The Umbrella Thorn Tree

The umbrella thorn tree is a type of acacia growing in Kruger National Park. This type of tree is often depicted in African scenes and has become an icon of the continent. The tree gets its name from its distinct flat-topped canopy which you can spot quite easily.

The trees are medium to large in size. They grow in all parts of Kruger National Park, but are more widespread on the flat ground near rivers and grazing plains.

Animals and the Umbrella Tree

Watch out for vervet monkeys and baboons eating the trees’ green seed pods.

The thorns on the tree make it a bit prickly, but giraffes, which also like to eat them, have tough mouths, so they get to enjoy munching on the thorn trees’ leaves.

Umbrella thorn treeAntelope browse the ground where seed pods and flower petals have fallen. These make a tasty snack for them.

True to its name, the umbrella tree is good at providing shade. You might see animals resting under its shady branches during the hottest part of the day. The average maximum temperature peaks at 34°C (93°F) in summer. Check the Kruger National Park weather details.

If you look carefully, perhaps you’ll see the tan colour of lions sleeping or just lazing in the long grass under the tree twitching their ears.

The umbrella tree is hardy and can grow in:

  • High temperatures
  • Dry conditions
  • Sandy and rocky soil

Its bark is rough and greyish-black.

Fancy getting your own one of these symbolic trees for your garden? Check out the selection for sale at Malelane Gate or the plant nursery at Skukuza Rest Camp. It sells a range of plants which grow in Kruger National Park.