When two giants collide

Every day in the Madikwe is a privilege...but some days just blow you away. Our ranger Johan Taljaard tells us in his own words, how a recent sighting of two male giraffes has made it onto his GOAT (greatest of all-time) list! "My guests and I were on our way back from another great morning game drive. We had witnessed some amazing sightings including a pride of Lions, a family of elephants enjoying a swim at a waterhole - together with a White Rhino and a few old buffalos - this was an excellent photo-opportunity. We were heading back to camp for a legendary Morukuru breakfast when we ran into a group of 15 giraffe. (FYI...When a group of giraffe is standing together the collective noun is “tower” and when they are on-the-move we refer to them as a “journey”.) I love sharing the various collective nouns allocated as descriptors for animals - whoever came up with those - deserves an award. A sighting of such a large group of giraffe is special in itself but then it went next level. Two giraffe bulls started play- fighting in the middle of the road right in front of us. This is known as necking and is common behaviour for bulls who practice for when they will have to fight for dominance and mating rights. When giraffe fight they intertwine their necks and then take big swings at each other; striking each other with their heads; showing impressive power until one goes down or eventually gives up. Theatre quickly turned to reality … as a genuine fight developed between the bulls. This battle carried on for about 30 minutes until one combatant eventually gave up and headed off into the dense bush. WOW! This was a spectacular sight as my guests had never seen this before. As a ranger I always treasure sightings like this as it reminds me of the real beauty of nature and the honour, we have of sharing this with our guests. And in case you were wondering, we did eventually make it back for breakfast!.