Animal Kingdom and the Baobab Tree
The Baobab Tree
My family and I took a vacation to Walt Disney World recently, and I became intrigued by the baobab tree. This was by no means our first trip to Disney as we are Disney veterans. So, this was not the first time that I have seen these trees, however, it was the first time that I really looked and wondered about them.
In case you are wondering what I’m talking about I am referring to the “upside down” tree in the Kilimanjaro Safari Ride located in Animal Kingdom. While enjoying the animals on “safari” the driver pointed out the baobab tree. The tree looks like it is upside down, and it’s huge. This tree is often referred to as the “tree of life” because it can provide everything a person needs to live.
Every part of the baobab tree can be used for something. The fruit of the tree can be eaten, it holds hundreds of gallons of water, and it can be hollowed out and used as shelter or used for storage. The bark of this tree is fibrous and can be used to make clothing, rope, fishing lines and things of that sort. The bark can also be ground into a fine powder and used as a seasoning for foods. All parts of the tree are used and nothing goes to waste, things like soap, jewelry, glue, rubber, and medicines are made from the baobab tree. Due to its many uses, the African people revere this tree.
This tree is found in the low-lying lands of Africa and Australia. These amazing trees are very long lived; however, just how long lived can be disputed. Carbon dating was done on a baobab tree and it dated at six thousand years old. I find that incredible. These are indeed ancient trees, and grow to be enormous in size. In some areas you may find that these trees have been hollowed out and used as shops, bars, garages, and all types of businesses and homes.
I may never get to Africa or Australia but I have seen the baobab tree. In Disney’s Animal Kingdom there are several of these trees and when you think about it they are amazing trees. The African people have a story to go with these interesting and amazing trees. The story goes that God planted the baobab tree and it wouldn’t stay still, it kept moving. So, God turned it upside down to keep it in one place and that’s how we got the baobab tree. These trees can also survive a long drought due to the water they can store.
Animal Kingdom and the Baobab TreeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Baobab Tree Facts
The facts of this tree are:
- It is an ancient tree
- located in Africa and Australia
- Referred to as the "tree of life"
- grows between 5 to 30 meters tall
- 7 to 11 meters in diameter
- stores liters or gallons of water
- highly regarded by the African people
- Looks as if it's roots are sticking up in the air
- used as timber
- used as shelter
- used for storage
- used for fishnets, cords, sacks, and clothing
- bark ground down and used as food seasoning
- fruit is edible by humans and animals
- used to make soap, necklaces, glue, rubber, cloth and medicines
- long lived
Safari Ride in Animal Kingdom, Disney
I am not the biggest fan of Animal Kingdom. I don't know why but it is not one of my favorite parks. However, that being said I love the Safari ride and I never miss it when we go.
This is an amazing ride that simulates the African jungle and the low-lands. I have had the opportunity to see so many animals on this ride. This may be the closest I ever get to going on an African Safari.
Disney has been successful in making it look as if the animals on this safari are actually in the wild. You really have to look to see the dividers between the animals. Every time I ride this I see something new and different from the last time. The experience is never the same.
Animal KingdomClick thumbnail to view full-size
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