Limpopo Tourist AttractionsSagole Big Tree
Where? See detailed directions below. Thohoyandou, Limpopo
Sagole is the name of the biggest baobab tree in the world. Your guide, if you have one from the local community, will tell you the tree is 3 500 years old, but actually it has been carbon dated as 1 200 years of age. It stands 22 metres high, and has a 33 metre circumference, which correlates to 36 people holding hands around the tree or 57 people standing shoulder to shoulder.
Close to the ground the trunk divides into a number of trunks, but the tree still appears as one solid tree. The Venda people call it muri kunguluwa, the tree that roars, because of the sound the wind makes when it blows through its branches.
Back in the day the bark was used to make roofs, clothes, shoes, hats and ropes and musical instruments. The Venda people eat the leaves as a spinach whilst the white powder in the fruit is used to make stomach medicine, porridge, yoghurt, yeast, and beer.
From the seeds in the fruit they make baobab oil and coffee.
Sagole is also home to a colony of rare mottled spinetails – a species of swift that do not often create colonies, making the tree even more special. The birds are best seen late evening and early morning, which can prove difficult as the tree lies on communal land with roads in a less than savoury condition.
It is advisable to stay at the Gundani Mutsiwa Campsite, a camp in the only known patch of Miombo woodland in South Africa. The campsite is well worth supporting as it is run by the local community.
To reach the campsite take the R524 to Thohoyandou,taking the R523 in the direction of Sibasa. Stay on the R523 (don't turn off to Sibasa) until you reach the T-junction. Take a right, in the direction of Masisi. After 12 km take a left to Thengwe. After another 5 km turn right to Mutale. After 21 km there should be a signboard to Gundani on the right. It is a further 3km for the campsite (you will also find it on Google maps).