Don’t sit under the baobob tree with anyone else but me

At one of the United Nation’s designated “World Heritage Sites,” accessible only through mountain paths in Nigeria, visitors are cautioned about getting too close to a certain tree, reports Estelle Shirbon for Reuters:

Visitors to Sukur are warned not to approach a certain ancient baobab tree because, villagers say, it turns people into hermaphrodites.

It is an atmospheric introduction to this Nigerian World Heritage Site for the trickle of outsiders who come, but villagers who trek up and down from the remote hillside community are ready for an injection of modernity.

A road would be a start.

As the outside world starts to take a greater interest in the hilltop outpost, which earned its World Heritage label from UNESCO in 1999, the people there would also like to see more of the outside world.

“Can you take me to your place?” asked Hadanina Ajesko, 29, joking with a foreign visitor as she bent over to harvest groundnuts from a terraced field, her baby strapped to her back.

A wide gash in the hillside is still visible from where the village men started digging a road before the government of Adamawa state, where Sukur is located, told them to stop.

Read the whole article at the link above. Evidently “modern conveniences” like roads might interfere with the eco-tourism, which amounted to 30 signatures in the guest book this year. Meanwhile, the people have to craft stretchers out of branches to carry anyone needing medical attention down the steep slopes.

When monkeys attack . . .
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