Did you know?
South Africa has the largest baobab tree in the world at Sunland, near Tzaneen
The Musina Nature Reserve is a wonderful way to experience at first hand the remarkable baobab tree. The Musina Nature Reserve is some 10km south of the town of Musina, and home to the country's largest collection of baobabs. Take a drive through this remarkable reserve, where rocky outcrops belong to a rock formation called the Sand River Gneiss, which is said to be one of the oldest in the world. Apart from the amazing baobab, the reserve is also home to a diversity of small game and many bird species.
Baobab trees occur only in the northern parts of South Africa, mostly between the Limpopo River and the Soutpansberg, the country's northernmost mountain range. They occur most densely near the town of Musina, and the Musina Nature Reserve was created specifically to protect these amazing trees, and ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy them too.
The Latin name of the South African baobab tree is Adansonia digitata, and they thrive in hot, semi-desert areas, growing to a height of 25m. Carbon dating has shown that they sometimes reach as much as 3 000 years in age. The baobab has the unique ability to regenerate damaged or stripped bark, and can even survive fire. They create their own eco-systems, supporting thousands of creatures great and small that eat their leaves, make homes in the bark, rest in the branches, and drink the nectar from the flowers.
The baobab is also known as the upside-down-tree, because their branches resemble roots. They are a great source of legend and folklore, and the baobab has been adopted by Limpopo province as one of its tourism icons.
Pack a picnic basket and binoculars and take a gentle drive through the Musina Nature Reserve to witness hundreds of these beautiful trees. The reserve has a variety of pretty picnic sites as well as hiking trails, and there is a guesthouse and bushcamp for overnight visitors.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Musina Nature Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)15 516 3415
How to get here
By car or mountain bike. Hiking is allowed within the reserve.
Best time to visit
Winter is the best time, summer here can be unbearably hot
From Johannesburg take the N1 north to Polokwane, and continue to Louis Trichardt and onto Musina. The Musina Nature Reserve is some 10km south of the town, the entrance is on the right hand side of the road.
Length of stay
It takes around two hours to drive the circular route around the reserve.
What to pack
Walking shoes, hat & sunscreen, bird book and binoculars, tree book
Where to stay
The Musina Nature Reserve has a bush camp with communal braai (barbecue) facilities as well as a guesthouse.
Don’t miss the Mapungubwe National Park which incorporates a World Heritage Site.