Sudan, 1827. Maki, a young boy, lives under the rule of a French slaver named Moreno. One day, Maki manages to escape. Pursued, he is saved by a giraffe who dies after being shot by Moreno. Her baby, Zarafa, now an orphan, is captured by Hassan, a Bedouin charged with finding a baby giraffe for the Viceroy of Egypt. Maki follows the hunter and eventually wins his sympathy. When they arrive in Alexandria, the Viceroy asks Hassan to take the baby giraffe to France to give as a gift to the French king in order to seal an alliance between the two countries. Hassan and Zarafa fly to Paris in a balloon. Believing he’s left Maki behind, the hunter realizes the child is on board a pirate ship that's following them. After much discussion, Hassan and Maki land in Paris, but their adventures are far from over.