Popularly known as ‘ the tree of life ‘ , the Baobab tree is fully integrated into African culture. This tree which is strange in its appearance is found in the arid regions of Madagascar , mainland Africa, Arabia and Australia.
Baobab trees have a terribly long life spam. There are trees which are over 1000 years old. A baobab tree in South Africa was carbon dated at around 6000 years old.
The tree has a massive barrel like trunk but its branches appear like a wispy network resembling a complicated root system. During 9 months of the year (mainly dry season) the Baobab tree is bare of leaves.
These trees provide shelter, clothing, food and water for the animal and human inhabitants of the African savannah regions. The trunk of the baobab tree can hold up to 20000 litres of water. The bark of the tree is fire resistant and is used for making cloth and rope. The leaves are excellent sources of protein, minerals and vitamins A and C . They are used as condiments and medicines. The large gourd like woody fruit contain a tasty mucilaginous pulp from which refreshing drinks can be made.
The hollow trunks of the Baobab, serve as temporary shelters and have even been used as prison burial sites and stables. The Baobab, which plays an important part in the lives of the people as well as the animals at Africa, continue to intrigue many tourists visiting the continent.