Deep in the Kafue National Park lies a baobab tree called Kondakamwale which is rumored to be over 1,500 years old. The baobab is known as a tree of life due to it’s properties, such as the ability to hold water, its fruits which nourish elephants, birds and humans, and it’s bark which is used to make baskets. However, instead of giving life, the Kondokamwale tree took the lives of four young maidens in an ultimate revenge plot.
Legend has it that Kondakamwale was in love with four young girls who lived in it’s shade. When the girls reached puberty, they sought out husbands as was the custom of the time. This made the tree jealous and it came up with a plan that would ensure the girls did not live to get married. On a stormy night, Kondakamwale opened it’s trunk and devoured the young maidens, trapping them inside for eternity.
It is not known exactly when the maidens were swallowed by the tree, what their names were, or what the details of the rescue efforts were, if there were any at all. Those intrigued by the story of the tree and who would like to see it in real life can visit the Treetops School Camp which is a small camp built near the Kondakamwale tree. While staying at the lodge which is located on the banks of the Lufupa River, travelers can expect to spot red lechwe (a type of antelope), buffalo, elephants, crocodiles and more.