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Fascinating Facts

The Masai Giraffe or Maasai Giraffe, also known as the Kilimanjaro Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) is the largest subspecies of giraffe and the tallest land animal.

The Masai Giraffe has jagged spots on its body. It also has a short tassel of hair on its tail. Giraffes do not have true horns, the bony outgrowths on the top of their heads are instead called "ossicones". True horns have a bony core surrounded by a protein layer called keratin (the same substance our fingernails are made from). In contrast, an ossicone is a bony growth covered with a thin layer of skin. The bony outgrowths of the male's skull superficially provide the appearance of up to 5 ossicones. The dominant male's spots tend to be darker in colour than those of other members of its herd.

Adult males usually reach around 6 m in height—although they have been recorded at reaching heights of up to approximately 6.5 m—and females tend to be a bit shorter at around 5–5.5 m tall. Their legs and necks are both approximately 2 m long, and their heart has a mass of roughly 12 kg (25 lb).

There is no seasonal breeding season for the Maasai Giraffe, and females can get pregnant from the age of 4. They also give birth standing up. It takes 2–6 hours for a giraffe to be born. About 50–75% of the calves die in their first few months due to predation. Even though many calves die, the mother will try to stab predators such as hyenas or lions with its sharp hooves. This action may injure or kill a predator quickly; the Maasai Giraffe's kick is strong enough to crush a lion's skull or shatter its spine.

Come and see these amazing creatures at The Emakoko.

Fascinating Facts

Euphorbia candelabrum is a succulent species of plant in the Euphorbiaceae family. Its Latin name derives from its growth habit, often considered to resemble the branching of a candelabrum. E. candelabrum is endemic to the Horn of Africa and eastern Africa along the Great Rift Valley system. It is known in Ethiopia by its Amharic name qwolqwal.

Some authorities further divide this species into two sub-species, Euphorbia candelabrum var. bilocularis and Euphorbia candelabrum var. candelabrum.

E. candelabrum was used in traditional Ethiopian medicine. Mixed with clarified honey, its sap was used as a purgative to cure syphilis, and when mixed with other medicinal plants as a salve to treat the symptoms of leprosy. This plant currently has negligible commercial value, although Richard Pankhurst documents two different attempts near Keren in Eritrea to collect its gum before 1935, but neither attempt proved commercially viable.

Learn more about these plants while visiting ol Donyo Lodge.

Fascinating Facts

The Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori) is a large bird native to Africa. It is a member of the bustard family. It may be the heaviest bird capable of flight.

The Kori Bustard is mostly grey in color, with a black crest on its head and yellow legs. Kori Bustards are often found with bee-eaters riding on their backs as they stride through the grass. The bee-eaters make the most of their walking perch by hawking insects from the bustard's back that are disturbed by the bustard's wandering. This is a large and heavy bird, and it avoids flying if possible. It spends most of its time on the ground, foraging for the seeds and lizards which make up most of its diet.

The male Kori Bustard is 120 to 150 cm (3.9 to 4.9 ft), stands 71–120 cm (2.33–3.9 ft) tall and have a wingspan about 230 to 275 cm (7.5 to 9.02 ft). On average male birds weigh about 10.9–16 kg (24–35 lb), but exceptional birds may weigh up to 20 kg (44 lb). Reports of outsized specimens weighing 23 kg (51 lb), 34 kg (75 lb) and even 40 kg (88 lb) have been reported, but none of these giants have been verified and are not considered reliable. The female Kori Bustard weighs an average of 4.8 to 6.1 kg (11 to 13 lb), with a range of 4.3 to 6.6 kg (9.5 to 15 lb). Female length is from 80 to 120 cm (2.6 to 3.9 ft) and they usually stand less than 60 cm (2.0 ft) tall and have a wingspan of less than 220 cm (7.2 ft). Body size is generally greater in the populations of southern Africa and body mass can vary based upon rain conditions.

Like all bustards, Kori Bustards have polygynous breeding habits, where one male displays to attract several females and mates with them all. He then leaves the females to care for the young by themselves. The females build a nest on the ground and incubate the eggs, foregoing eating for days. When the chicks hatch, the mother brings them a steady stream of food, most of it soft so the chicks can eat it easily.

Come to The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille and discover the amazing birds for yourself.

Fascinating Facts

Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 metres (17,057 ft)), Nelion (5,188 metres (17,021 ft)) and Point Lenana (4,985 metres (16,355 ft)). Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.

Mount Kenya is a stratovolcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African rift.] Before glaciation, it was 7,000 m (23,000 ft) high. It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. This has resulted in very eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the centre. There are currently 11 small glaciers. The forested slopes are an important source of water for much of Kenya.

There are several vegetation bands from the base to the summit. The lower slopes are covered by different types of forest. Many alpine species are endemic to Mount Kenya, such as the giant lobelias and senecios and a local subspecies of rock hyrax. An area of 715 km2 (276 sq mi) around the centre of the mountain was designated a National Park and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The park receives over 15,000 visitors per year.

Come and view this amazing mountain while staying at Lewa Wilderness.

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