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Baobab Tree

Grootfontein | Namibia

This great tree is situated approxiamately 1.5km north-east of the homestead of the Keibib Farm near Grootfontein. It was declared a national monument on 2nd July 1951. This baobab tree was at the time of being proclaimed a National Monument one of the biggest of its species known in Namibia. Since then even larger baobabs, such as the ones at Tsandi and Ombalantu and the one at Keibib, have been recorded in the northern regions of Namibia. The Afrikaans name for the baobab is Kremetart, a corruption of 'cream of tartar' tree.

Baobab trees frequently live for between 1,000 - 3,000 years. This remarkable feat can be attributed to a number of factors such as:

  • There are no known serious pests or diseases of the baobab.
  • As it is a trunk succulent, it has a high resistance to drought and fire.
  • On favourable sites, baobabs have a high growth rate; 2m in height over 2 years and 12m over 15 years have been measured.
  • The baobab plays host to a number of noxious crop insects that attack other trees.

The baobab is a great shade tree as well as an outstanding landmark. It has many uses including:

  • The leaves are a favourite forage.
  • Herdsman scale the tree for lopping.
  • Small ruminants eat the fruit pulp.
  • Sprouts and roots of young plants are eaten like asparagus, but are considered more of a famine food.
  • The bark from the lower part of the stem of younger trees can be used as a valuable fibre for cordage, fishing nets, baskets, cloth and mats and is often used for tying up huts and homesteads of local people.
  • The bark can also be used for the treatment of fevers, infections, arrow poison, wound disinfection, and as a mouthwash for toothache.
  • The leaves can be used for treating insect bites and as a prophylactic against fever, asthma and coughs.
  • The fruit is used to cure malaria, smallpox and measles.
  • The seeds are used for dental disorders.
  • The roots can also be used to cure malaria and sores.
  • A red dye can be produced from the roots.
  • The ash of baobab is used as a fertilizer or in making soap.
  • Smoke from burning fruit pulp is an insect repellent.

While on safari in Namibia (esp the eastern and northern areas) you are sure to encounter baobab trees of various sizes and shapes.


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Close encounters of the wild side - experience the Namibian veld on foot with Bruno, an enigmatic & knowledgeable guide

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Travel Namibia