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June 21, 2021 East Africa Bush Tails

To commemorate World Giraffe Day and the species’ ongoing conservation, we’ve decided to tell you about the best places to see them! Six of the nine giraffe sub-species inhabit African countries that we specialize in – take a look at what AAC considers to be the best giraffe safari areas!

Angolan  Linyanti Reserve

Splashing through floodplains in the Linyanti Reserve

The Angolan Giraffe’s range extends from Namibia’s Damaraland in the west to Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park in the east. In the middle lies the Linyanti Reserve in northern Botswana, named after the wide, deep river that forms its northern border. Going on a boat safari is a highlight, where you can see not only giraffe, but many elephant breeding herds!

Where To Stay: DumaTau

DumaTau is picturesquely situated along the banks of the Linyanti River

This luxurious tented camp is located right along the Linyanti River In Botswana. An with only ten luxury tents in total, it’s one of the area’s most exclusive. Besides game drives, walking safaris, and boating in the Linyanti River, safariers can also visit one of the many photographic hides and platforms in DumaTau’s concession – great places to see giraffes bending down for a drink of water!

Maasai Giraffe – Chyulu Hills

Just as giraffe tower over other animals, so does Kilimanjaro over the surrounding plains

Both the Maasai giraffe and the Maasai tribe they’re named after reside in Tanzania and Southern Kenya. This subspecies most distinctive feature are its dark, star-shaped patches. What makes Chyulu Hills so special to see Africa’s tallest animal is the impressive backdrop – none other than Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain!

Where To Stay: Ol Donyo Lodge

A private dinner poolside at Ol Donyo Lodge

Guests staying at Ol Donyo Lodge have a 270,000 acre conservancy all to themselves, and access to a bevy of activities. Along with game drives, safariers can go on walking safaris, biking, hiking in the Chyulu Hills and even horse-back riding! Not to mention, your time in camp will be just as rewarding each of the villas has its own plunge pool and “star bed.”

Reticulated Giraffe – Lewa Conservancy

Following by camel, with Mt. Kenya in the background

Found in the Kenyan provinces of Laikipia and Samburu in the country’s remote north, the Reticulated Giraffe is distinguishable by its reddish-brown, polygonal patches divided by thin white lines. AAC Co-Owner Alison Nolting believes Lewa Conservancy is the best for this subspecies, thanks to its exclusivity and stunning views of Mt. Kenya.

Where To Stay: Sirikoi

The romantic outdoor dining area at Sirikoi

Sirikoi effortlessly exudes a luxurious, “classic Africa” atmosphere. With only 4 Meru-style tents, it is also one of Africa’s most intimate. What’s more, in 2019 the readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted it as the #1 Safari Property in Africa. Besides Reticulated Giraffe, other uncommon species seen here include Grevy’s Zebra and Black Rhino.

Rothschild’s – Murchison Falls

Two Rothschild’s giraffes spotted on a game drive in Murchison Falls

Going on a safari to Uganda is more than just gorilla trekking in Bwindi. Where the White Nile rapidly descends through a waterfall on its way to Lake Albert, lies Murchison Falls National Park. Along with the rare Rothschild’s Giraffe, safariers can see lion, elephant and hippo. In addition, the park is a haven for birds, including the one-of-a-kind shoebill.

Where To Stay: Nile Safari Lodge

The spacious interior of a chalet at the Nile Safari Lodge

Call it the jewel of the Nile! After a recent, extensive renovation, Nile Safari Lodge is now one of Murchison’s finest. The spacious chalets have verandas and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Nile River. What better place to stay while going on game drives and river cruises while in Murchison Falls!

South African – MalaMala Game Reserve

Wary of predators while at the waterhole

Where better to see the South African subspecies than at one of the country’s premier game reserves: MalaMala. Adjacent to the world renowned Kruger National Park, this is the largest private “Big 5” reserve in South Africa – so keep your eyes open for lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and white rhino!

Where To Stay: Rattray’s

The pool at Rattray’s main area

Representative of a classical “into Africa” safari experience, Rattray’s hosts solely eight suites, each overlooking the Sand River. Private plunge pools, secluded verandahs and outdoor dining are among several perks, along with the outstanding game viewing opportunities.

Thornicroft’s – South Luangwa

Thornicroft’s are only found in the Luangwa Valley

Wearily meandering through the valley of the same name, the Luangwa River offers one of largest concentration and diversity of wildlife in all of Africa. This includes Thornicroft’s Giraffe, which can be found nowhere else in Africa. The premier wildlife destination in this valley is South Luangwa National Park, and its signature activity is a walking safari.

Where To Stay: Puku Ridge

Puku Ridge’s main area overlooks a waterhole

Recently undergoing a major renovation, this intimate camp has merely eight luxury tented suites. Each suite at Puku Ridge has floor-to-ceiling doors that open to private deck and plunge pool. And with over-the-bed air-conditions, you’ll stay nice and cool during the warmest months. Beside Thornicroft’s giraffe, keep your eyes peeled for leopards on your game drives and guided walks!

Giraffe Manor

How could we leave a place with giraffe in it’s name off our list! Reticulated and Rothschild’s giraffes live on the grounds of this boutique hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. There aren’t many places where giraffes can join you during your meal – and fewer where you can feed themselves yourself!

What’s more, Giraffe Manor will be opening The Retreat later this year. Along with four dayrooms, there will be an infinity pool, a cafe, gym, sauna, steam room, hot tub, and two spa treatment rooms. This luxury boutique hotel will make an even better place to start or finish your safari!