Monday, November 21, 2011

The Sagole Baobab

The magnificent Sagole Baobab (Adansonia digitata) one of South Africa’s Champion trees, and the largest Baobab in the country, is located in the far north of Limpopo Province between  Tshipise and Pafuri in Vendaland.

Although the other two famous Baobabs, namely the Glencoe Baobab and the Sunland Baobab have larger trunk diameters, the Sagole Baobab is the largest overall.

The Glencoe Baobab has a trunk diameter of 15,9m but the trunk unfortunately split in 2009 while the Sunland Baobab has a trunk diameter of 10,64m.

The Sagole Baobab, believed to be about 2000 years old has a trunk diameter of 10,47m, a 22m high crown and a spread of 38,2 metres. The trunk of this noble behemoth, splits into several trunks fairly close to the ground but in spite of this still maintains the appearance of a single tree.

“Muri Kunguluwa” meaning ‘the tree that roars’ is the name that the Venda people have given to this superb specimen, and refers to the sound made by the wind as it blows through the branches.

The Sagole Baobab serves as home to a colony of mottled spinetails (Chaetura ussheri) who rarely create colonies.

This outstanding natural monument is a popular destination for travellers to Limpopo Province and in view of this, plans to build an asphalt road to the tree to provide easier access is in the pipeline.

A boardwalk to facilitate viewing of the tree at close quarters has also been planned. This prevents trampling and compacting of the soil around the tree due to heavy foot traffic, thus allowing water to infiltrate the soil freely which is essential for the continued health of this most valuable relic from the past.

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