Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Scenes from Africa: Giraffes
On Wednesday we went giraffe-hunting. Not to shoot them, mind you--that would be illegal. And sad. There is reportedly only one herd left in that part of the Sahel, about 500 giraffes hanging around the edge of Niamey. There are giraffe guides who keep track of where they are and will take you to them for the right price. You hire one of these guys to ride on top of your car and when he wants you to turn (which may, but probably won't, be onto an actual dirt path), he hits your windshield with a stick to indicate which way to go. 4Wheel drive vehicles only need apply. Becca, Matt, Chad, and I felt that the guide had a visual advantage, and Dave saw no reason to interfere.
When we got to where the guide knew the giraffes to be, we piled out of the vehicles as quietly as we could and walked the rest of the way to the giraffes. They seemed gentle, but would walk away if they sensed you were getting too close.