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Amazing Acacia


By siris


There are two sorts of Thorns in this photo.

Our Ranger/guide told us many interesting facts about Acacia as I showed an interest in botany.

The thorns do not stop Giraffes eating the foliage. They wrap their tongues around the stems and strip off the foliage in a downward direction only. The guide said that the plant gives off toxic tannins which stops the Giraffes eating that particular plant for too long, as the taste gets too strong. This chemical starts plants downwind producing the same chemical, so Giraffe always browse facing upwind so they know when to move onwards to an unaffected plant.

This Vachellia karroo was just coming into flower

Giraffe feeding facing upwind, I presume, with two youngsters. The other parent was on the right.

Vachellia is commonly known as the whistling Thorn. Wasps burrow into the thorns and after they have vacated the thorn a hole remains, then wind blowing over the plant causes it to produce a whistling noise. Spot the whistling hole.

Dichrostachys cinerea, the sickle bush or bell mimosa.

Another couple of Giraffes with oxpecker birds on them.

That’s the end of this blog!!

More blog posts by siris

Previous post: A Large Succulent.

Next post: The Plight of Rhinos



I love giraffes and their long blue/ black tongues! So interesting about the whisteling thorn. Thank you for sharing.

20 Nov, 2017


Now that's what I call thorns Siris! It looks amazing there.

21 Nov, 2017


What a wonderful blog Siris, amazing and breathtaking!You must be so happy that you chose that location for your holiday. Truly a trip of a lifetime.

21 Nov, 2017


Echo the above sentiments. Must be the trip of a lifetime.

The Giraffes we saw in the UK were allowed to roam and two bulls spent all their time whacking each other. I thought a neck would collapse with the force. They are lovely creatures.

Vachellia looks a really nasty thorn. The whistling could sound quite spooky, I imagine, if one didn't know what caused it.

21 Nov, 2017


loved this blog! you had an excellent guide. Would love to make a trip to the savannah with baobabs and thorntrees and flametrees!

21 Nov, 2017


I too love this blog. and such an appropriate last picture :o))

21 Nov, 2017


Lori, for our safaris we had 3 different Rangers, I hogged Manius' time with so many questions, he had just finished his degree and was doing research into spider venom.
We actually started our holiday in Cape Town, where we visited Kirstenbosch, the South African national botanical gardens, and, and, then flew to Kruger National Park (which is the size of Wales) then to Victoria Falls on the Zambia side. Wonderful, OH and I took about 2000 pics between us.

21 Nov, 2017


Sounds just wonderful... I'm looking forward to your blogs.

22 Nov, 2017


Thank you Lori, I will be doing my S Africa blogs over the winter, when its cold and dreary outside.

22 Nov, 2017


Fabulous I love giraffes, they always seem so graceful.
Another great blog with lovely photography, you took a lot Siris but I can see why, I'm looking forward to seeing more, thankyou for sharing...

22 Nov, 2017


Amazing how animals adapt to the ecology of the area they live in. Thank you for sharing.

25 Nov, 2017


Some really amazing photos & facts about Acacias & Giraffes! Thanks for sharing them with us!

26 Nov, 2017


Most interesting blog Siris, and great photos, looking forward to the next instalment......

26 Nov, 2017


Thank you for your comments. I do hope you don't think I'm 'lecturing', just the answer to questions I asked the Rangers.

29 Nov, 2017


Oh no, Siris! I don't think it's "lecturing" ...and so what if it is? People, pre-internet, used to pay to hear "lectures" from world travelers on their exploits. 2000 pics and hundreds of memorable facts are very interesting to me... blog on, please! lol...

30 Nov, 2017


Thanks Lori, Isn't nature wonderful, given a chance!

2 Dec, 2017

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