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Ralph Stutchbury's photobook amazingly features the Baobab family, the most magnificent and unusual trees of Africa.
Stutchbury, Ralph

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Title: Baobab
Author: Ralph Stutchbury
Genre: photobook
Publisher: Camera Africa
Harare, Zimbabwe 2013
ISBN 9780797452756 / ISBN 978-0-7974-5275-6
Hardcover, dustjacket, 33 x 26 cm, 126 pages, throughout colour photos


From the first reports by Victorian explorers, Europeans have been fascinated by the Baobab. Its extraordinary size and bizarre appearance can't help making an impression on anyone who travels in Africa. There are always questions about its age and size and its role in the ecology of the African bush. This book attempts to answer the obvious questions and show the tree in all its glory and in all the phases of its growth. It shows some of the most remarkable examples of the tree in the extremes of its range from deserts to waterfalls. Its extraordinary size and bizarre appearance can't help but make an impression on anyone who travels in Africa. It is one of the largest, oldest living things in the world, an icon of the African landscape, instantly recognisable, mysterious and intriguing. James Chapman, the Victorian hunter and explorer called the baobab 'this monarch of the forest'. Photographs for the book have been taken all over Southern and Central Africa, from the arid salt-pans of Botswana's Makgadigadi to Namibia's Kaokoveld. The book provides a multi-faceted overview that is botanical, mythical, historical, cultural, ritual, and medicinal. It is also a journey into some wonderful wilderness areas of Central and Southern Africa where these giant trees are found and where they are thought of as the home of spirits. Ralph Stutchbury is a filmmaker and photographer based in Harare, Zimbabwe. He has worked on feature films, documentaries and commercials and managed a small safari camp in Zambia. His fascination with Baobab trees comes from having grown up in the African bush and seeing them on his travels all over southern Africa.