Marula Tree

Amarula Lapa, √Ārvore da Marula, Licores Cremosos

The Amarula Lapa is the hospitality centre for the now world-famous Spirit of Africa. Made from thatch, stone and wood, it is a simply constructed but luxurious and welcoming spot created from traditional materials.

Here, just 12km south west of Phalaborwa, guests can sample Amarula in a variety of ways, learn about the origins of the world-famous drink and buy Amarula memorabilia.

Close by is the processing plant where the fresh marula fruit is brought during the harvesting season but the Lapa itself is open all year round to give visitors the chance to experience Amarula at its source.

So, when you are next planning a visit to see Africa’s Big Five and are on your way to the Kruger National Park, come and stretch your legs at the Amarula Lapa. You’ll be glad you did.


View the virtual tour of the Lapa
For more information on opening times, activities and contact details, click here.

Click here for the Amarula Lapa Map and GPS co-ordinates.

African Tales of Mystery.

Storytelling has always been central to the African way of life.

The marula tree occupies a sacred and intricate part of rural African culture and is the source of fascinating legends.

The ripening of the marula fruits in summer, co-incides with great celebrations in many part of Southern Africa. In Swaziland the annual Marula Festival is celebrated at the king’s royal residence. In keeping with the belief that the marula is a fruit fit for kings, each household presents the king and queen mother with a portion of the brew they have made, before partaking of the drink themselves.

The Elephant Tree.

Elephants love the taste of marula fruit and will go to great lengths to get the fruit during the harvest season.

The story goes that Hare acted kindly towards Elephant during the year of the drought, and was rewarded with a tusk. When Hare planted the tusk in his garden, it grew into a beautiful fruit-bearing tree, which he could enjoy in time of famine. The elephant has since sought out his tusk by devouring hundreds of kilograms of fruit during the marula season.

The Marriage Tree.

Known as a ‘Marriage Tree’ amongst the Zulu, the tree is believed to bestow vigour and fertility on those who marry beneath its branches. Even today, tribal wedding ceremonies are held in its shade. The har stones inside the fruit are often dried and strung together in a necklace that traditionally symbolises love.

Boy or girl?

Marula trees are dioecious, which means they are either male or female. This fact contributes to the belief among the Venda that bark infusions can be used to determine the gender of an unborn child. If a woman wants a son, the male tree is used, and for a daughter, the female tree. If the child of the opposite gender is born, the child is said to be very special for its ability to defy the spirits!