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Giant baobab

Somewhere in the countryside between Joal and Ndangane in the coastal littoral of southern Senegal is this mother-of-all-baobab trees. This one is the largest baobab in Senegal for its age – 850 years old. These are some of the oldest living organisms in the world sometimes exceeding a thousand years of age. During the 12th century this tree was a sapling and is a virtual arboreal Methuselah in the twenty-first. The Serere people of Senegal consider it sacred and all visitors place their left hand on its trunk as a greeting. And like other famous artifacts of antiquity it has its own thriving community of souvenir hawkers beneath its stately boughs to make the visit memorable.

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