Do bees pollinate nocturnal baobab flowers?

Pabalelo Phori (MSc candidate) investigates the role of bees and other insects visiting baobab flowers. The buzzing of bees around baobab flowers in the early morning is a common sight and although bees are an important pollinator of many species, do they actually play a role in pollinating baobab flowers?  This is the important question that Pabalelo will be investigating [...] Continue Reading

Do baobab trees matter?

Liam Taylor (MSc candidate) investigates the ecological consequences of elephant-induced tree mortality on bird communities. Liam Taylor is an all-round naturalist, who takes identification of everything he sees seriously.  From insects to reptiles and mammals to trees, but his passion is birds.  He is one of those birders who the moment a bird tweets or flies past everything else is [...] Continue Reading

Elephants cause damage and death to Mapungubwe baobab trees – what can be done?

Baobabs are a most important feature of Mapungubwe National Park. Management is under mounting pressure from ecologists and the public to find solutions to protect our Baobabs and river-forests of the bordering Limpopo River. Baobabs are part of the historical-cultural landscape at Mapungubwe. They are found on many of the archaeological sites around the park, evidence that they played an […] 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 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