We asked you what your favourite Kruger trees were. Here are the species Wild Card members look forward to seeing when visiting the Kruger National Park.

A leopard draped over the branch of a baobab. A giraffe browsing an apple-leaf. Villagers collecting mopane worms from the tree of the same name. There’s no doubt that the Kruger National Park’s trees are an integral part of the ecosystem.

But for many of us trees are much harder to identify than the birds and animals we delight in spotting. Fortunately, a new app launching in 2020 will help visitors put a name to the trees they see. TheTreeApp Kruger will have lists and photos of trees in all Kruger rest camps.

To help highlight the park’s noteworthy trees, tree expert Val Thomas asked Wild Card members to nominate their best-loved trees.

Your best-loved Kruger trees

Many members agreed that the Marula Sclerocarya birrea deserves a place in the line-up. “It’s not only a beautiful tree with its mottled bark, but also always looks well-balanced,” wrote Chris Voets. “Leopards love its straight branches, ellies and others the tasty fruit. It also has great medicinal value… and I don’t just mean Amarula!”

For Christine de Villiers, the Leadwood Bushwillow Combretum imberbe stands out. “It has a really special place in my heart because it has such attitude! The big ones look like they have stood the test of time, with great spreading branches and a bark that is beautifully ordered.”

Desiree van Jaarsveld nominated the Baobab Adansonia digitata. She is particularly enamoured of the baobab forest near Crooks’ Corner in the Pafuri area of Kruger.

Joshua Weiss’s best-loved Kruger tree is the Ebony Jackalberry Diospyros mispiliformis. “Many of the times you find respite in the shade along Kruger’s riparian zones, it is this tree more than any other that you are likely to find yourself enjoying the shade of. Furthermore, many animals feed on and below the leaves, bark and fruit the tree provides.”

Christine Giles chose the Fever-tree Acacia Vachellia xanthophloea. She describes it as “tall and stately with a ghostly glow, marking out the water courses in northern Kruger”.

Bonnie Hillary was so enthusiastic about the concept, she sent in a whole list: Sausage-tree, Natal Mahogany, Nyala-tree, Baobab, Ana-tree, Mopane, Fever tree, Apple-leaf (Rain Tree). “These are the trees that I have always loved looking at in the bush. It is such a good idea to have an app as trees can be so difficult to identify,” she wrote.

Also read: Five Kruger tree species to look for

TheTreeApp Kruger

The new app will have lots of useful functionalities to help Kruger visitors identify trees. Val Thomas highlights some of the handy features:

  • Lists and photos of trees in all the general public rest camps, at a number of gates and at lookout points.
  • When users click on any camp, gate or lookout point’s name, ONLY the trees in that location are shown for the search.
  • A wonderful trail of notable trees along major dirt and tar roads. These notable trees are a combination of both the iconic and best-loved trees discussed in the earlier Wild blog.
  • A live map on the home screen will follow your travelling location via a moving icon along the road. As you approach a notable tree, TheTreeApp Kruger will send out an alert that you are within range.

The app is expected to launch in time for the March/April 2020 holidays. Users of TheTreeApp SA will be able to buy it as an in-app purchase, but it will also be available as a stand-alone app.