In the wild most giraffes live in central, eastern and southern Africa, south of the Sahara desert. Their range runs from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south. A small group also lives in western Africa in Niger.
Giraffes prefer a habit where acacia and mimosa trees are plentiful. The leaves on the acacia tree are their favorite food. Their homelands include grasslands, savannas and open wooded areas. When acacia is not available, they graze on other tree leaves and shoots as well as grass and bushes that grow along the ground.
In the past large groups of giraffes also roamed western Africa. The population dropped sharply during the 20th century as the human population expanded in the area. As of 2014, only a small group remains in southwest Niger.