- Madagascar has created tourism around their famous ancient baobab trees.
- Avenue des Baobabs, located in western Madagascar, has been named the place of the baobabs is favourite spot for tourists visiting the country.
A trip down the Kenyan Coast feels therapeutic at all times. The country's coastlines are often dotted with towering cliffs, and beaches stretch along clear blue waters, among other things that draw a traveller.
The typical local traveller and a foreigner on a budget would definitely opt to take the Standard Gauge Railway express or inter-county train to the Coast. Other options would include driving down or booking a short local flight.
This time, I opted for the SGR.
Besides being on a budget, I wanted the feel of the first class coach and to see the wild animals once we got to Tsavo National Park, just before Voi town, but as I was looking forward to the priceless view of the animals.
After all, a trip to the Coast is not complete, if travelling by road or train, without admiring the scenic views that the entire stretch has to offer, but the beach part is a story for another day.
My view was perfect, I had a window seat, and the row I was on had a large window, thus an optimised view as the train gently rode at a moderate speed of around 110 km/hr.
While almost reaching Kibwezi, on both sides of the train track was the majestic baobab trees. I mean, the baobab trees have always been there. After all, it is said that a typical baobab tree would take around 20 years to grow, and some are dated to be even around a thousand or more years old.
So mine was to admire what I had always seen over the years, but having watched a documentary on the ancient baobabs of Madagascar gave me a different perspective.
Well taken care of, the baobab tree is beautiful, stands tall with an upside down look as if the roots come first. The tree's diameter can be wide enough to have up to around five to 10 people hold hands around it.
In the spirit of conserving our flora and fauna, we wouldn’t hope for a situation like the controversial export of baobab trees from Kilifi to Georgia, that we saw last year. Instead, we need the trees, and the local community needs it more.
Madagascar has created tourism around their famous ancient baobab trees. Avenue des Baobabs, located in western Madagascar, has been named the place of the baobabs is favourite spot for tourists visiting the country.
Talking of Kibwezi, it is located in Makueni county and is one of the country's administrative towns. One of the major departments of the county government is the Trade, Industry, Marketing, Tourism and Co-Operative Development.
Some of the major objectives the department include to promote tourism development by collaborating with the national government and other counties.
It is also concerned with identifying and mapping tourism sites, organising tourism events, sensitising public and key stakeholders on tourism matters and offering training to key stakeholders involved in tourism.
With this in mind, it is time Makueni county created a fuss over those God-given baobab trees in the region. Photographers would have a field day capturing the trees in the sunrise or sunset, and documenting the same.
Scientists, botanists, artists, archeologists, other interested researchers, as well as local and international tourists, would be drawn to well packaged tourism efforts around the baobab tree.
This would also mean, designating areas that are dense with the tree, and creating community activities such as folk tales, song and dance around it. Well done write-ups on paraphernalia on the history and other relevant matters about the baobab tree would be prudent.
The baobab tree is almost sacred in the Coast region. The fact that every part of the baobab tree is valuable, speaks a lot about the tree.
People in manufacturing use the bark, which can be turned into rope and clothing. The seeds can also be used to make cosmetic oils while there is popular sugar-coated snack from the fruit, also known as mabuyu. The leaves are edible, the trunks can store water and the fruit is also extraordinarily rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
Over to you governor.
Part-time lecturer and a communications researcher