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Best Places to see Rothschild Giraffes in the Wild in Uganda

Posted by on July 13, 2020

The endangered Rothschild Giraffes of Uganda

The Foremost Places to see Rothschild Giraffes also known as Nubian – Baringo or Uganda Giraffes

Best Places to see Rothschild Giraffes in the Wild in Uganda are Murchison Falls Park, Kidepo Valley Park, Lake Mburo Park. The endangered Rothschild now called the Nubian Giraffe (aka Baringo, or Uganda Giraffes) are thriving and growing in numbers in their Natural Environment in Uganda.

It is especially true in Murchison Falls National Park, where there are now over 1,550 Rothschild now known as Nubian (aka Baringo, or Ugandan) Giraffes. Do not let all the different names confuse you. It is the same species of Giraffe. They are Genetically Identical – so call them what you want – Nubian – Rothschild – Baringo or Uganda Giraffe.

During November of 2019, Rothschild-Nubian Giraffes were trans-located to the Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve in Eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya. 

Uganda, at present, is home to over 1,650 Nubian formerly known as Rothschild Giraffe. They are found in three National Parks, Murchison Falls Park, Kidepo Valley Park, and Lake Mburo National Park and the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve.  The Best Park in Uganda for Giraffes is Murchison Falls Park, with 1,550. 

The Miraculous Restoration of the Endangered Nubian (Rothschild) Giraffe in Uganda

Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, is home to the most significant number of the most endangered subspecies of Giraffe: the Nubian Giraffe (G. c. Camelopardalis).

Once they were found in the Wild across western Kenya, western Ethiopia, southern South Sudan, and Uganda, today, Nubian Giraffe has been eliminated from its former rangeland in those countries except for Uganda.

In 2010, it was estimated that only there only about 250 Nubian giraffes (then considered Rothschild’s Giraffe) in Murchison Falls National Park. Poaching during Uganda’s turbulent years had taken its toll on much of the wildlife, including the Nubian Giraffe.

The Rothschild’s Giraffe was listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2010.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority, in cooperation with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, worked together toward the goal of increasing the number of the Giraffe in the Wild in Uganda. This miraculous conservation effort has paid off, and Uganda is now today home to over 1,650 Nubian giraffes. The Number of Rothschild Giraffe in the Wild in Uganda is a wildlife conservation management success story. 

Best Places to see Rothschild GiraffesWhat about the Different Names for what was known as the Rothschild Giraffe?

In 2016 a study was published in the journal Current Biology. Researchers from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) collected and analyzed DNA from skin samples representing 190 giraffes from across Africa and identified 4 Subspecies of Giraffe in Africa. The Rothschild Giraffe became the Nubian Giraffe.

The Nubian Giraffe is the nominate subspecies, which means that because it was the first specimen recorded, its Latin sub-specific name is the same as the first species described. The estimated number of  Nubian Giraffes is approximately 3,000 individuals, which includes the genetically identical formerly recognized as Rothschild Giraffe. At present, fewer than 200 occur in western Ethiopia, 450 in eastern South Sudan, 800 in Kenya, and more than 1,650 in Uganda.

Most refer to the now Nubian Giraffe as Rothschild Giraffe. It is genetically the same. When you see them, you will be caught up in the moment of the Wild Encounter with Giraffes and now worry about the particular Subspecies that they are.

Best Places to see Rothschild Giraffes in the Wild of Uganda’s Parks

1. Murchison Falls National Park is the Best Place in Uganda to see Giraffe

Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda is the best location for seeing the Nubian or Rothschild Giraffe in the wild.  With a population of over 1,550 Giraffes, there is nowhere else that you can see groups of up to 50 Giraffes roaming the Savannah of the park.

Due to a recent translocation of giraffes to the other side of the Nile where no Giraffes have been for years, Giraffes can now be seen on both sides of the historic River Nile.

The story of the Giraffes of Murchison Falls National Park is a conservation success where the population of Giraffe has been used to foster up the Rothschild Population of Kidepo Valley Park and start it in Lake Mburo National Park.

There is nothing like seeing a herd of 50 Giraffes together on your Game Drive in Murchison Falls Park.

2. Kidepo Valley National Park:

Kidepo Valley Park is one of the Best Parks in Africa, and when it comes to the endangered Nubian-Rothschild Giraffes, it is the second-best place to see them.

