Ombalantu baobab (Omukwa waaMbalant)

Botany with: Ombalantu baobab (Omukwa waaMbalant)

The Ombalantu baobab tree, known also as a Tree of Life or Omukwa waaMbalantu, is a giant Baobab tree, anAdansonia species, situated in Outapi in the north of Namibiaon the Main Road 123 from Tsandi. It is 28 metres (92 ft) tall, 26.5 metres (87 ft) in diameter, and estimated to be 800 years old.

‘The tree of life’ or the ‘Upside down tree’ are just some of the names used to describe a tree, which not only awes with it’s sheer size and odd look, but also offers shelter to animals and people, tools such as rope and cloth, medicine and nutrition.

The by-names differ from tribe to tribe, country to region, and is a clear sign that this tree, despite it’s awkward look and formiddable size, is one of the most beloved features of the African bush, and it’s most useful.

The tree trunk has a door going onto it and can accommodate about 35 people. It has served as a chapel, post office, house, and a hiding site during various stages of Namibian history. Today the tree is a tourist attraction, known under the name Ombalantu Baobab Tree Heritage Site. Since December 2004. the site features a display of its history and role in the Owambo community, as well as the history of the Namibian struggle for independence

 

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