Sagole Tree (Sagole Baobab)

Sagole Baobab, South Africa
Sagole Baobab / Lara Allen, Tshulu Trust, published with kind permission
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.

Largest tree in Africa?

This giant tree currently is the stoutest in the country. Some time ago the stoutest was Glencoe Baobab with the 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.

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.).

Resting in the branches of Sagole Baobab, South Africa
Resting in the branches of Sagole Baobab / Lara Allen, Tshulu Trust, published with kind permission

Birds and tourists

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 the 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).

Tshulu Trust

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 could be mentioned 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!


  1. Siyabona Africa Travel, Kruger national park accomodation and safari guide. Accessed: the 20th January 2010
  2. Venerable Trees by Jérôme Hutin. Was last accessed in the 20th January 2010
  3. Declared List of Champion Trees. South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, November 2012
  4. Gerald E. Wickens, Pat Lowe. The baobabs: pachycauls of Africa, Madagascar and Australia. 2008. ISBN: 978-1-4020-6430-2
  5. 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 list:

10 stoutest trees of the world
10 stoutest tree species of the world

Sagole Tree on the map

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Location, GPS coordinates: 22.5000 S 30.63324 E
Categories: Trees, Biological extremes
Values: Biology
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Where is located? Africa, South Africa, Limpopo Province, Mutale Municipality, Vendaland, east from Tshipise
Alternate name: Sagole Big Tree, Muri Kunguluwa, Muvhuyu wa Makhadzi
Species: Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.)
Height: 22 m
Circumference: 33.72 m
Diameter: 10.73 m (calculated from the circumference)
Crown diameter: 38.2 m

Video of Sagole Tree (Sagole Baobab)

Gian Luigi Concone, September 2013

Landmarks of South Africa

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
Blyde River Canyon / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
South Africa is extremely rich with unusual archaeological and natural monuments.

Geologically South Africa is interesting with its unique mineral deposits providing some of the best diamond, gold, platinum ores and other highly valuable mineral resources.

The biodiversity of South Africa is unsurpassed in many respects but also very endangered.


Arve Big Tree, Tasmania, Australia
Arve Big Tree, Tasmania, Australia / TTaylor, Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Category includes some of the most impressive and interesting separate trees of the the world. Total number of tree species in the world still is a wild guess – may be 10,000 and may be 100,000 but most likely somewhere in between. Every month there are reported new tree species from the whole world, including the Western Europe.

Recommended books

Tree of Life: The World of the African Baobab

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

The Remarkable Baobab

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.


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