Join Adumu Safaris on a trip to Tanzania, where you will not only be witness to animals, but also trees. Although maybe not as charismatic as a lion, trees can be just as clever and wise. Tanzania has hundreds of tree species but I want to bring to your attention: the acacia family and the African Baobab. East Africa has around 62 species of acacias; six are endemic to Tanzania. Endemic means that the species only inhabits East Africa! A trip here would give you a glimpse into the lives of these unique species in the African savannah. Specifically, the Serengeti National Park is a protected area that covers thousands of square kilometers. This magnificent area is the habitat of several species of acacia trees. I urge you to peruse the blogs posted on our website to get some insight into the Whistling Thorn Acacia and the secret lives of the ants that inhabit their thorns. 

Here, I want to show you the African Baobab. This iconic tree can reach 100ft and has a rather large trunk. Every aspect of the baobab is uniquely adapted to survive in dry savannah environments. 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.

A particularly spectacular adaptation to living in the dry savannah is this tree’s capability to store 120,000 liters of water! Baobabs have no leaves for 9 months of the year, conserving water by only producing them during the wet season. Humans are up to 60% water, but a mature baobab trunk is around 80% water and will grow and shrink with the wet and dry seasons. Not only this, but their bark is fire-resistant. You can imagine this would be a beneficial adaptation in the dry savannah. It also maintains fascinating interactions with its surrounding wildlife. For example, elephants are known to eat the bark of the baobab tree. Although leaving deep gouges, this rarely kills these hardy trees.

Baobabs are also extremely useful to humans. Their fruit contains high concentrations of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and loads of vitamin C. 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 tree is a prime species to investigate species adaptation and interactions with its environment and surrounding animals, including humans.