Umbrella thorn - Acacia tortilis
One of the quintessential sighs of Africa is the flat savanna stretching to the horizon and dotted with magnificent flat-crowned umbrella thorns casting shade on the earth.
In early summer after the first rains, cascades of white or pale cream flowers adorn the tree, bringing a sweet smell to the bush. Many animals, including monkeys and baboons, are very partial to the leaves and the contorted seed pods. This fondness for the pods is not surprising when one realises that they are made up of nearly 20 per cent pure protein. Elephants are particularly fond of the bark which they strip off the lenght of the tree, often causing the tree to die. In the Krueger National Park exceptional tree specimens are protected from elephants by packing sharp rocks around the tree perimeter. Elephants are extremely sensitive under their feet and will never walk over sharp rocks.
The English common name 'umbrella thorn' describes the umbrella shape and the Africaans common name 'Haak-en-steek', describes the grab-and stab action of the hooked and straight horns.
The umbrella thorn is a common species occuring everywhere in Moremi and the Okavango Delta, especially where the soil has a high clay content.
Lodges and Camps in Botswana: Audi Camp - Camp Moremi -Camp Okuti - Camp Okavango - Chief's Camp - Chitabe Camp - Chobe Game Lodge - Chobe Marina Lodge - Crocodile Camp - Deception Valley Lodge - Delta Safari Camp - Duba Plains Camp - Duma Tau Lodge - Elephant Camp Victoria Falls - Footsteps Camp - Gunn's Camp - Grassland Safari Lodge - Jacana Camp - Kanana Camp - Kings Pool - Kubu Safari Lodge - Kwara Camp Okavango Delta - Leroo-la-Tau - Linyanti Camp - Little Mombo Camp - Mariolina's Victoria Falls - Mapula Lodge - Mombo Safari Camp - Motsentsela Tree Lodge - Nxabega Okavango Safari Camp - Pom Pom Camp - Sandibe Safari Lodge - Santawani - Savute Safari Lodge - Savuti Camp - Semetsi Camp - Xakanaxa Camp - Xigera Camp - Xugana Lodge
Botswana Destinations: Chief's Island - Chobe National Park - Gemsbok National Park - Kalahari - Khwai - Linyanti - Makgadikgadi Pans - Maun - Moremi Game Reserve - Nogatsaa/Tchinga - Nxai Pan - Okavango Delta - Savute - Tsodilo hills - Tuli Block - Xakanaxa
Zimbabwe Destinations: Victoria Falls
Birds of Botswana: Crowned Plover - Blue Waxbill - Cormorant - Egyptian Goose - Fish Eagle - Grey Lourie - Kingfisher - Kori Bustard - Lilacbreasted Roller - Ostrich - Saddlebilled Stork - Secretary Bird
Mammals of Botswana: African Wild Dog - African Elephant - Baboon - Bat-Eared-Fox - Brown Hyena - Buffalo - Bushpig - Cheetah - Eland - Genet - Giraffe - Hartebeest - Hippo - Impala - Jackal - Kudu - Leopard - Lion - Oryx - Puku - Red Lechwe - Roan Antelope - Sable Antelope - Sitatunga - Slender Mongoose - Spotted Hyena - Springbok - Squirrel - Surikate - Tsessebe - Warthog - Waterbuck - Wildebeest - Zebra