Northern Kruger National Park
The baobab tree and fever tree
|Click on picture for an enlarged view|
The Northern part of the Kruger National Park differs from the other areas in various respects. In general you have wider views, much of the vegetation being grass and mopane which does not grow high and densely. It is an area favoured by bird fanciers. One is less likely to see the "big five". It is, however, a perfect environment for people who like to be on their own and enjoy the beauty of the landscape, the birds and the other mammals, out of the way of the big tourist streams. You will most probably camp in Punda Maria, probably the most relaxed and friendliest of rest camps in the Kruger Park.
Much can be said about the area around Punda Maria and Pafuri. Instead, however, go there yourself, there is no substitute for your own experience. The only objectieve of these pages on landscapes is to give you a taste of the environment.
Among the better known trees which are specific for this area is the baobab tree. You will find more of these if you travel even further up north, to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar (which has 4 species which are native to this island, which represents half of all the species), and to other tropical areas. There are a few other pictures of this fascinating tree, taken near Klopperfontein, and a bit of information about it, elsewhere on this website.
Another tree which I find very decorative is the fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea Benth.), with its greenish-yellow bark. The fever tree is found mainly there were underground water is available (depressions and shallow pans) or where surface water collects after summer rains. It is also found along the margins of lakes and on river banks, and in swampy areas.
Early settlers, travelling through swampy areas often got sick with a bad fever which they associated with this tree, hence its name. However, the fever they contracted was malaria.
The Fever tree is also known as Koorsboom (Afrikaans), mooka-kwena (Northern Sotho), umHlosinga (Zulu), nkelenga (Tsonga), munzhelenga (Venda).
References to fever tree (weblink)
South African National Biodiversity Institute