SA No. 122
Witgat / Shepard tree
The name is derived from the fact that livestock shepherds often seek protection from the sun under these trees in the warm and arid areas where they grow. Often the only trees around in some areas. Also sometimes called the “tree of life” as so many animals and birds depends on it for their survival in some areas.
The round colourful fruit are eaten by Parrots, Louries, Barbets, Hornbills, Starlings, Bulbuls, Mousebirds and even Francolins on the ground. Insect eating birds such as Shrikes, Rollers and Yellow and Red billed Hornbills are often seen in these trees. Raptors also sit in these tree tops from where they look out for and hunt their prey.
A very valuable tree for browsers who eats the protein rich leaves, twigs and bark of the trees. Kudus, Giraffes, Gemsbucks, Eland, Elephants and Impalas are in some areas very dependant for food from these trees.