Africa's Trees of Life

The Sausage Tree

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Sausage Tree



The Sausage Tree sounds like something from an April Fools’ Panorama report, but it does exist, in the valley of the Luangwa river in Zambia, and is so named for the huge fruits that hang like bratwurst in a butcher’s window.

You’d think a documentary about such a superbly named tree would be fascinating, but aside from noting how the tree’s night-flowering bulbs provide slivers of nutrition during the four-month dry season, the focus is more on the wildlife that congregates nearby. Yet even then the action doesn’t grip, as key moments of drama, such as when a leopard snatches an impala, are missed by the cameras.


Tales of endurance and survival in the African wilderness, beginning with a film that highlights the importance of the sausage tree to sub-Saharan ecosystems.