Zimbabwe. June 2023.

 8.  Baobab Trees.

"The majestic baobab tree is an icon of the African continent and lies at the heart of many traditional African remedies and folklore. Native to the African savannah where the climate is extremely dry and arid, it is a symbol of life and positivity in a landscape where little else can thrive. Over time, the Baobab has adapted to its environment. It is a succulent, which means that during the rainy season it absorbs and stores water in its vast trunk, enabling it to produce a nutrient-dense fruit in the dry season when all around is dry and arid. This is how it became known as 'The Tree of Life'. "  (from Aduna website)

 Link to more information about baobab trees from Africa Geographic.

We saw many magnicent baobab trees on our journey through Zimbabwe, especially in Mana Pools and Gonarezhou. As it was winter the majority of them were leafless but we did see some with leaves and a few still had fruits hanging from the bare branches.

The trees can grow to 25m high but the main trunk of larger baobab trees may reach up to 28 m in girth.  The massive, usually squat cylindrical trunk gives rise to thick tapering branches resembling a root-system, which is why it is sometimes called the upside-down tree.

 Fruit pods on a couple of trees that we saw.

Baobab trees store large amounts of water in their trunks and, as a result, elephants often damage them in order to get water.  The tree will still survive unless the damage is so bad the tree falls over. In some areas the trunks have been covered in wire to stop elephant damage.

 This tree in on the very straight main track between the A1 road and the entrance gate to Mana Pools.  

Glad to see that they made the track to go around the tree - it's probably one of the most photographed baobab trees!     

Last updated:  October  2023