Hunting for Baobabs

Hunting baobabs is both easy and difficult.

What makes it easy to hunt baobabs is that they don't move very fast. In fact, I've never seen one move at all. They aren't easily startled, and even when they are startled, they don't run.

Hunting baobabs is also made easier by the fact that they are big and hard to miss.

What makes it hard to hunt baobabs in Honolulu is there aren't very many of them -- or at least very many that I know of. So it helps to know where to look. That's the whole point of this set of web pages -- to help you (and me) know where to look, and what to look for.

Also, baobabs are trees after all, and unless you're looking right at them, it might be hard to tell they are baobabs. Baobabs fortunately don't much look like any other kind of trees. If you look at the trunk and you see a shape vaguely resembling a bottle or a pear, there's a good chance you've spotted a baobab. A closer look at the bark and leaves (and fruits or flowers, if available) should leave no doubt.

Some other big trees found around honolulu include banyans, which usually have aerial roots, mangoes, which have a dark rough bark, long thin leaves, and, in season, mangoes, and monkeypods, which again have dark rough bark, and quite small leaves. In addition, each of these trees has a characteristic overall shape which differs from the overall shape of baobabs. A baobab can bring to mind a fat balding man somewhat like Homer Simpson. They have a thin crown and a fat trunk. The trunk is supposed to store water, which might come in useful in the tree's original environment.

In all, I do recommend baobab hunting. Just don't expect to bring one home on the hood of your pickup truck. Also, I suspect they don't make very good steaks, and undoubtedly the Parks and Recreation department of the city and county of Honolulu would have some objections to your taking one home, so I recommend a photo safari instead.