Planning to visit Mombasa soon now that the borders are open? Don’t hesitate to explore its baobab forests. Here by 9 reasons why these true giants of the African bush are worth a special place on your itinerary.
- The massive trunks of baobabs (the largest circumference on record is 47 metres) have been, or are used, as jails, post offices and bush pubs, amongst other creative uses.
- Baobab trees can live for over 3,000 years. When they die, they rot inside and suddenly collapse.
- The trees resist drought, fire and termites. They regrow their bark if it is stripped.
- Legend has it that if one picks a flower from a baobab tree; he or she will eventually get eaten by a lion. However if they drink water in which baobab seeds have been soaked, they will be safe from the attack.
- Baobabs are known as upside down trees because their branches look like roots.
- Not only do fruits of baobab trees have an acidic flavor, they are medicinal. The pale powder that covers their black seeds is rich in Vitamin C and B2, and therefore offers health benefits, and is said to help in fighting fevers and settle the stomach.
- Although Adansonia digitata is reasonably common, many other baobab species are under threat. Out of the eight species, six are found in Madagascar, all of which are red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat destruction through extensive agriculture.
- Baobabs are partly regarded to as nocturnal plants because their flowers emerge in the evening. During this time, they are pollinated by bats and nocturnal insects such as moths.
- Their trunks can hold up to 120,000 liters (32,000 US gallons) of water which is an adaptation to the harsh drought conditions of its environment. If you visit Selous Game Reserve in the dry season, you stand great chances of seeing elephants tapping them.