Sagole Tree (Sagole Baobab)
The Champion tree of South Africa is Sagole Baobab. This really means something – in South Africa there are some of the stoutest trees of the world.
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The largest tree in Africa?
This giant tree currently is the stoutest in the country. Some time ago the stoutest was Glencoe Baobab with an incredible diameter of 15.9 meters, but unfortunately, this tree split into two parts in November 2009. The tree unites amazing trunk size with a circumference of 33.72 meters (3.) with a significant height of 22 meters.
Sagole Tree is the largest one in overall appearance and possibly – the largest one in trunk volume.
Rather close to the ground the enormous tree divides into several trunks but it keeps the appearance of a single tree.
The age of Sagole Baobab has not been scientifically proven but most likely it well exceeds 1,000 years.
Venda people named the tree: muri kunguluwa – the tree that roars. This name comes from the sound of the wind blowing through its branches (4.).
Birds and tourists
The tree got another special value – it serves as a home for the colony of African birds – mottled spinetails (Telacanthura ussheri) which don’t create colonies that often (5).
This beautiful monument of nature is well known to curious travelers and Limpopo province is planning (or hopefully has done it already) to develop basic tourist facilities including an asphalted road up to the tree and possibly a boardwalk around the tree to avoid trampling. Such boardwalks are advised as the feet of tourists compact the soil preventing the water from infiltrating the soil and thus unnecessarily weakening the Sagole Baobab (1).
Not too far from Sagole Baobab, in HaMakuya is located Tshulu Trust – not-for-profit organisation which is actively promoting entrepreneurship in this region of South Africa, where unemployment exceeds 95%.
Among the many initiatives that could be mentioned are Tshulu Camp, local catering and baking company, sewing workshops exploring the fusion of Venda and European fashion, and other interesting businesses.
Thus – be invited to enjoy the beautiful Venda land with the kind assistance of Venda people and Tshulu Trust!
- Siyabona Africa Travel, Kruger national park accomodation and safari guide. Accessed: the 20th January 2010
- Venerable Trees by Jérôme Hutin. Was last accessed in the 20th January 2010
- Declared List of Champion Trees. South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, November 2012
- Gerald E. Wickens, Pat Lowe. The baobabs: pachycauls of Africa, Madagascar and Australia. 2008. ISBN: 978-1-4020-6430-2
- Notice on declaration of particular trees and particular group of trees Champion Trees under section 12(1)a and (b) of the National Forests Act, 1998 (Act No.84 of 1998), as amended., Staatskoerant, 6 Dec 2006. Was last accessed on the 20th January 2010
Sagole Baobab is included in the following article:
South Africa is extremely rich in unusual archaeological and natural monuments. Highlights are the rich finds of rare minerals, unique ecosystems, finds of the first humans, and some great waterfalls.
The category includes some of the most impressive and interesting separate trees in the world. The total number of tree species in the world still is a wild guess – maybe 10,000 and maybe 100,000 but most likely somewhere in between. Every month there are reported new tree species from the whole world, including Western Europe.
Africa has many outstanding wonders and some of the most surprising ones are the heritage of Egyptian civilization, the vernacular architecture of the Sahel region, tropical ecosystems, and others.
Text and pictures document the life cycle of this amazing tree of the African savannah and portrays the animals and people it helps to support
Standing tall on the sunburned plains of Africa and Australia, baobabs may be the oldest life forms on the planet. Many of the specimens still standing today have been around for well over two thousand years. Tremendous in size and bizarre in appearance, they have provided food, medicine, and places of refuge and worship to countless peoples, even serving as prisons and tombs on occasion. Long before European explorers opened up the African continent, the news of these “gnarled upside-down giants” had astonished the world of science and stoked the imagination of naturalists everywhere.