Camel Thorn Tree - Acacia erioloba
This species is synonymous with Botswana and, like everywhere else in the country, very common in Moremi and the Okavango Delta. The dark, blue-green canopy and the black branches sharply silhouetted against the straw-coloured grass make for yet another of the most striking landscapes to be found in Botswana. The name "Camelthorn" was given by Jacobus Coetse in 1760 some 50 years before Burchell described it. It is a direct translation of the Afrikaans name "Kameeldoring", meaning "Acacia of the Giraffe", and is therefore not at all associated with the camel Giraffes are partial to all acacias and have a specially adapted tongue and lips that appear to be immune to the vicious thorns. The Camelthorn can grow up to 17m high. It is distinguished from other acacias by the blue-green colour of the foliage, the almost black bark and the untidy, pendant, broken branches and twigs. Young twigs are noticeably angled (zigzagged) between pairs of large, white thorns. The most outstanding characteristic, however, are the large ear-shaped pods which are relished by all browsers. It is a deciduous tree which loses its leaves for a short period only. In order to obtain water, the roots penetrate the deep, sandy soil to great depths, which accounts for their green foliage virtually throughout the year. It has been recorded in Namibia that the roots of a particular tree attained a depth of 46 m. In the Kalahari Desert, where the Camelthorn is very common, it has tremendous value as a shadow tree both for humans and animals. It is also one of the first species to get new leaves in late winter, providing valuable fodder at a time which is critical for most browsers.
The bark is very distinctive and very dark-brown
to black. Leaves: Compared to other acacias, the leaflets are quite large
(7x3mm). Flowers are sweet smelling, bright, golden-yellow balls (1,5cm
The Camelthorn is widely spread throughout Botswana wherever deep sand occurs. It is also often a constituent of marginal floodplain woodland.
Lodges and Camps in Botswana: Audi Camp - Camp Moremi -Camp Okuti - Camp Okavango - Chitabe Camp - Chobe Game Lodge - Chobe Marina Lodge - Deception Valley Lodge - Delta Safari Camp - Elephant Camp Victoria Falls - Footsteps Camp - Gunn's Camp - Kubu Safari Lodge - Kwara Camp Okavango Delta - Leroo-la-Tau - 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 - Savute Safari Lodge - Savuti Camp - Tsaro Elephant Lodge - Xugana Lodge
Botswana Destinations: 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
Mammals of Botswana: African Wild Dog - African Elephant - Baboon - Bat-Eared-Fox - Brown Hyena - Buffalo - 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 - Wildebeest - Zebra