Best time to travel to Zanzibar

Baobab Blooming and Fruit in Zanzibar

The circumference of some specimens of baobab exceeds 10 m and its fruits can reach a length of up to 54 cm!

Best time: December (blooming) | May (ripe fruit)

Baobab Blooming and Fruit
Baobab Blooming and Fruit
Baobab Blooming and Fruit
Baobab Blooming and Fruit
Baobab Blooming and Fruit
Baobab Blooming and Fruit
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It is hard to find other plants in Zanzibar with the same ardent love of the locals as baobab trees. It is absolutely unique; it can not be confused with another. The circumference of some specimens of baobab trees exceeds 10 meters and its fruits reach a length of up to 54 cm! The extraordinary life force of the baobab is amazing. In contrast to many other trees, the baobab doesn't die after tearing off the bark, it grows back. If even one root keeps contact with the ground, the tree will continue to grow while lying down.

Baobabs can be seen everywhere in Zanzibar. However, especially large trees grow on Tumbatu Island, off the northwest coast of Zanzibar. Giant baobabs are the dominating vegetation there.

The fruits of the baobab tree, resembling large cucumbers, are characterised by an excellent taste and high content of various vitamins. Its nutritional value is similar to veal. Baobab fruits are used not only by Zanzibaris; they are very beloved by monkeys living among the lush foliage of baobabs—they are sometimes called "a monkey tree."

December is the best time to see a showy white baobab blooming.

In February the green fruit appears. And in May baobab fruits are ripe and begin to drop off. Baobab fruit seeds are edible raw. After roasting and grinding, tea can also be brewed from it. Baobab leaves are added to salads or boiled in soup. Baobab ash is used to make soap and cooking oil, for treating colds, dysentery, fever, insect bites, and so on.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Zanzibar to see blooming baobab trees?

The blooming period of Zanzibar's baobab trees typically occurs in early December, revealing brilliant white flowers against its brown, woody trunk. As with any seasonal flora, timing is of the essence, as the blooming period lasts a brief time before falling away. For those seeking this visual wonder, be sure to make plans to visit during this month, but prepare accordingly and make a reservation at least a month in advance. Show more

Where is the best place to see giant baobab trees in Zanzibar?

Visitors can explore the awe-inspiring Tumbatu Island while appreciating the magnificence of Zanzibar's oldest and largest baobab trees. These beasts dominate the island's landscape and are an essential native plant to the area. The trees have been growing for countless years and show no sign of stopping. To experience this natural phenomenon, tourists can plan a relaxing day trip to this northwest coast island location, encountering these growths on foot or via a boat tour around the coastline. Show more

How do baobab fruits taste like?

Baobab fruits boast a unique flavor blend that mimics banana, pear, and citrus. The fruit's edible flesh is often separated from the seeds and consumed raw, added to drinks, or used to add flavor to various dishes. Beyond their distinct taste, baobab fruits have a high nutritional value, containing considerable amounts of vitamin C and fiber, which makes them an excellent addition to a balanced diet. Show more

What are the different ways in which baobab trees are used in Zanzibar?

The baobab tree presents a crucial aspect of Zanzibari culture and carries numerous uses. Many harvest the fruit to enjoy raw or make into jam or juice. Baobab leaves can aid in various treatments and are also rich in medicinal properties. The bark's ash can be used to make cooking oil or soap. Additionally, baobab tree bark can be fashioned into rope, hats, baskets, and even musical instruments, while the trunk itself can provide sturdy building material. Show more

How does the life force of the baobab tree differ from that of other trees?

Baobab trees demonstrate a distinct life force that sets them apart from other trees. Unlike their counterparts, baobabs can endure significant damage to their bark and still regrow immediately. Even if the entire tree falls, shoots can still emerge from the single root that remains grounded. These trees are also known for becoming naturally hollow with age, providing cozy habitats for various animals, making them an essential part of the ecological landscape of Zanzibar. Show more

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