Milk samples collected from giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis in the eastern Transvaal Lowveld of South Africa were analysed by conventional methods. Changes in the composition of the milk at different stages of the lactation cycle were noted. The prelactation secretion and milk of early lactation was considerably richer than the milk of established lactation in terms of total solids, fat, ash, and protein but not in lactose. Differences in minerals and trace elements were not significant. Giraffe milk is richer than bovine milk in terms of fat, total protein and ash content, but lactose is lower. The casein, lactalbumin and lactoglobulin fractions of the giraffe milk proteins are similar to those of bovine milk. Lactation in giraffe lasts for 12 to 13 months, and the milk yield is estimated at 2,5 to 10 litres per day.