Geoparks Africa
World Heritage Sites

This old Baobab Tree in Mikumi National Park features a staircase to heaven

Just when you though you have seen practically everything about Baobabs, another ancient tree crops up at Mikumi National Park in central Tanzania, featuring a wooden staircase to heaven …

… Well, something like that anyway.

It is essentially a large, old Baobab tree with a hollow trunk.

Inside the trunk there is a man-made staircase.

The Baobab is slowly, but surely coming up as another strange attractions currently pulling visitors to to visit the Mikumi National Park located along the main highway linking the port city of Dar-es-salaam with the neighboring country of Zambia.

“The Baobab tree is like a high Storey house with a staircase leading to its upper floors,” explained Ibrahim Kassim the official Tour Guide at the Mikumi National Park.

The Guide, Kassim, says the Baobab, which is located on the further part of the park adjacent to a huge hippo well known as Millennium

He explained that the Baobab used to serve as poachers’ hiding place in the past, possibly before the 60 years old National Park was gazetted into new status from the previous Game Reserve.

Illegal hunters would enter into the Baobab trunk just like one would walk into a house.

Then they fashioned a special wooden staircase to the upper part of the legendary tree where they used to live comfortably waiting for the next opportunity to strike.

Other than just being a hideout, poachers used to believe that the tree has some magical spells capable of rendering them invisible when being sought after by rangers.

Some residents of villages located near the park, claim that there is a possibility of the tree to have been used as cultural shrine in the past.

While poachers no longer roam in Mikumi, the baobab tree still stands at the location known as ‘Millennium.’ It is being suspected that the age of the ancient tree could be 1000 years, essentially a Millennium.

Except according to Park officials, the name Millennium was derived from the large pool in the locality which was dug in the year 2000 at the turn of the second Millennium, which is among the wells frequented by Hippos in Mikumi.

Mikumi is known for its huge buffaloes and high concentration of them; though the Baobab dotted Savannah landscape is home to equally huge elephants.

The grasslands landscape of Mikumi support large herds of Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Impala and Giraffe.

Predators like the Lion and Leopard should also be expected under such favourable feeding conditions.

Lions can be found at the ‘Obama Picnic site,’ named after Barack Obama the former U.S President who was about to visit Mikumi during his 2014 tour of Tanzania as American President.

In fact, it is at this location known as the ‘Obama Picnic site,’ in the so-called Millennium spot, where the giant, ancient Baobab tree with an in-trunk staircase stands.

Normally it is the Tarangire, the elephant rich, National Park, which is found in the Northern Parts of the country that has an ample ‘population’ of giant baobabs, including ancient ones dating several millennia back.

In fact, Tarangire also has a similar Baobab tree with a naturally dug out trunk featuring large space enough to accommodate a moderately sized family.

The Tarangire Baobab, which is now used as a wedding altar for tourists who want to tie knots in the wild, is also known as ‘Poachers Cave.

Apparently illegal wildlife hunters in the north also used the Baobab in Tarangire as their hideout in the past.