No tree in Africa embodies the spirit of Africa more than the baobab with its bulbous branches and gnarled bark. Otherwise known as Africa's 'big tree', the baobab is revered in African culture for many different reasons.
In ancient times kings, elders and leaders would hold meetings under huge baobabs to discuss matters of great importance. Not only did the trees provide shelter, but the tribal leaders also believed that the spirit of the baobab would always help them make wise decisions.
Today leaders and decision-makers from all corners of the globe come to Limpopo to take advantage of the province's unique conference, meeting and incentive resources and settings. Perhaps they know the secrets of the baobab too.
Adansonia digitata, as the baobab is known in scientific circles, is one of the trees in Africa with the longest lifespan. Some baobabs in the province are already over three thousand years old but on average, baobab trees found particularly in the northern parts of the province are between three hundred and five hundred years old. Near Sagole, a rural village in the northeast, is a baobab specimen that is three thousand years old and that measures 43 m in circumference at its base.
Baobabs are actually succulents and consist of 80% moisture, making them among the most useful plants to both animals and humans. With their own distinct ecosystem, baobabs swarm with life as they provide shelter and sustenance for various creatures.
Elephants browse the leaves and strip the bark for food and moisture. Baboons feast on the fruits of the tree and birds and bees nest in the holes of the trunk since most of the old trees are hollow inside. Fruit bats and bush babies pollinate the flowers that only last for twenty-four hours before falling to the ground to become food for various antelope species.
The Largest Baobab tree in the world is the Sunland's Boabab situated in Limpopo which has been turned into a railway sleeper pub and accommodates up to 60 people. The tree is one of Limpopo's prime attractions that offers magnificent views during the first bloom in spring.