Boab Trees are endemic to the Kimberley Region of Western Australia and always a fascination for visitors
Every time we (the team at Charter North) leave for the Kimberley, we are looking forward to seeing the Boab trees. Nowhere else in Australia can this tree be found, and its sometimes grotesque looks really are intriguing. The appearance of the Boab trees is unique, and every tree looks different. Some are large, some are skinny, some are smooth and some have wrinkles, just like humans really. It is not surprising that the Boab trees are an integral part of every Kimberley tour, and probably the most photographed feature of the destination.
Apart from their appearance, the Boab trees of the Kimberley have a number of additional fascinating properties. Find out some interesting Boab facts below:
- While boab trees are known to be endemic to the Kimberley Region, the tree species can be found as far spread as the Victoria River District in the Northern Territory
- There are 9 species of Boab (or baobab) trees in the world, 8 of which are endemic to Madagascar and 2 to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula; Only one species exists in Australia
- The Australian Boab species is called Adansonia gregorii, “gregorii” honouring the Australian explorer Augustus Gregory, who explored large areas of the Kimberley, and “adansonia” honouring the French explorer and naturalist Michael Adanson who first described Adansonia digitata (African Boab)
- Baobs reach heights of 5 to 30 metres and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 metres
- Boab trees can store up to 100,000 litres of water in their trunks: all species occur in seasonally arid areas like the Kimberley, relying on water storage over the dry season
- Boab trees are deciduous, shedding their leaves in the dry season
- Some Boab trees are believed to be 1500 to 2000 years old
- The fruit of the Boab is edible and contains high Vitamin C contents; ways to commercially exploit the fruit are currently being explored; the Boab fruit might become our next “super food”
- In the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, Boab trees were used as “holding cells” for indigenous prisoners in 1880/90s, when prison cells were insufficient to hold all convicts
The Kimberley Boab trees really are fascinating, and with all this information in mind, now all you have to do is come to the Kimberley and see them for yourself. And, of course, take your perfect Boab picture!