Destination spotlight: Sausages grow on trees in Botswana

Producers Barend van der Watt and Henk Ekermans have been busy traveling across Africa to capture footage for the upcoming series, Rooted. They recently visited the Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana to film the incredible sausage trees, and the wildlife that relies on these plants for shelter and food. Take a look at some of their incredible photography above!

Named for the sausage-shaped fruit they produce, these trees are a flowering plant that can be found throughout tropical areas of Africa. The fruit that these trees produce are a woody berry that hangs down from rope-like stems. These berries can grow up to 2 feet in length and can weigh up to 15 lbs. The sausage tree fruit is fibrous, pulpy and loaded with seeds. It attracts a number of different species who enjoy feasting on the berries, including giraffes, elephants, baboons, hippos and porcupines. These species help spread the plant’s seeds through their dung, which helps the sausage trees to thrive throughout the land.

Sausage tree fruit has also been procured and used by people. It is used in African herbal medicine as a cure for a number of ailments, including rheumatism, snakebites and syphilis. As the fresh fruit is poisonous, it can be consumed by humans once dried, roasted or fermented. The berries have also been used to create a beer-like alcoholic beverage.

See more of our team’s photography from their journeys throughout Africa in the links below:

Kalahari (dry season)

Soutpansberg mountains

Kalahari (rainy season)

The Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve