The majestic baobab tree is a common landmark found within the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in which Singita Pamushana Lodge is nestled. It is known as the “tree of life” as it provides food, water and shelter to both human and animal inhabitants of the African savannah.
Dwarfing the surrounding vegetation, the tree is shrouded in a heady mixture of mystique and legend. Zimbabweans have long told the charming story of how God planted the trees on their heads, with many local tribes believing that the baobab tree grows upside-down, due to the massive trunk which gives rise to thick tapering branches resembling a root system.
Adinsonia digitata can grow to a height of thirty metres and some are estimated to be thousands of years old. This cannot be verified however, as baobabs produce no annual growth rings, making it impossible to accurately measure their age. Their trunks can hold up to one hundred and twenty thousand litres of water, an amount which sustains them throughout the dry season when water is scarce.
People have used these enormous trees with their hollow trunks for various purposes including houses, prisons, storage facilities and even shops. In Zimbabwe the fruit is used in traditional food preparations, being crushed into a pulp and mixed into porridge and drinks containing high levels of vitamin C. The tree provides a source of water, fiber, dye and fuel for the people of Zimbabwe and has been used for centuries.
While driving through the land surrounding Singita Pamushana Lodge, one never tires of seeing these mighty trees dotted throughout the grassland, lending this incredible place an even more magical atmosphere.
Visit us again soon for a new update from James Suter’s exploration of the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve and his beautiful photographs of the fauna and flora of this unique area. You can catch up on his earlier posts from the region here.
The Shangaan believe that the baobab holds immense power. In fact it is a widely held Shangaan belief that when a person sits beneath a baobab tree it steals a piece of that person’s heart. This piece is only returned when they once again sit beneath that same baobab tree.
The baobab is the quintessential African tree and the Malilangwe Reserve is full of these beautiful giants.
The direct translation of the word baobab is tree of life, which is apt considering that every part of it can be used.
1. The white pulp, from the fruit of the baobab, is mixed with water and used as a treatment for fever, colds and flu.
2. The seeds, from the baobab fruit, are refreshing to suck on and – when roasted – they make an excellent coffee style hot beverage.
3. Over the years hollow baobab trunks have served as houses, prisons, storage barns and places of refuge from animals.
4. The leaves can be boiled and eaten just like spinach.
5. The bark makes excellent ropes and floor mats. It is also believed to have the power to help an individual secure respect, prestige and security in their job.
Singita Pamushana is located in the 140 000 acre Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve situated in south-east Zimbabwe. These 140 000 acres are home to four separate eco-systems, an abundance of wildlife – including the Big 5 – and a collection of over 400 different species of birds.
In true Singita style Pamushana Lodge offers its guests a personal and unique African safari experience.
Everything from its unrivalled setting – overlooking the expansive Malilangwe Lake – to its local Shangaan inspired décor and the trademark Singita service, all helps to create an adventure that is exciting, warm and incredibly romantic.
Food is as much a part of Singita Pamushana Lodge as the décor, setting and service. Early morning pre-game drive snacks followed by brunch, a late lunch, decadent afternoon tea, sundowners and refreshments in the bush and then dinner. All so delectable and so beautifully presented, that any attempt at resistance is ultimately futile!
Photographs, no matter how talented the photographer, simply cannot capture the magic and charm that flow through every aspect of Singita Pamushana Lodge. It is simply a place you have to experience in person in order to understand how such beauty has the ability to make any heart sing.