Love Your Elephant!
The Ancient Marula Tree and Amarula Cream Create a Sanctuary for the Wildlife and People of South Africa
New York, NY (February 2010) /PRNewswire/ — According to South African legend, in the year of the drought the Elephant planted his precious tusk in the Hare’s garden to provide him with sustenance. The tusk grew into the Marula tree, a beautiful, fruit-bearing tree that all could enjoy during South Africa’s summer, when famine would strike. Since then, the Elephant has sought out his tusk by migrating hundreds of miles to taste the sweet berries of the Marula tree each harvest season.
Today, the Marula tree is the source of the delicious Amarula Cream Liqueur—from January through March, the marula is in harvest and people come from far and wide to pick the berries. As the marula fruit ripens, the skin becomes a light yellow, with white flesh inside around a large nut. Rich in vitamin C, the nut is cultivated for its natural oil, while the succulent, tart fruit is used to create the smooth, indulgent Amarula Cream.
Situated in the Limpopo province of northeastern South Africa (just miles from Kruger National Park), the Amarula Lapa in the “Valley of the Olifants” comes alive with harvest festivals and celebrations honoring the sacred tree. Known by many names, the Marula tree is often called the “Elephant Tree,” or the “Marriage Tree,” and is credited with high fertility and determining the sex of babies. The local tribes believe that the marula is a fruit “fit for kings,” and at the end of the festival, the women will make marula beer, presenting it to the people and the chief of the tribe, singing and dancing, to celebrate the history and legends of this ancient tree.
The conservation of the Marula trees, wildlife sanctuary, and growing region is a top priority for Amarula Cream Liqueur, and to help preserve the elephants’ place in the wild Amarula created the Amarula Elephant Research Program (AERP) in 2002 under the direction of Professor Rob Slotow of the Kwa-Zulu-Natal University, located in the Kruger National Park area—the Phalaborwa region of South Africa, not far from the Amarula Lapa. The program conducts research and tracking of elephant movement rates and ranging behavior and has created a comprehensive collaring project, which allows researchers to monitor the elephants’ behavior and their numbers across the African plains. The AERP has become recognized globally as an authority on the behavior of the African elephant.
Amarula Cream Liqueur is also proactive in its approach to sustain the symbiotic relationship between the Limpopo environment and its people. Projects with the local community contribute to social development and education, as well as conservation of the Marula growing area. As a result of the relationship between the land, animals and community, the Marula tree generates enough revenue in one harvest to support and sustain the local community year round and provide people everywhere with a taste of Africa: Amarula Cream Liqueur—the true Spirit of Africa.