Natures Pharmacy – The Sausage Tree
Sausage Tree – Kigelia Africana
The sausage tree is a common sight on safari in South Luangwa but few know of the amazing qualities this tree has. Providing a large shaded canopy, one can often find leopard resting on its branches.
Beautiful sausage tree providing shade over Mwamba Bush Camp brunch table
Also with its succulent red flowers insects are often feeding on the tree, and with the flowers predominantly being open during the night they mostly are pollinated by bats. Once the flowers fall to the ground they will by fed on by a variety of herbivores such as bush buck , impala , kudu and elephant to name a few. The fruits are how the tree got its name, it’s a long elongated fruit in the shape of a giant sausage.
Some of the sausage fruit hanging high up in the Branches
A small fruit which has fallen to the ground
The fruit has an extremely hard and tough outer shell and will only be fed on by animals with sharp teeth and strong jaw power, mainly baboon and hippo.
A discarded fruit after a baboon had finished feeding
The sausage fruit has some impressive medicinal qualities too. From experience I have used the fruit on a nasty tsetse fly bite which swelled up quite badly. This was recommended to me by our staff at Mwamba who saw me struggling with the bite.
Cutting the fruit open reveals a soft fleshy interior, once the inside flesh was rubbed onto the bite area the swelling and itch was taken away within minutes. I had also tried antihistamine creams prior to this which had no effect whatsoever.
A cut open fruit to expose the soft fleshy interior
To learn more about the wonderful secrets hidden in nature come join us on safari where our guides can teach you more and answer your questions about the bush