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#EJSHeroes - how South Africa inspired the Kruger design

5th September 2017

To celebrate our upcoming birthday, we're reminiscing over some of our favourite designs from the past 5 years in the lead up to the big day very soon. To continue our reminiscent journey, we invite you to take a closer look at the captivating Kruger illustration, with detailing that was inspired by a very inspirational adventure...

Inspired by a South African safari trip that Emma embarked on a few years ago, the Giraffe design evokes a feeling of a tropical escape to a distant and strange fantasy world - a world that only Emma could conjure in her wild imagination. Spotted giraffes play amongst hummingbirds and intricate butterflies, all under the watchful eye of a curious palm tree.

Left and right: Imagery of beautiful patterns and textures that Emma photographed during her African safari.

The abundance of natural inspiration was rife - the beautiful patterns, shapes, colours and life within the African landscapes were truly inspiring. The design is called 'Kruger' after a visit to Kruger National Park - Africa's largest game reserve. Its high density of wild animals includes the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos. Hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks. Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape. The menagerie of creatures from all walks (or prowls) of life inspired Emma to create a design reflecting this, and that's exactly what was done...

The intricately detailed Kruger design, featuring playful giraffes and hybrid zebras, under the watchful eye of a curious palm tree.

Sadly, not all wild giraffes have it as easy as those in the Kruger National Park. Humans hunt giraffes for their hides, meat and tails, which are highly prized by many African cultures. The desire for good-luck bracelets, fly whisks, and thread for sewing or stringing beads have led people to kill the giraffe for its tail alone. Moreover, the number of giraffes in the wild is shrinking as their habitats shrink. As human populations grow and increase agricultural activities, expand settlements, and construct roads, the giraffe is losing its beloved acacia trees, which are its main source of food. 

Beautiful wild giraffes that Emma spotted on a recent Safari trip to South Africa.

As a hint to this, within the design you'll notice that the pair of affectionate mythical giraffes have chains around their ankles. This may appear inhumane, but fear not - they have been drawn chained to habitat in which they belong. As humans, it's our responsibility to protect all wildlife as they depend on us for survival. Giraffes belong in the African plains, and this has been depicted subtly within the illustration.

Browse our range of Giraffe-inspired delights here.

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