Grow your own baobab

Baobabs produce a large fruit which are filled with hard kidney-shaped seeds.  These seeds are “nature-designed” to survive harsh conditions and to germinate at exactly the right time so that the young seedling can grow and survive in the wild.  Our job is to crack that code by mimicking the natural conditions that stimulate germination and allow the seedlings to [...] Continue Reading

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

SA Bao expert help with Botswana stamps

South African Baobab expert and founder of the Baobab Foundation, Dr Sarah Venter has recently been acknowledged by the BOTSWANA POST PHILATELIC BUREAU for writing the information-sheets of Botswana’s latest series of stamps in collaboration with Botswana’s Department of National Museums and Monuments. The date of issue of the series of four stamps was 8 December 2022. The Philatelic Bureau […] Continue Reading

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

The baobab tree is going to be around for a long time

Recently, various media reports have stated that nine of the 13 biggest baobab trees in southern Africa had collapsed or died in quick succession. Some experts have suggested that climate change may have played a key role in their downfall, although research is still ongoing. These gnarly giants are very much a part of the Limpopo landscape and tourist industry, […] Continue Reading

World Water Day: when in drought, consult a baobab tree!

As some of hardiest, long-lived trees around, Baobabs know how to make the most of scarce resources, especially water. On World Water Day, when we’re bringing awareness to one of our Earth’s most precious resources, what lessons can we learn from Baobabs?

Brave Baobab Seedlings

These baobab seedling pics remind me of the boldness of youth. And these days sadly, if they’re growing in an inhabited area, they’re bound to get eaten by livestock. Out there in the ‘wild’ they just have to make the most of a few weeks of life and then the thousand year promise in their genes is extinguished. Which is why the work of the Baobab Guardians becomes so important.