West Africans eat Baobab leaves by the truckload

“I always wondered what the fuss was about dried baobab leaves in West Africa,” says Dr Sarah Venter. “In Southern and East Africa baobab leaves are known to be eaten but it is not very common. In West Africa however, stories abound of smuggling and theft of truckloads of baobab leaves from one country to another, one would have thought […] Continue Reading

Baobab health assessment training in Zim

Dr Sarah Venter recently trained a group of ecologists on doing tree health assessments in Zimbabwe. “We were looking at various aspects of baobab health that include the impact of elephants on baobab trees, bark harvesting and diseases.  This work took us all around Zimbabwe including the Hwange National Park, where the assessment team measured over 900 baobabs” she says. […] Continue Reading

17 years of Bao fruit counts behind us

For seventeen years in a row now, we set off to our research area in the Limpopo River valley to count baobab fruit. These are from forty permanent trees in different locations that we started to monitor since April 2005. The method entails circling each tree and counting the Small – golf ball sized plus, Medium – tennis ball sized […] Continue Reading

Are all Baobabs created equal?

In August last year Dr Sarah Venter visited Ghana to see if there are any significant variations between the North-West African baobabs versus our Southern African Baobabs. “The journey took me from Accra, the capital on the Atlantic coast of West Africa about 800 km right up to the northern-most part of the country.  Here Baobab trees are scattered throughout the […] Continue Reading

Kuduland’s Bao Mama gets a data check!

“I often get asked to assess large baobab trees, either for their size or their health,” says Dr Sarah Venter, founder of the Baobab Foundation. “This Greater Kuduland Reserve Baobab is one of the biggest ones I have ever measured”. With a circumference of 25 m, height of 12 m and crown diameter of 24 m this amazing Bao Mama […] Continue Reading

A culture of caring, fun and rewarding!

Our local newspaper, Zoutpansberger, recently partnered with the Baobab Foundation, to launch a school project to boost the region’s wild baobab population.Coined the Baobab Champion competition, more than 230 baobab starter-kits with 15 seeds each inside, were distributed to participating pupils of 4 local schools. That amounts to 3450 potential new Baobab trees for South Africa! Youth excited to create […] Continue Reading

Wonderful foster parents for baby Baobabs

Baobab wilding is about enrichment-planting of baobabs back into the wild.  To prepare for this we are growing baobab trees from seed. Some are in Dr Sarah Venter’s nursery at EcoProducts and other trees are being grown by community members in villages around Venda, oftentimes with precious, little available water in the arid environments where Baobabs thrive. The trees in […] Continue Reading

A smelly potion to protect Baobabs at Mapungubwe

A new method to help protect Baobabs from elephant damage at Mapungubwe has been suggested, hold your breath, it contains fermented elephant dung! Mapungubwe is one of South Africa’s national parks in the far north, bordering onto Zimbabwe and Botswana along the Limpopo River, well-known for its many beautiful Baobab trees dotting the typical rocky Bushveld landscapes. You might remember […] Continue Reading

New pre-school enroll first kids at rural Dambale

The enrollment of 20 preschoolers to the first and only, brand-new crèche and pre-school in the rural village of Dambale, caused a whole lot of excitement. Although the school-buildings were finished last year the process of getting a long list of basic equipment like tables, chairs, mattresses, cupboards and educational toys, got a boost, thanks to funding from Lather skincare […] Continue Reading