Thought by some to resemble a giant elephant, or the grasping fingers of a witch, the mysterious baobab tree has fascinated people through the ages – through many ages in fact - carbon dating dates some species of baobab back between 4000 and 6000 years which would make them older than the Giza Pyramids!
It is not surprising then that many legends are associated with these enormous, strangely shaped trees that wouldn’t look out of place in a Dr. Seuss book…
The Bushmen believed that the Baobab had offended God and, in revenge, God planted the tree upside down. They also believed anyone guilty of picking the flowers would be devoured by lions. Another belief was that if one soaked Baobab pips in water and drank it, one would be protected from crocodiles – and become very powerful!
There are eight species of Baobab. The African variety, Adonsonia Digitata, is the largest and can be found in 20 sub Saharan countries including South Africa. Here it is most commonly seen in parts of the Limpopo province, from the Limpopo River in the North to the Soutpansberg Mountains.
The Baobab flowers from late spring to early summer. The flowers are bisexual and require bats and bush babies to pollinate them. The blooms open at night only, especially around full moon.
They have a ‘carrion-like’ scent which attracts moths and blue bottle flies to them, further aiding the cross pollination process. They only last for 24 hours before turning from large, waxy white blooms to brown shriveled dead flowers that fall off.
From flowers, comes fruit. The baobab fruit are very large and heavy. Should you be standing under a tree when one of the fruit falls, you could get quite a headache!
In Africa, the Baobab fruit is part of the diet of elephants, certain monkeys and baboons. The seeds, leaves and bark have multiple uses. For example the bark can be used to make beer and tea and the oil from the seeds is used to make skin care products.
Visit a Baobab at Madi A Thavha
Experience springtime in Limpopo with this fantastic package at Madi A Thavha Mountain Lodge.
3 nights stay at Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge in a comfortable guest room or guest house
Welcome drink at the day of arrival
3 x 3 course dinner
3 x full breakfast
Walk at Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge to our famous baobab tree (one hour walk during the day or with full moon) *
Visit to the Dancing Fish gallery at Madi a Thavha with a permanent exhibition about Venda, Tsonga and Northern Sotho culture and their art and crafts
Daytrip 1: Self-drive itinerary to baobab trees in Northern Limpopo, included the ‘Big tree’ (lunch pack included)
Daytrip 2: Elim, art, crafts and culture tour, included tour guide or Birding tour with Samson Mulaudzi, qualified SA Birding guide (lunch pack included)
Baobody shampoo, body wash and lotion available in the rooms
One bottle of Baobody nourishing lotion or hand wash for free
Package price per person: R 2400
* Please note that baobabs flower at night from late spring through to early summer, and this varies depending on the seasonal variations of each year. We cannot guarantee that the tree will be in bloom while you are at Madi A Thavha but booking in December affords you the best chance of viewing these rare flowers.
Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.