Wild melons in Namibia

Discover the important Tsamma melon.

By Dr Jonas Mueller

Green watermelons close up

The Tsamma melon, Citrullus amarus, grows wildly across Namibia and South Africa and is the undomesticated form of the cultivated citron, or bitter melon. The fruits are an important source of water and provide animal fodder in resource poor, remote parts of southern Africa. Latest scientific evidence suggests that the familiar sweet watermelon had been domesticated in Ancient Egypt using a different Citrullus species.


Music by Namib Marimbas. Production by Jonathan Drori and Miguel Santana da Silva.

With thanks to:

The Government of Namibia
Namibia Film Commission, permit 10/2018
National Botanical Research Institute of Namibia
Herta Kolberg

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