The Rothschild giraffes are also referred as the “Uganda Giraffes” or the “Baringo” and are one of the breathtaking wildlife species you can see in some Uganda’s Savannah National Parks. These exceptional Wildlife species are the most towering giraffes (and tallest animals) in the whole World, measuring up to 6 meters (20 feet) in height when mature. Interestingly, the Rothschild giraffes can weigh up to 1270 kilograms (2800 pounds) with the male giraffes weighing twice the weight of the females. There are some extraordinary physical characteristics that make these Rothschild giraffes to stand out from the other sub-species of giraffes. They have white stocks up to their knees and surprisingly have up to 5 horns on their small heads, two of which are in the same place (the top of their heads) like for other giraffes. The third horn is in the central part of the forehead and the remaining two horns are behind each ear.
The Rothschild giraffes are also different from the other giraffe sub-species in the colors of their costs which are comprised of darker patches and areas of creamy-white dots throughout their bodies. As a matter of fact, their exceptional markings are along the lines like that of the leopards and the markings on their costs are as extraordinary as the human fingerprint. When you see them in the wild, you may think that they are moving slowly but don’t be deceived. These mammals can move at a faster speed even when they appear to move slowly. Even with their height and gangling appearance, the Rothschild giraffes are one of the fastest wildlife species, and reach to the top speeds of 56 kilometers per hour when running over a clear open ground. For longer distances, the giraffes can stride along at about 16 kilometers. They have one of the most extensive and mobile tongues that reach an average length of 46 centimeters.
Giraffes are generally browsing animals that use their long necks and mobile tongues to strip the leaves and bark of trees within the savannah habitats. However, they also graze and have a number of unique valves and a complex network of elastic blood vessels within their necks to not only prevent the animal from passing out when it bends down to drink water or even graze but also to ensure that their blood is successfully pumped along its long neck to the brain. Another wonderful fact to know about the giraffes is that they can survive for several months without drinking liquid water, but instead depend and receive the water from the succulent leaves that they consume such as the acacia trees that they eat and you will always spot them tasting away on top of the trees that are mainly found in the Savannah. There is nothing as beautiful as seeing these gently mammals moving through the savannahs in large numbers. It is also unforgettable experience for tourists who visit Murchison Falls, Kidepo Valley and Lake Mburo National Park.
The Rothschild giraffes are found in limited places in East Africa that include the Nakuru National Park of Kenya. Still in Kenya, they were reintroduced in a number of National parks and Wildlife reserves. While in Uganda, you can see the endangered they were found in only Murchison Falls National Park but were reintroduced in Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Parks which were also their natural habitats before they became extinct.
Murchison Falls National Park
When you drive along several game tracks in this National park (the largest and oldest in Uganda), you will come across large herds of the Rothschild giraffes. Their numbers are currently estimated at 1000 or more. There is no place in the whole of Africa that offers the perfect sighting of these mammal species like Murchison falls National Park.
Lake Mburo National Park
There are currently about 15 Rothschild giraffes that were translocated from the Murchison Falls National Park to this National park in 2015 so as to restock the Park with giraffes that once called Lake Mburo home until were killed during the violent times in Uganda. This Park is suited for the Rothschild Giraffes because there are many acacia trees for them to feed on making it the only Park in western Uganda that can be visited to see these mammal species.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the perfect places in the African continent and second best in Uganda when it comes to seeing the endangered Rothschild Giraffes. This exceptional Park that has existed for over 50 years offers a true African Wilderness because it is rarely visited in Uganda. Therefore, when you visit Kidepo Valley National Park, you feel you have the entire wilderness to yourself.
In conclusion, the Rothschild Giraffes are one of the most sought after wildlife species by tourists on a safari, and can be seen with Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Lake Mburo National Park only. You can learn more on Uganda’s wildlife from the Uganda Wildlife Centre, a field guide to Animals to Birds and Animals.