The Shepherds tree (Boscia albitrunca), so called because it literally provides a safe haven to shepherds in the remote wilderness of the Kalahari desert. Not only does it give shade and fodder, it’s also traditionally used to make a hot beverage drunk as a coffee substitute (the Kalahari desert – aka the “Great Thirst” – not being known for the quality of its coffee!). In this episode, Gus (the African Plant Hunter) takes off to the little-known Kaa concession on the edge of the Kgalgadi Transfrontier Park to find an example of the Shepherds Tree. Dazzling white bark, beautiful olive green leaves and an unusual medicinal application combine to make this one of his favourite African trees!

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