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TThe Musina Nature Reserve is home to South Africa’s largest collection of baobabs. These magnificent trees can grow up to 25m high and over 28m in circumference. Baobabs may live up to 3000 years, and are shrouded in legends about their mysterious powers.

The Musina Nature Reserve is a wonderful way to experience first-hand the remarkable baobab tree. Take a drive through this incredible 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 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. Carbon dating has shown that they sometimes reach as much as 3000 years in age. The baobab has the unique ability to regenerate damaged or stripped bark, and can even survive fire. They create their own ecosystems, supporting thousands of creatures great and small that eat their leaves, make homes in their barks, rest in their branches, and drink the nectar from their 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 the 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 bush camp for overnight visitors.

 

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Did You Know?
SSouth Africa has the largest baobab tree in the world at Sunland, near Tzaneen.
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