Tall Tales of Twiga in Tanzania

Doesn’t Swahili has the best animal names of any language? ¬†Twiga for giraffe, Simba for lion, Tembo for elephant – to me these swahili words sound exactly like the animals look! Especially ‘Twiga’, which somehow manages to convey the tallness, the awkwardness and the beauty of a giraffe in one short punchy word.

Twiga were in every park we went to in Tanzania, we saw plenty of them, and each one looked so individual – even before they started pulling faces! And they certainly have expressive faces, even slightly absurd faces, I could watch them all day.

Twiga (giraffe) in the Ngorongoro Conservation area
Twiga (giraffe) in the Ngorongoro Conservation area

 

Twiga (giraffe) in the Ngorongoro Conservation area
Twiga (giraffe) in the Ngorongoro Conservation area

 

Twiga (giraffe) in Lake Manyara, Tanzania
Twiga (giraffe) in Lake Manyara, Tanzania

We saw some interesting behaviour from three teenage male giraffes. Like any teenage boys, two of them were enjoying a bit of pushing and shoving, a bit of argy-bargy, and the third one was hanging back and looking like he wished that he got to play too Рit was fascinating to watch Рplayground behaviour of the twiga. Can I play too?