This Huge Tree Is Rumored to ‘Consume Maidens’ Years in the past I visited Treetops camp, the website of an impressive baobab tree that stands within the center of one of the vital oldest and biggest of Zambia’s nationwide parks, Kafue Nationwide Park. It nonetheless holds a unique position in my center. Sitting round a campfire, I discovered the legend of the mighty tree, the way it were scorched via the flames of an unrequited love.
It takes 10 other folks with outstretched hands, arms connected finish to finish, to encircle the trunk of “the tree that eats maidens” — or Kondakamwale. The tree will get its title from an historical fantasy: that it swallowed 4 younger girls out of jealousy for his or her affections towards a good-looking sojourner. Legend has it that in case you get shut sufficient, you’ll be able to nonetheless listen the maidens crying out to be set unfastened.
I will be able to’t recall to mind too many puts on the planet the place you’d be nearer to nature than at Treetops.
Phil Bowen, a former camp supervisor
Kondakamwale is greater than 1,500 years outdated, and it’s the central characteristic of the Treetops nature camp. “The sheer scale of the tree is the very first thing that hits you,” says former camp supervisor Phil Bowen. Treetops camp is a favourite vacation spot for schoolchildren, researchers and backpackers alike, all desperate to witness the large baobab. For lower than $50 every week, guests can keep in one of the vital shared accommodations, which might be simply yards clear of the bottom of the tree.
A number of masses of miles from any primary town or the city, Treetops feels untouched and pristine. The camp lies at the banks of the Lufupa River, which pulls an excellent array of flora and fauna to its shores. Elephants, lions, crocodiles, antelope, hyenas, a lot of chook sorts and extra roam freely of their herbal habitat. “We as soon as had a leopard stroll all the way through considered one of our study rooms,” Bowen asserts gleefully. “I will be able to’t recall to mind too many puts on the planet the place you’d be nearer to nature than at Treetops.”
About 20 miles north of the camp, you’ll to find the jaw-dropping Busanga Plains, with its serene panoramic perspectives that extend for miles into the horizon. That is the place hippopotamuses frolic in cool dust as flamingos strut with their beaks held top like stuffy aristocrats.
Once I visited Treetops, I felt a magisterial but benevolent lifestyles drive that appeared devoid of spite. I used to be captivated via the tree’s thick shimmering bark, clean to touch, and the branches rustling within the wind like far-off voices from those that walked the Earth greater than 1000 years in the past.
No doubt the long-held story of a lover scorned was once mistaken, I believed. What if the storytellers stuck the mistaken finish of the stick (pun supposed) and the tree’s tale was once considered one of love and now not jealousy? That the sounds we listen from Kondakamwale don’t seem to be cries for lend a hand however quite the whispers of enthusiasts? Name me a romantic, however I feel I choose that tale.