Recent studies have shown that there are two subspecies of Masai giraffe: Masai giraffe and Luangwa giraffe.

There are just over 45,400 Masai giraffe remaining in the wild.

Masai giraffe (G. t. tippelskirchi)

Masai giraffe range across central and southern Kenya and throughout Tanzania. Although it remains unclear whether Masai giraffe occurred naturally in Rwanda in the past, extralimital populations (those outside their natural range) have been translocated to the Akagera National Park in the country. Formerly the most populous giraffe with an estimated 71,000 individuals three and a half decades ago, just over 44,750 remain in the wild today. Ongoing reports of poaching and habitat fragmentation suggest that their population is still under threat; however, recent estimates suggest that they are also slowly rebounding. The IUCN Red List assessment of Masai giraffe highlighted an overall decline of approximately 50%, resulting in their listing as Endangered; however, GCF’s recent assessment shows a positive trend over the last five years.

Luangwa giraffe (G. t. thornicrofti)

Luangwa giraffe (formerly known as Thornicroft’s giraffe) exist as an isolated population in the South Luangwa Valley, eastern Zambia. They are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because even though the population has remained stable at approximately 650 individuals in recent decades, they occur in low numbers in only one geographical area of eastern Zambia. Recent trends show that their range and numbers are slowly increasing.

The Masai giraffe is often noticeably darker than other species. Its patches are large, dark brown and distinctively vine leaf-shaped with jagged edges. The patches are surrounded by a creamy-brown colour, which continues down their lower legs.

GCF is the only organisation in the world that works on conserving all four giraffe species in Africa.

Our Masai giraffe conservation programmes include:

Masai Giraffe Conservation in KenyaMasai Giraffe Conservation in TanzaniaMasai Giraffe Conservation in Zambia