Home of the Baobab trees
Mapungubwe Baobab with Elephant

Home of the giant Baobabs

In terms of the National Forests Act, 1998 (Act No. 84 of 1998), is the Baobab (English and Venda), with its botanical name Adansonia digitata [or “Kremetart (Afrikaans), Seboi (Northern Sotho), Mowana (Tswana)”] and is listed as National Tree Number “467”.

A notice is regularly published in the Government Gazette informing the citizens (and visitors to the country) that no person may cut, disturb, damage or destroy any protected tree or possess, collect, remove, transport, export, purchase, sell, donate or in any other manner acquire or dispose of any protected tree or any forest product derived from a protected tree, except under a licence or exemption granted by the Minister to an applicant and subject to such period and conditions as may be stipulated.

This makes the concentration of trees in the Klein Bolayi area even more valuable as it seems as if the people who may have lived around the sacred rock may have “planted” the trees unknowingly in the surroundings of their habitat.  The saying of “one plants the seed, another waters the seed and someone else sits in the shade of the tree” may be very well relevant in this case as the people who live around 1 100 to 1 500 years ago in the area.  The people of the Monomotapa kingdom may have planted the seeds but today’s people (in 2022) have the privilege to appreciate the trees and their magnificence.

According to Clickatree, are the Baobab fruit a superfood.  They contain more vitamin C than oranges and more potassium than bananas.

The fruit, leaves, bark, and seeds of the baobab tree all have strong health benefits, and are traditionally used to treat diseases, reduce fever, and stimulate the immune system.

The trees are grown from the seed.  The coating of the seed is edible (one sucks on the seed to taste the coating) and disposes of the inner part (from which the tree sprouts under the ideal conditions).  The appetiser enjoyed by the old people may have resulted in the trees which are seen in the Klein Bolayi area.  Wildlife, especially the baboons and monkeys, enjoy the fruit alike.

Thaba Bolayi is home to more than 170 of these giant Baobab trees.  These trees are between 800 and 1500 years old.  They were used in the rainmaking process rituals.  Some trees are hollow and the ancestral has used these trees to store their food inside.  The constant temperature during summer or winter is 18° Celsius. The length and circumference differ from tree to tree, but they can be as small as the bonsai Baobab to the magnificent neighbour reaching around 20 metres high and around 50 metres on the circumference