Home to several remarkable tree species

November 3, 2023

Welcome to the quirky world of Madikwe Game Reserve, where we’re all about the magnificent trees that stand tall and proud. These botanical wonders aren’t just your run-of-the-mill shrubs; they’ve got unique features and even a touch of cultural flair.

Now, let’s talk about the heavyweight champion of the tree world – the Leadwood, or scientifically speaking, Combretum imberbe. These colossal beauties can reach heights of up to 20 meters, making them some of the tallest trees in Africa. What’s their claim to fame, you ask? Well, it’s their wood – so dense it could give a rock a run for its money. In fact, it’s so heavy that it sinks in water, which is pretty darn impressive for a tree. Some of these Leadwoods in the reserve are like wise old sages, having seen more wildlife generations than we can count, from elephants to kudus, munching on their leaves.

But wait, there’s more to these Leadwoods than just being a woody heavyweight. They’ve got a cultural significance too! The Khoisan people have been known to use their sap as a dietary supplement. And here’s a real zinger – the smoke from burning their wood is believed to cure colds and lung infections. Not enough? Well, their wood ash can be turned into toothpaste because it’s rich in lime. And even after they’ve shuffled off this mortal coil, Leadwood trees still manage to make a stunning backdrop for birdwatchers and animal enthusiasts.

Now, let’s not forget our resilient friend, the Shepherd’s Tree, or Boscia albitrunca, as the scientists fondly call it. It’s a survivor, thriving in the harshest of arid regions, and it’s the go-to place for wildlife seeking shelter and shade under its lush green foliage. Those tiny leaves of theirs are like water reservoirs, while their tough bark acts as a suit of armor, protecting them from the elements. But here’s the twist in the tale – these trees often play host to termite mounds. The termites move in, create cozy homes, and in return, they become the tree’s own personal bodyguards, fending off kudus and giraffes.

Now, these Shepherd’s Trees are more than just a pretty face in the wilderness. Their roots have medicinal powers – dried and roasted, they make a coffee substitute, or they can be ground into a traditional porridge. Talk about multitasking trees!

And here’s one more for the road, the Sickle Bush, or Dichrostachys cinerea. Don’t be fooled by its feathery leaves; it’s often mistaken for an Acacia. This tree rocks spines instead of thorns, and it’s like a magnet for a whole menagerie of critters, including our hefty elephant pals, who can’t resist munching on the leaves, inner bark, and roots.

But the real showstopper is when December rolls around, and the Sickle Bush puts on a floral fiesta with violet and yellow flowers that can make anyone swoon. So, while you’re hanging out in Madikwe Game Reserve, why not treat yourself to a luxurious game lodge experience? Trust us; it’s an adventure that’ll leave you with memories that’ll last a lifetime. Book your stay today and bask in the natural beauty of our remarkable trees. It’s a tree-mendous experience you won’t want to miss!


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