Advertising opportunities on Bluegnu

The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Mopanie

The distinctive leaves

Mopane tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Colophospermum mopane

Visitors to the region around Letaba and Olifants Camps, in Kruger National Park, can't help but be familiar with the Mopane tree. It is everywhere and it can prove a bit frustrating as these areas are not the best for game viewing.

The leaves of the Mopane tree are its distinctive feature. They are in pairs and are mirror images of eachother. They are like a pair of butterfly wings. The flowers are hardly noticeable as they are small and greenish in colour. The seedpods are produced during Autumn and are kidney shaped.

One species of mammal that has a fondness for the Mopane tree is the Elephant. They enjoy the leaves and seedpods. Domestic cattle can be fed the leaves as well although they apparently take some time to get used to the taste.

Have you ever hear of Mopane Worms? These are a protein rich delicacy that is eaten by many people. These abundant caterpillars are roasted, or they can be dried and stored for a few months.

The distinctive leaves

Leaves of the Mopane tree

Photo © Steven Herbert


References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 151

A site-by-site guide to trees in the Kruger National Park - Author: Marissa Greeff - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 140

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 83

Kruger - Portrait of a National Park - Author: David Paynter with Wilf Nussey - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 28

Pocket Guide - Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 39

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 391

Sappi Tree Spotting: Lowveld - Author: Jacana - Year Published: 1997 - Page: 104

Sasol First Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 22

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 317

What Tree is That? - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1967 - Page: 5

Got a comment about the content on this page?

Visit our sister site Nature on your doorstep

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2021. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use