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It was another exciting adventure at Shambala as we set out on Safari in the afternoon. My guests, consisting of a few couples from the UK, were all keen on getting their first Game Drive under way. During the start of our drive we came across many plains game, which include animals like Impalas, Warthog, Zebras, Wildebeest, etc. Everyone was quite thrilled, and we continued on. Suddenly we came across some long necked, tall mammals. “It’s a Giraffe!” Everyone exclaimed, and suddenly the excitement levels were heightened. The cameras were clicking as I started explaining about the 6 meter tall gentle giants. These amazingly timid mammals were standing together looking at us, with one browsing on some leaves off a tree, as that is their regular source of food. These ruminants prefer to eat the leaves from the top parts of the tree, as they have a height advantage, they can reach the sumptuous leaves at the top that other animals can't. Once they swallow you can easily see the food going down their long necks, and being ruminants these mammals have four-chambered stomachs. This means they often regurgitate their food after it passes through a given chamber to get as much nutrients from the diet as possible. So you often see the food moving up and down their long throats as they swallow and regurgitate and then swallow again. You could see the ossicles (horns) sticking out from their heads, and we used these to determine their gender. With the females, the ossicles are completely covered in black hair at the top and all around. If there is a bald spot at the top of the ossicles, like the tip of a white bone at the top, then it is a male. These were all males with the white tips on the ossicles being clearly exposed, and we suddenly noticed something was going on here. Swinging their heads and long necks from side to side, twitching and turning, they put on quite the show. There was quite a sharp remark from one of my guests sitting behind me. She said, “It looks almost as if the Giraffe's necks are dancing." We all laughed with exhilaration. She was quite right. These male Giraffe were having a contest of dominance, and were fighting each other, swinging their necks to try and inflict a fatal blow. But it looked so gentle, as though they were not fighting but rather dancing. Giraffes have quite a loose social structure by not always staying together in groups and at times being solitary, but there is still competition between them for right to territory and females, hence this display of dominance. This is also the way in which the males get their 'bald spot'; when they hit each other with their necks, and the ossicles collide into their opponent, they then lose some of the hair follicles at the top thus creating the bald spot. We were enthralled by this great show; the giraffe were 'dancing' and we quite enjoyed the dance, so much so that some of us were trying to imitate the dance ourselves. Ranger Sean Jones Shambala Private Game Reserve