The park was initially restocked with Giraffes from Kenya, and in recent times, Giraffes from Murchison Falls Park were brought here. The population of Giraffe is growing here, and it is hoped that it will soon reach 100 in number.

This unique park – that is like Africa was 50 years ago.  You have that all alone feeling since there are less than 20 new visitors per day.

When you encounter the Rothschild – Nubian Giraffes here, it is an experience like nowhere else in Africa since most likely. No one else will be around.

3. Lake Mburo National Park:

15 Rothschild Giraffes were taken from Murchison Falls Park and transferred to Lake Mburo to restock the park with giraffes that were killed during the violent times in Uganda.

The environment of Lake Mburo Park is suited for Rothschild Giraffes since there are many Acacia Trees for them to feed on.  Lake Mburo National Park is now the only park in Western Uganda with Giraffes.

There are now about 20-plus Giraffes found in Lake Mburo National Parl.  It is the only Savannah Park with the Rothschild Giraffes.

The reason for them being in Lake Mburo is that the conditions are right for them, plenty of Acacia Trees for them to chew on.

4. Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve:

In 2019 Giraffes from Murchison Falls Park were translocated to the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya. The reserve is the 2nd largest Wildlife Reserve in Uganda after Murchison Falls Park Protectorate.

Giraffes were once in abundance, but due to the past Rinderpest outbreak, poaching, and the encroachment of pastoralists and their cattle and the wildlife suffered here.  It is part of the restoration of the reserve to its former wildlife glory days. Various other species have already been brought here and are thriving as the Giraffes will.

The Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is presently off-of-the-beaten Tourist Path. However, that will soon change.

Rothschild-Nubian Giraffe Facts 

Giraffe Subspecies found in Uganda: Giraffa camelopardalis Camelopardalis – the Nubian Giraffe – they used to be seen as Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi.

Height and Weight:  Male Giraffe can reach a height of 6 meters (20-feet). Females 4.5 meters in height.  Males weigh up to 1,930 kg (4,250 pounds), females up to 1,180 kg (2,600 pounds).Due to their height, they are like watchtowers. They can spot a lion far away. Other animals rely on their alerting them.

Unique Features of Nubian-Rothschild Giraffe: They have white socks up to their knees, They have five horns on their heads, two of them are in the same place as other giraffes at the top of their head called ossicones. The third horn is in the center of their forehead and the other two behind each ear. They are also different from other Giraffes in the coloring of the coat, which consists of dark patches and then areas of creamy white through them.  Their markings are along the lines of that of a leopard. The markings on their coat are as unique as the human fingerprint.

Diet: Giraffes are browsing animals that use their vast necks, and their long and mobile tongues (45.6 centimeters long) strip the leaves and bark from trees on the African Savannah. They also graze and have a series of individual valves. And a complicated network of elastic blood vessels in the neck, not only to prevent the animal from passing out when it bends down to drink or graze but also to ensure that the blood is successfully pumped along its long neck to the brain.

Another fantastic fact about Giraffes is that they can go for months without drinking liquid water – instead, they receive their water via the leaves, such as from acacia trees that they eat. You can always find them nibbling away in the top of the trees that dot the Savannah.

Habitat: Giraffes live in nonterritorial groups of up to 20 (In Murchison Falls, you may see Groups as large as 50). Home ranges are as small as 85 square km (33 square miles) in wetter areas but up to 1,500 square km (580 square miles) in dry regions. The animals are gregarious, a behavior that allows for increased vigilance against predators. They have excellent eyesight, and when one Giraffe stares, for example, at a lion a kilometer away, the others look in that direction too. Giraffes live up to 26 years in the wild and slightly longer in captivity.

You might see them moving slowly along through the Savannah, but don’t be deceived. These creatures can run at a rapid clip. Despite their great height and gangly appearance, the Giraffe is one of the fastest species of animal, reaching top speeds of 35mph (56km/h) when running over open ground.  For longer distances, the Giraffe can lope along at about 10mph (16km). They have one of the most extended and most mobile tongues reaching an average length of 45.6cm.

Best Places to see Rothschild Giraffes – There is no more beautiful sight than to see these gracious animals moving through the Savannah in numbers. It is always the most memorable moment for visitors to Murchison Falls National Park – Kidepo Valley Park and Lake Mburo Park.

 If you are interested in visiting the Best Places to see Rothschild Giraffes in the Wild while on your Safari in Uganda – please let us know.



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