Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

Giraffe Nursery

Country: South Africa
Provinces: Mpumalanga and Limpopo
Location: Kruger National Park
Camp:  Shingwedzi Rest Camp


This magnificent picture has a nursery group 2 adult females and 7 juveniles of differing ages (most likely from different mothers) meandering away from  a dried riverbed as they angle toward the camera. The nursery is part of a herd of 20+ that came into this riverbed area for several days, probably to dine on some delicacy that suddenly became available. The newborn giraffe will begin suckling its mother's milk and walking within one hour. Calves are reliant on their mother's milk for up to 9-12 months. During the first few days a newborn giraffe will be left sitting in grasses while the mother goes off to feed, but after a few weeks the youngster is introduced to the rest of the herd and nursery groups are formed where one mother will 'keep watch' while the others have a chance to go and find food. By 4 months a young giraffe is eating leaves.

This picture was taken while based at Shingwedzi Rest Camp. Shingwedzi Rest Camp lies in the mopane zone in the northern part of Kruger Park. Interestingly the park's baobab trees also appear in this area.

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the greatest game reserves in the world, and it is hard to describe the magic of this place in words. Picture a vast, unspoiled, beautiful wilderness where life is as it was thousands of years ago. Where you can stand on a hill overlooking the African savannah and realize that you could've stood there 5000 years ago and seen exactly the same awesome view.

The largest game reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park is larger than the state of Israel. Over 5 million acres of land, stretching for 220 miles from north to south along the Mozambique border, are divided into no fewer than six ecosystems. Kruger National Park can truly claim to be extraordinary, iconic and  steeped in legend and history; with vast landscapes, glorious flora and spectacular African wildlife. 

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