Giraffe are popular animals to watch while on wildlife safaris, and feature prominently in zoos, advertisements, toys and cartoons. Yet, until recently, few field studies have focused on giraffe. We introduce this giraffe topic issue with a review essay that explores five primary questions: How many (sub) species of giraffe exist? What are the dynamics of giraffe herds? How do giraffe communicate? What is the role of sexual selection in giraffe reproduction? How many giraffe reside in Africa? A confluence of causes has produced drastic declines in giraffe population numbers in Africa, and we conclude that guiding giraffe conservation plans depends upon evaluation of the five key quandaries that we pose.