Great Trees of Africa

The Health Benefits of Baobab Part 3: “Nature’s Multivitamin”

In this, the third and final episode in his series on the health benefits of baobab, Gus (the African Plant Hunter) dons an uncharacteristically colourful shirt to talk us through the vitamins and minerals that make this fruit such a remarkable, immune-boosting powerhouse. In addition to his plant-hunting activities, Gus also runs a baobab-producing business …

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The Health Benefits of Baobab Part 2: More Diversity in Your Intestinal Microbiome

Not all tummy bugs are bad. In fact, the bacteria that make up our intestinal microbiome are critical to our overall health. In this episode, Gus (the African Plant Hunter) explores the role of baobab in promoting a healthy microbiome. He shares the story of the Hadza, a hunter gatherer society in Tanzania, whose intestinal …

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The Health Benefits of Baobab Fruit Part 1: Moderating the Glycaemic Response

In 2013, researchers from the Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health published a paper on the remarkable impact of baobab fruit powder on glycaemic response. In this episode, Gus (the African Plant Hunter) delves deeper into the properties if this extraordinary African superfruit and investigates why this happens (it’s all, apparently, in the fibre …

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Baobab 101 – Introducing Africa’s Super Healthy Superfruit

From one of Africa’s most instantly recognisable trees comes one of its most extraordinary fruits. Welcome to the magnificent Baobab fruit (Adansonia digitata). In this episode, Gus (the African Plant Hunter) takes time out from his booth at a busy organic food trade show in Nuremberg, Germany, to explain just why the Baobab is called …

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When Rain isn’t Really Rain – the Rain Trees of Gonarezhou

When all around you is dry, but the tree you’re standing beneath is unmistakably raining, inevitably you ask yourself questions. When Gus (aka “the African Plant Hunter”) was told as a youngster that the raindrops were actually insect urine, he believed it, and warned all his friends to stay away from the “Rain Tree”. Now, …

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The Weird and Wonderful Baobabs of Lekhubu Island, Botswana

In the middle of the spectacular white expanse of the Magkadigkadi salt pans lies a small island, whose exact location was long held as a closely-guarded secret amongst a few lucky adventurers. Once inhabited by an ancient civilisation linked to Great Zimbabwe, Lekhubu island (sometimes Kubu) is still a uniquely spiritual and ethereal place. In …

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Better Quality Baobab for Better Lives in Africa – Update From Kenya

The baobab is no ordinary tree. Not only are its fruits packed with nutrients, its seeds also make an exceptional moisturising oil, and trade in its products generates much needed income for rural harvesters across Africa. But if the quality of those products is below par, consumers won’t buy them and the harvesters won’t make …

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Is Chapman’s Baobab Still Alive? Update from Botswana

In January 2016, Chapman’s Baobab, one of the largest and best-known baobab trees in southern Africa, collapsed and died unexpectedly at its location in the Makgadikgadi Pans of Botswana. In 2019, rumours began to circulate that, although it had collapsed, the tree was not totally dead, and was in fact still showing signs of life. …

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Tree #49 Historic Trees of Zimbabwe – the Sycamore Fig of Pandamatenga

In a remote stretch of African bushveld, a lone sycomore fig rises up above the grasslands, providing shade and shelter to elephants, plains game and the occasional lion or leopard. And, on this day, to an itinerant African Plant Hunter, who is on a mission to visit every tree in the Lyn Mullin’s seminal book, …

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