Search

The many fascinating secrets of a baobab

[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]

Baobab tree in the Kruger Park (c) Etienne Oosthuizen

In November, last year we filmed Henry Parsons, one of EcoTraining’s head instructors and asked him to tell us more about the infamous baobab tree. Ranging from five to twenty meters tall the grand Baobab tree is life to many ecosystems, countless wildlife ranging from large mammals to the tiniest creatures.
[/av_textblock]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]
In this video Henry describes the different beliefs and facts about this fascinating tree.
[/av_textblock]

[av_video src=’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sochDTCpaVc’ format=’16-9′ width=’16’ height=’9′ custom_class=”]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]
This particular baobab tree Henry is standing next to in the video is called the Rhodes Baobab and is found in the Northern Tuli block on Mashatu game reserve. It is believed that Cecil John Rhodes and his Secretary Antonia da Silva’s initials (CJR and ADS) are carved into the bark of the tree while they were surveying the land for a possible railway from Cape to Cairo.

The famous Rhode’s Baobab (c) Cara Pring

[/av_textblock]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Cultural beliefs about the Baobab tree are deep rooted in African history and often the main actor of many African tales told to children. The stories of the Baobab tree are not all mystical and there are many facts that exist as well. The bark from the Baobab tree is pounded to make rope, mats, baskets, bracelets, paper, cloth and even glue.

Handbag made out of Baobab bark

[/av_textblock]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]
These are some interesting facts and cultural beliefs about the majestic Baobab tree:

Cultural beliefs

  • It is believed that people who drink the water where baobab seeds have been soaked in will be protected from crocodile attacks.
  • If young boys are bathed in water where the bark from a baobab tree trunk was soaked in, they will grow up to become strong and healthy men.
  • In certain cultural beliefs, deceased relatives are buried at the base of baobab trees, where it is believed that the trees become imbued with their souls.

[/av_textblock]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]
Food for thought

The baobab tree is also referred to as the ‘tree of life’ for various reasons.

  • The powder that is extracted from the fruit of the Baobab tree is used to create a refreshing drink similar to lemonade.
  • The pulp of a baobab seed pod consists of six times more vitamin C than an orange, 50 percent more calcium than spinach, and enough flavour to keep any simple dish from tasting bland.
  • The Baobab fruit tastes similar to that of a pear but more acidic because of the high Vitamin C content.
  • Fresh baobab leaves provide an edible vegetable similar to spinach which can also be used for various medicinal purposes including the treatment of kidney and bladder disease, asthma, insect bites, and several other disorders.
  • The Baobab fruit is a traditional snack for children on their way home from school as well as a healthy dietary supplement for pregnant women.
Powder made from Baobab seeds

[/av_textblock]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]
If these facts are all related to just one tree, imagine the endless learning possibilities about nature in Africa. Join the #SafariTrivia now and you can learn all about nature from the comfort of your own home.

Here is a little advice from a tree written by Ilan Shamir. Stand tall and proud, sink your roots deeply into the earth, reflect the light of a greater source, think long term, go out on a limb, remember your place among all living beings, embrace with joy the changing seasons, for each yields its own abundance.

Source: https://www.suninternational.com/sun-city/stories/travel/facts-folklore-of-africas-mighty-baobab-tree/

https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/tree-life

http://www.krugerpark.co.za/africa_baobab.html
[/av_textblock]

[/av_one_full]

About the Author:
Picture of EcoTraining Connect

EcoTraining Connect

EcoTraining, which has been in operation since 1993, is the innovator and top provider of training for safari guides and wildlife experts in Africa.

Explore more

students in nature with clipboards
Blog

Leading the Way to Higher Education in Ecotourism

Are you an aspiring nature guide looking to develop your skills and expertise? Look no further than EcoTraining, Africa’s leading safari and wildlife training institution. EcoTraining has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the first Guide Training School on the continent to receive accreditation from the Council for Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa.
Let us explain why this is such a significant achievement for EcoTraining and the Field Guiding Industry.

Read more
bee on lavendar plant
Blog

Why Bees are Important?

Daily we hear about animals whose population numbers are in decline, but did you know that the humble Bees numbers are also in decline and they too are at risk of extinction?

Read more
arrow-marked babbler
Blog

The Magic of the Morning Chorus

Imagine yourself early in the morning in the middle of the South African bush; the sun is just about to rise, and the wildlife begins to wake up. You close your eyes and listen. What can you hear?

Read more

Start your wildlife career

Want to become a field or nature guide? Explore our immersive courses and training programmes for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, taught and led by experts in the industry.

EcoTraining offers career and accredited courses, wildlife enthusiast courses, gap year programmes and customised group travel courses.

Join our nature-loving community.