Go marula hunting with Adine and Nandi
It’s an extremely hot day in the bush and water is on everyone’s minds in this video below! The elephants enjoy a drink at the dam while Khanyisa submerges herself. Adine takes us for a drive through the bush and heads off marula hunting with her trusty German Shepherd, Nandi! Marula fruits are dropping across the reserve, giving the elephants and other wildlife plenty of energy sources.
We collect fruits on occasion for the herd in the homestead to give them a treat overnight. This will by no means fill those giant stomachs but it is a favourite elephant snack! There is plenty of Lucerne, bana grass and branches in the homestead for them to munch on in the evenings as Adine shows us. Meet up with the herd again as Khanyisa comes in for her last milk bottles of the day with carer Stavros helping her to her favourite drink! A lot of work goes into caring for an elephant herd and this is just a small glimpse of some of the activity behind the scenes!
Carer Godknows shares more insight (and more marulas with Somopane) in this video below.
Somopane loves his marulas, like all the elephants, and never turns down these fruity favourites. Marulas are also great treats for us humans… eaten when ripe as is or as a jam or in dishes. Marulas are high in vitamin C and provide a source of energy.
The African marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) is a tree of great beauty and value. The fruit, bark and leaves are eaten by animal and man alike both for nutrition and for their medicinal properties. The fruit is consumed in vast amounts between December and March by many animals, such as the African elephant, and the seeds are eaten and ‘saved for later’ by rodents, both of whom repay the annual feast by spreading the seeds far and wide. The bark of the marula tree – also known as the elephant tree – contains helpful antihistamines… It has been a traditional African healing practice to steep the bark in hot water and inhale the steam, to take advantage of these allergy-relieving properties, for thousands of years before the western world “discovered” antihistamines.
Watch this video from 2022 for more marula moments: