Standing tall in the Serengeti
STEPPING gracefully while daintily nibbling on vegetation around her, this beauty looked like royalty.
The elongated majestic neck emerged first from the scrubland as we rounded a corner in Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya.
The unique print of the Rothschild giraffe, an endangered species found only in Kenya and Uganda, appeared next, then the white lower legs.
My favourite animal in the wild. Wish list ticked.
She was part of a tower of giraffes meandering through the game-filled park.
Lions, zebras, rhinoceros - white and the critically endangered black, gazelles, impalas, baboons, monkeys, ostriches, hippos and water buffalo. The list goes on.
This Kenyan park is so packed with incredible African animals that I could have gone home satisfied after two days there. But then I would have missed the incredible adventures at Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Seeing a hippo burst from beneath the water, just metres from a flat-bottom boat that seems suddenly small, in Uganda is both terrifying and exhilarating.
Don't get me started on the adorable babies within the families of elephants using their trunks to drink water on the lake's edge.
Always alert, the elders move quickly to protect the young at the first sign of any danger.
The eldest souls, every one of their years etched in their faded hides, often separate from the herd as though they are contemplating life.
Almost as beautiful as the Rothschild, seeing the Masai giraffes glide across the wide open plains in the Serengeti is breathtaking.
Watching a lion stalk a warthog through the grasslands is captivating.
On the other hand, trying desperately to spot the limbs of leopards sleeping in acacia trees is a little frustrating.
Between the herds of wildebeest gathered for protection in the Ngorongoro crater and the lionesses attending to their cubs, and the head of the pride, it feels like a real-life Lion King scene.
Despite the amazing adventures in the wild, this giraffe lover rates kissing one at the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Giraffe Centre in Nairobi among the highlights.
The Giraffe With White Stockings
The Rothschild's giraffe is a type of giraffe that lives in the Great Rift Valley region of East Africa.
Rothschild's giraffe is one of the most endangered giraffe subspecies, with only a few hundred members in the wild.
Lord Walter Rothschild was the first scientist to describe this giraffe after he saw them in East Africa in the late 1800s.
The Rothschild's giraffe has a specific type of coat pattern. Their most distinguishing feature is their white "stockings."