Busanga Plains

A Fallen Legend – The Iconic Lone Fig of Busanga Plains

Your Guide to Africa

Graham Simmonds


Sad news reached us recently that the iconic lone fig tree standing guard over the Busanga Plains is no more. Mother Nature’s force was too much for it to handle and the impressive beauty buckled after a heavy storm.

Man and creature visiting the Plains over the past decades will have seen this magnificent sentry, in all its glory, breaking the endless view with the promise of shade and respite.

The Busanga team enjoying the shade of the lone fig

One wonders how many lions had climbed the fig to access the cooling breeze and escape incessant flies. Or how many people had canoed past, using the tree as a landmark to maintain a straight line. Or the amount of sustenance it provided to creatures, large and small, throughout its beneficent life…

An icon of the Kafue has fallen, but even with its demise, life will continue on the slightly elevated mound where the debris of its trunk and branches now lie. Insects, reptiles and small mammals have another place to scurry, hide and reproduce. The circle of life on the Plains is a harsh one, but in death, new life is born.

As a tribute to this extraordinary tree, let’s not take any other trees, big or small, for granted. As a species we are quick to identify a lion, leopard or elephant, but what about identifying the trees that we see?

Join us in posting your ‘tree-preciation’ of your favourite trees and, if you have a picture of the lone fig, we would love to see it in all its glory! Email us at news@wilderness-safaris.com to share your pictures.

"The circle of life on the Plains is a harsh one, but in death, new life is born. "

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