Page 49 - Discover Botswana 23rd Edition 2023
P. 49

 “For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws...”
- Herman Hesse
The Tuli is an ancient place; its origins stretch back in time, past the clashes between the English and the Afrikaners in the Boer war, past Cecil John Rhodes and his outrageous exploits, past the
Zhizo cattle herders and the tribal wars, beyond the rich and varied history of Mapungubwe and the fall of Great Zimbabwe...back to when this majestic land was inhabited by the San Bushman who, for thousands of years roamed the endless plains, living in sheltered caves that nestle among the fascinating geological rock structures of the Limpopo Valley.
This long and convoluted history, the turbulence, the tragedies, the wars and the
grandeur of a time gone by, all pale into insignificance, when contemplating that most of these events have been witnessed by the ancient trees that dot the Tuli landscape. Like giant sentinels, they dwarf even the huge herds of elephant that wander over this unforgettable terrain. Mashatu trees and Sycamour figs stand like cathedrals along the Shashe, Motloutse and Limpopo Rivers. Also, along these riverbanks grow spectacular Leadwoods and twisted Apple-leaf trees, that contrast against the lush dark greens of the plaited Sycamore and Strangler figs, the Weeping Boer-bean, the majestic Mashatu, and the dense forests of vibrant, yellow-green Fever Berry trees.
The Tuli is known to have some of the largest trees ever recorded in the greater
Previous pages: Dark rain clouds give a dramatic backdrop to one of the Tuli’s most beautiful residents. A female leopard uses the branch of a Vachellia to survey her surroundings.
Facing page: The Majale river forms a linear oasis for elephants, a spectacular avenue lined with Ana trees, Rain trees, Leadwood’s and Sycamore Figs.
Above: Colossal Mashatu trees, estimated to be over 500 years old tower over the Tuli landscape. 49

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