The Story of Four Lakes

For more than a decade we’ve been working in agriculture in Zambia’s Northern Province where we began researching the health and beauty benefits of the amazing fruit of the Mongongo tree. We won permission from the government for the sustainable wild harvesting of Mongongo nuts from which we cold-press our Four Lakes Organics Mongongo Oil.

So, why Four Lakes? Northern Zambia has four of the great lakes of Africa: Mweru, Mweru Wantipa, Tondwa, and the famous Lake Tanganyika, otherwise known as Lake Victoria. The Kaputa district where we harvest our nuts lies right between them, so to honour this special place we called ourselves Four Lakes Organics.

The beauty of the land, its people, and its wild life inspire us to commit ourselves as a company to safe and sustainable environmental practices. We’re working with local communities to help ensure resources for future generations by training people in sustainable harvesting and chemical-free farming.

All of our products are 100% natural and organic and sourced out of Africa before being laboratory tested and carefully decanted in Australia to the highest standards of quality.

The Mongongo Tree

The mongongo, Schinziophyton rautanenii, is a deciduous tree widely found throughout southern Africa. Straight trunked with a broad canopy, the trees reach a height of 15 to 20 metres. They flower in the hot southern summer, from October to December, and drop their fruit with the skin still green around April or May. Trees are either male or female, so they need company to fruit.

The flesh of the fruit is stewed to make a sweet porridge, and the nut (about 70% of the fruit) is cracked and the kernel eaten raw, dried for preservation, or cooked in a fire.

The nuts are about 53% oil and are highly nutritious. They contain about 26 grams of protein per 100 grams, and are rich in magnesium (527 mg) and calcium (193 mg). They also contain zinc (4 mg), iron (3.7 mg), copper (2.8 mg), B-group vitamins (0.8 mg) and, notably, a vast amount of vitamin E (565 mg). The vitamin E is almost all present as gamma-tocopherol and this highly stable form prevents the oil from oxidising, keeping it fresh for an extremely long time.

The oil has a low proportion of saturated fatty acids but is rich in omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, alpha-eleostearic acid, alpha-eleostearic acid, and beta-sitosterol (13,500 mg/100 ml) which is currently being tested for its ability to reduce benign prostatic hyperplasia and blood cholesterol levels.