feet and the tallest recorded female was 17 feet tall.

The average weight is 2,628 pounds for an adult male and 1,825 pounds for an adult female. Despite its long neck and legs, the giraffe's body is relatively short. Located at both sides of the head, the giraffe's large, bulging eyes give it good all-round vision from its great height. Giraffes see in and their senses of hearing and smell are also sharp. The animal can close its muscular nostrils to protect against sandstorms and ants.

The giraffe's prehensile tongue is about18 inches long. It is purplish-black in color, perhaps to protect against sunburn, and is useful for grasping foliage, as well as for grooming and cleaning the animal's nose. The upper lip of the giraffe is also prehensile and useful when foraging and is covered in hair to protect against thorns. The tongue, and inside of the mouth are covered in papillae.

The coat has dark blotches or patches which can be orange, chestnut, brown, or nearly black in color our separated by light hair usually white or cream in color. Male giraffes become darker as they age. The coat pattern has been claimed to serve as camouflage in the light and shade patterns of savannah woodlands.

Giraffe calves inherit some spot pattern traits from their mothers, and variation in some spot traits are correlated with neonatal survival. The skin underneath the dark areas may serve as windows for thermoregulation, being sites for complex blood vessel systems and large sweat glands. Each individual giraffe has a unique coat pattern.

Giraffe Hunting in South Africa

Your giraffe trophy should weigh about 2500 pounds and be about 8 foot tall.

The giraffe is the largest ruminant and the tallest mammal on the planet. Horns are of solid bone and carried by both cows and bulls; they are skin-covered, tufted and thin on the female and thick and bald on top for the male.

This stately beast inhabits a variety of plant habitats, from the dry woodlands to the fairly dense low shrub veld. Always present will be the thorn trees on which he feeds throughout the year. The giraffe is neither water dependent nor territorial and tends to avoid the very dense bush. He feeds on a 6-foot band of browse, not accessible to all other animals except the elephant. Browsing mainly during the day, they never lie flat on the ground and rarely sleep.

Hunting giraffe will most often be done by spot and stalk or tracking his very distinctive spoor. We would recommend a 375 for giraffe hunting.

Nick Bowker Hunting has available a 375 and ammunition for hunters not wishing to go through the red tape of having to bring a rifle to South Africa. The rifle and ammunition is included free of charge in your package.

His lungs are positioned well forward and high in the chest cavity as well. The brain is very small and positioned just below and between the horns. If you choose to make a spine shot, place it in the center of the neck where the neck joins the body. A quartering frontal shot should be aimed to break the prominent shoulder joint; avoid the quartering-away shot, take it only as a last resort!

Hunting giraffe can make for an extremely interesting and exciting stalk; even though he is not recorded anywhere in the record books, this tall, camel-like beast with the spots of the leopard can make for a most unusual trophy.

Giraffe hunting in Africa. Shot placement

Giraffe vital organs for shot placement

IDENTIFICATION: Needs no introduction! Color of the hide can change with age. Older animals become dark brown to almost colorless to almost black. The skin is almost a half-inch thick giving it the thickest skin of all of the African animals. When bulls become very old they have a bad body odor that also affects the quality of the meat.

A giraffe trophy hunted in South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting. One of Africa’s leading hunting safari outfitters

Giraffe Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Professional Hunter and Outfitter