Baobab Horizon, Senegal, 2019
Inspired by a journey through Senegal in 2019. The Baobab is a strange and mystical tree. In some areas of Senegal they stretch out across the desert as far as the eye can see. Their large fruits hang over the coastal inlets and between the mangroves forests of Casamance. They form the heart of the community across Senegal and much of Africa, their seeds, fruits and pulp full of vitamins and medicinal properties. They store water in their trunk to survive long periods of drought and contribute to the protection of the ecosystem by preventing soil erosion. Some of the ancient Baobabs are up to 2,500 years old, but are now under threat from increased drought caused by climate change. There are many myths around the story of the strange shaped tree with its fat trunk and root like branches reaching into the sky. In Senegal I heard that God considered the tree to be too vain, uprooted it from the earth and turned it upside down. Another story goes that when the baobab was first planted, it kept wondering off, so God turned it on its head to keep it from travelling.