Masai Giraffe

The Masai Giraffe, also called Kilimanjaro Giraffe, is the largest subspecies of giraffe family. Native to East Africa, Masai Giraffe has unusual characteristics that make them look different from other giraffe species. The Masai Giraffe is also known for being the highest terrestrial animal in the world.

Masai Giraffe

Masai Giraffe

Let’s find out some more information about the largest subspecies of giraffe.


Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Giraffidae

Genus: Giraffa

Species: G. Camelopardalis tippelskirchii

Binomial name: Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchii

Masai Giraffe Physical description

  • Body: Each subspecies of the giraffe has a different coat pattern and so as Masai giraffe. They have a small hump on their back and feature spotted pattern, similar to that of a leopard. Their thick hair covered horns, stretching to a length of 5 inches, are called ossicones. Their body color varies from brown to rich chestnut.

  • Length: Masai Giraffes are 19.5 feet tall. Females are not much smaller.
  • Legs: Their legs are about two meters long. Like other mammals, they walk using both legs from the same side of the body.
  • Weight: Male giraffes weigh from 2,000 to 3,000 pounds while females weigh 1300-2000 pounds.
Physical description

Physical description

Masai Giraffe Habitat

The Masai Giraffes are specifically found near savannas and open woodlands. They do not prefer closed canopy forests.  Like camels, they can survive for a long period without water. Thus, they live in semi-desert regions where they get water from foods. To get a drink, they splay their forelegs.


The habitat

Masai Giraffe Distribution

Native to East Africa, Masai Giraffes are also found in the southern parts of Kenya and Tanzania.



Masai Giraffe Diet

Masai Giraffes feed 15-20 hours a day. They are mostly seen eating grass, leaves, sprouts, flowers, fruits, and barks. These giraffes are smart enough to reach between the thorns of acacia trees to extract leaves.

Diet of Masai Giraffe


Their long lips and tongue help them do so effortlessly. Masai giraffes have a four-chambered stomach. They can go without water for weeks if fresh vegetation is available. Male giraffes eat from the top branches while female from the bottom branches.

Masai Giraffe Behaviour

Check out their behavioural traits;

  • Masai giraffes are good jumpers.
  • They sleep for only a few minutes.
  • Masai giraffes are non-territorial.
  • They can rest while standing. Sometimes they rest by lying down with their head resting on their rump.
  • They are tolerant and live in small groups.

Masai Giraffe Video

Reproduction & Life cycle

Masai giraffes reach the stage of sexual maturity between three and five years of age. There is nothing like any particular mating season for Masai giraffes. They mate throughout the year. Male giraffes start mating after they are seven years old.

Reproduction of Masai Giraffe


The gestation period lasts for only 14 months. During birth, the head of the calf comes out first, followed by front legs and rest of the body. The offspring falls from the mother’s womb. The procedure lasts for two to six hours. The calf is six feet tall during birth and weighs almost 200 pounds. Masai mothers are protective and throw kicks to keep predators away from their calf. The young giraffes consume milk from their mothers for almost one year.

Life Cycle of Masai Giraffe

Life Cycle

Masai Giraffe Lifespan

Masai giraffes have a lifespan of 10-15 years in wild and 20-25 years in captive.


Masai giraffes have few predators like lions, crocodiles, hyenas, and leopards. The main threats to this mammal are imposed by humans and loss of habitat.

Interesting Facts

  • Masai giraffes have the same number of bones in their neck as humans.
  • Their heart weighs approximately 24 pounds.
  • They are the tallest animals on earth.
  • Giraffes have four stomachs just like cows.
  • They can whistle, roar, and hiss.
  • Their tongue is 18-20 inches long.

Conservation Status

Like other giraffes, Masai giraffes are considered vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN.  Their population is decreasing due to loss of habitat.


Reproduction of Masai Giraffe


Diet of Masai Giraffe


Habitat of Masai Giraffe


Masai Giraffe

Masai Giraffe


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