Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

A Mouth Full

Country: Botswana
Reserve: Moremi Game Reserve
Camp: Mombo Camp

A Mouth Full

This picture shows a mature giraffe face up close, (check out those lips) with a sausage from the sausage tree stuffed into its mouth. The ripe sausage from the sausage tree is one of the giraffe's true delicacies. While they occasionally eat grass and fruits of various trees and shrubs, the giraffe's principal food source is the thorny acacia tree. Our curious giraffe somewhat snuck up on the camera as the camera was focused on a leopard about 50 feet away.

That upper lip is prehensile and can grasp foliage. The lips, tongue and inside of the mouth are covered in papillae to protect against thorns. All Giraffes have these large eyes, which along with their height give them excellent vision. The small horn-like ossicones are formed from ossified cartilage, covered in skin and fused to the skull.
This picture was taken while based at Mombo Camp.  The heart of the Okavango is the Moremi Game Reserve. Mombo Camp - renowned for having what is arguably the best big game viewing in Botswana - lies in the Moremi Reserve on the northern tip of Chief's Island, the largest landmass in the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango Delta is rightly considered one of the most incredible wildlife and wilderness sanctuaries in Africa.  It is the largest inland delta system in the world, an area of about 6000 square miles where a mosaic of grasslands, floodplains, palm-tree islets, forests, lily lagoons and winding water channels combine to form a perfectly constructed puzzle, in which animals wander as they please.  What makes this area most remarkable is that it is a wetland paradise located deep within the arid Kalahari Desert. The Okavango is Africa's largest and most beautiful oasis. The water of the Okavango literally floats on a saturated sea of sand.

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