Most people dream of seeing wildlife, but the plants of East Africa are equally as fascinating. The African Baobab is probably one of the most iconic due to its 100ft height and large trunk. Every aspect of the baobab is uniquely adapted to survive in dry savannah environments.

The trunk of a mature baobab can store 120,000 liters of water. On average, the trunk is around 80% water and will grow and shrink with the wet and dry seasons. Elephants have clued into this and are known to eat the bark of the baobab tree leaving deep gouges. However, this rarely kills these hardy trees. Their bark is also fire-resistant which helps them endure frequent bush fires. Baobabs have no leaves for 9 months of the year, conserving water by only producing them during the wet season. All of these adaptations help them live for thousands of years!

Baobabs are also very useful. Their fruit contains high concentrations of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium potassium, B vitamins, and loads of vitamin C. A handful of the foods made from the baobab include a lemonade-like drink from the pulp, a sauce from the seeds, and a soup including the leaves of the tree. People also make use of fibers from the bark for rope, string, basket weaving, and beehive making. Parts of the tree also have medicinal uses such as treating iron deficiency, digestive system disorders, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, and infections.

This incredibly resilient tree can be seen all over East Africa, but are particularly prolific in Tarangire National Park in Northern Tanzania, Ruaha National Park in Southern Tanzania, and Meru National Park in Kenya.