Mongongo Oil

Mongongo kernel extraction by Zambian womanThe Mongongo tree is a large, straight-trunked, deciduous tree that grows to a height of 15m or taller. On average, each tree gives 30 kg of fruit. Each fruit contains normally one and sometimes two kernels. The species is found mainly in deep, well-drained Kalahari Sands in Southern Africa.

Our harvest area is located in the South Western Zambia.

Traditional use

The Tonga, the Lozi and the Luvale tribes of Zambia have used the Mongongo tree and its fruit for generations. The trunk of the tree to make dugout canoes and drums, and the timber is used for carvings. The entire fruit is used. The nutritious nut is pounded and used in food. The oil is extracted and used in cooking and as a moisturiser that protects the skin and hair from the harsh conditions of the Kalahari. South of the Zambezi River the San people in Northern Botswana and Namibia have used the Mongongo fruit for centuries as their staple food.

Product applications

Mongongo oil has hydrating, regenerating and restructuring properties. Mongongo has a high linoleic acid content (between 30% and 54%), which is synthesised by the body to form part of the composition of cell membranes. The alpha eleostearic acid (C18 9c, 11t, 13t) content in Mongongo oil provides a protective film when exposed to UV rays. This makes the oil a rally nice ingredient for skin and hair care products.

Mongongo / Manketti kernel oil from KNOL

The nuts are sustainably harvested from the wild and ethically traded from rural supplier organisations. The oil is carefully cold pressed. The entire operation is certified Organic by Ecocert SA. KNOL is a member of Phytotrade Africa.