There are few more striking symbols of Africa than the acacia tree. "This is about as far as we can go," Zachariah said, pulling the Jeep up under the gnarled branches of an Umbrella Thorn acacia tree. "We'll walk the last stretch."
"But this is the wild," Ashley protested. "We just saw a cheetah kill a gazelle!"
"Don't worry Ashley. I promised Aly I would keep you safe, didn't I?"
Still feeling a bit apprehensive and not knowing what to expect, Sean and Ashley followed Zachariah closely through the bush. They carefully avoided the thorn bushes' unique weapons: hundreds of little hooks that can grab quickly onto clothing. They walked up a slight crest, and rounding a large thicket they found themselves on the edge of a clearing overlooking a ravine.
There before their eyes, on the opposite ridge, was one of the most beautiful sights imaginable—a herd of giraffes silhouetted against the skyline, meandering between the trees. Nine adult giraffes and three calves were slowly browsing from one treetop to the next.
"There is nothing like seeing a giraffe in its natural habitat. Like the cheetah, giraffes also favor specific places in the Serengeti; they don't join the wildebeest on their annual pilgrimage. Giraffes have a very high tolerance for drought, because they can store an exceptionally large amount of water," Zachariah said.
"Their towering height is so ...