African Mind Games, Giraffes on the Horizon

On the skyline...It's a bird; it's a crane; no, it's a Giraffe!


By Roberta Kravette

Funny how the mind works. No matter where or how often we travel our first impressions of each new place tend to be based on what we’ve experienced before - at least subconsciously. When I’m not off exploring, I share my hometown with 8 million people (literally), and almost as many sky scrapers. And a lot of construction cranes - so many in fact, that sometimes they color my view of the world. African mind games - giraffes on the horizon.

Who are those guys in the metal box? Giraffes are curious, be quiet and still for awhile and they are likely to come over to check you out. Image: R.Kravette

So, when early one morning driving in arid and hilly Namibia on my very first trip to Africa, I looked up and saw a line of construction cranes moving along a mountain ridge I hardly noticed.  Except they were moving - in a line - almost in tandem.  The cranes were walking ... Walking construction cranes?

It was a full minute before I saw those cranes for what they really were:  a herd of Giraffes heading for a near-by watering hole!

These animals are beautiful, impossibly tall and improbably graceful. We stopped to watched them, the herd of 12 maybe 15 individuals, steadily making their way along the treeless ridge, skyscraping adults and double-stepping calves, silhouetted against the sky. And while we did I breathed a little thank you to the Universe that we were here in Namibia, not New York City and those were not construction cranes but something much more wonderful.  The parade eventually disappeared from the ridge – but still remain a precious memory from our very first African safari.  


By Mark Owens, Delia Owens

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