Touch the thousand-year baobab tree and feel the magic of the earth

Baobab, a tree species native to Africa, is also called the “tree of life” because of its strong environmental adaptability and strong vitality. Once they take root, they can survive for more than 500 years. The most prestigious attraction for viewing baobabs is the “Baobab Avenue” lined by more than 20 trees on Madagascar Island, and many ancient baobabs are scattered in South Africa, Namibia and other countries in the southern part of the African continent. tree. they

Although it has an “age” of more than a thousand years, it is still flourishing. Not long ago, a reporter from the “Global Times” visited the most famous baobab trees in Limpopo Province, South Africa. They felt the hardness and vicissitudes of the trees that had been polished by the years, and looked up at the prosperous canopy that covered the sky. The magnificence of life and the magic of the earth.

The reporter set off from Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, and drove more than 5 hours to Glencoe Farm, a small town in Hoodspruit, Limpopo Province, where there is a “famous tree”. When the reporter drove the car into the farm, the first thing that caught people’s attention was a sturdy tree standing upright in the wilderness, more than 10 meters high. It has the standard appearance of a baobab tree in our impression: a thick and firm trunk, and dense branches that spread upward. Many people mistakenly think that this is the famous old tree, but in fact it is only 500 years old and can only be regarded as a young “junior” in its kind. The real protagonist is 10 meters away. From a distance, the tree has multiplied into a huge bush. Someone found the dates of “1893” and “1896” engraved on the trunk, and scientists calculated the age of this tree to be 1835 through the radiocarbon dating method in 2013.

This “lying” giant tree is called “Glencoe” (Glencoe), is the world’s strongest baobab tree, the tree circumference reached 47 meters in its heyday. It cracked twice in 2009 and completely collapsed in 2017, but it still survived tenaciously. Some people describe this “majestic tree” as a pale, twisted old fairy, with a giant belly, rhino-like skin, and branches like thin fingers crossing in the air. Visitors can walk into the maze-like clumps of branches and trunks growing horizontally in “Glenco”. There, the reporter found that there were still buds emerging from the ancient tree trunks, and the tenacity of life was immediately awe-inspiring. There is a restaurant and campsite next to “Glenco”, where visitors can taste roast venison and homemade pancakes from the farm owner. A swimming pool was dug not far from the tree for visitors to enjoy the “tree scenery” comfortably. When the afterglow of the setting sun casts shadows on the trees, the scenery is very beautiful against the cascading mountains in the distance.

“Huge baobab tree, over 2000 years old and still growing! 3.5 kilometers ahead”, on the way from Hoodspruit town to Tsanen town, this sign will guide you to find the baobab tree “Lai “Leydsdorp” (Leydsdorp). This tree has become a well-known attraction. The tree is surrounded by fences, and there are stairs on the tree. There are toilets and cold drinks for sale next to it. The ticket is also 10 rand (1 yuan is about 2.2 South African lans) as mentioned in the travel guide. Special) rose to 20 rand.

“Leizdorp” is more than 20 meters high. There is a hole in the tree, which is said to have been a bar for local miners. There are two wooden ladders outside the tree. Step on the lower one to climb up. You can enter the tree hole through a long and narrow gap. The tree wall inside is covered with graffiti. This tree hole can maintain a constant temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, so it can also be used as a storage room. Along another steep 12-level long wooden ladder, you can climb to the middle of the tree. You can stand in the arms of the strong branches of the big tree and take a photo with the big tree.

Some people say that the more you learn about baobabs, the more charming they become. Baobab tree is the largest succulent plant in the world. Its flowers only bloom for one day, but one tree can bear 1,000 fruits. This fruit is known as the “ultimate super fruit”. It contains 6 times more vitamin C than oranges and 3 times more potassium than bananas. The baobab tree can also save itself by dropping its leaves in extreme drought conditions, and can store up to 4,500 liters of water in its body.

Africans scrape off the bark of the baobab tree to weave ropes and baskets. Tree roots and leaves can cure diseases. In the eyes of the locals, these ancient giant trees are sacred, controlling the divine power of the African grasslands and the ability to communicate with their ancestors. Some tribes also hold grand ceremonies when the baobab tree dies.

Due to climate change and other reasons, many ancient baobab trees are facing the danger of death. Some scholars have counted more than 60 largest and oldest baobab trees in Africa and found that since 2005, 8 of the 13 oldest trees and 5 of the 6 largest trees have died or partially collapsed. One of the baobab trees “Sunland” that reporters really wanted to visit was among them. It is said that it is more than 6000 years old, its tree hole can accommodate 15 people, and it was once a famous bar.