Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ombalantu Baobab recommended as National Heritage Site

The famous Ombalatu Baobab is Outapi has been recommended for proclamation as a national heritage place by the National Heritage Council of Namibia.

The landmark Baobab tree, locally known as Omukwa wa Nakafingo na Temba, is estimated to be between 700 and 800 years old and has a height of about 20 m. The branches of the ancient tree provided an ideal vantage point and served as a lookout post in days gone by.

The cavernous trunk served as a sanctuary to the Aambalantu people fleeing attackers and was also used as a storage place. It was put to use of a post office in 1940 and later became the centrepiece of a base of the South African military. A stone pulpit and benches are reminders of its use as a chapel during this period. An opening of about 1 m high by 2 m wide provides access to the hollow trunk which can accommodate about 20 people.

The large Baobab is the focal point of the Ombalantu Baobab Tree Heritage Centre in Outapi.
Submissions and requests for hearings by members of the public on the recommended proclamation of the Ombalantu Baobab must be submitted to the National Heritage Council of Namibia before Monday, 29 November.
Other well-known baobabs in North-Central Namibia include King Nashilongo’s Baobab which served as the king’s office in Tsandi. Sir Howard’s Baobab, also in Tsandi, was named after the first Administrator of South West Africa, Sir Howard Gorges, who visited the area in June 1916.

Also recommended for proclamation as a national heritage place is the Okahao Baobab - an infamous tree during the years of the liberation struggle.
The Ombalantu Baobab is not the first baobab in the country to be declared a national monument. That honour goes to the baobab on the farm Keibib, north of Grootfontein. At the time of its proclamation in 1951, it was the largest known Baobab in Namibia’s commercial farming area.

Derived from TourNamibia

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