We have started to receive feedback and media from the students of Salesian College, following their visit to Zambia this summer. We are, as always, delighted to note the positive impact seeing the work Share the Light is undertaking first hand has had on these new advocates.

Each visiting group create and leave a mural as part of their reflection on the experience they have had. This years group chose to depict the Baobab Tree. The idea being that we grow with and learn from each other.

We think this is rather wonderful and thought you might enjoy knowing a little more about this rather special tree.

Baobabs are recognisable by their distinctive swollen stems. Its natural habitat is hot, dry woodland on stony, well-drained soils, in areas that receive low rainfall.

The lifespan of the baobab is very long. It is difficult to age them without radio carbon dating as they don’t produce annual growth rings. There are many specimens over 1,000 years old. One in South Africa was dated at around 6,000 years old.

It is not unusual for old baobabs to become hollow inside with increasing age. The niches and caves have served humans and animals alike for many thousands of years. People used the tree for protection, shelter and even housing. They took advantage of the cavities as storage facilities, to protect their livestock, to hide during enemy attacks or to defend themselves.

The baobab tree is known as the tree of life, with good reason. It can provide shelter, clothing, food, and water for the animal and human inhabitants of the African savannah regions.