If you have ever tasted the delicious fruit from the Marula tree, you will know why the animals go into frenzy for the fruit.
The small, oval shaped fruit start to grow around December. The tree will drop the fruit, unripe, around mid to end January. The fruit will then ripen on the ground with the heat of the sun.
Once the fruit starts to change from green to yellow, it attracts an array of animals like monkeys, baboons, kudu, and bushbuck only to name a few. Humans have also taken to the flavour and have gone so far to make a creamy alcohol from it.
I spent some time with a troop of chacma baboons who came across a late harvest of fruit. They spent most of the morning sifting through the ripe and unripe fruit.
It was interesting to see how the various members of the troop interacted around the feast. Some of the larger members seemed to dominate the bounty.
On the outskirts, younger males were seen chasing each other around. They are still in the process of establishing dominance between each other.
A mother with her baby kept to themselves and foraged on whatever they could get.
Having grown up in the Lowveld, I developed an early enjoyment of marula fruit – you make my mouth water!
I only discovered it once I came to the Lowveld. Can’t get enough of it.