Quiver Tree Forest 2

If one drives 340kms (210 miles) due west from Luderitz along the straight road through the desert past the Wild Horses and Ais, you will arrive in Keetmanshoop. Another 13kms to the north will bring you to the Quiver Tree Forest and a group of rock formations known as the Giants’ Playground. We visited these incredible wonders of nature after leaving Luderitz on our homeward journey.

Quiver Tree Forest 2

The Quiver Tree Forest  showing the flat path which is accessible by wheelchair

The one problem with both of these sites, which are situated on the farm Garaganus, is that they can be difficult to get around due to all the rocks involved but that is how nature decided it shall be. If, like me, you are a Senior Citizen who is not a good climber or have a physical disability, you will have to be content to stick to the paths at the base. You can still have a wonderful experience in each of these places.

We had booked a night’s accommodation at Garaganus and found it to be excellent. We had arrived in the early afternoon so there was plenty of time to explore. First we went across the road from the Garaganus farm house to the Giants’ Playground.This was formed about 180 million years ago when magma bubbled to the surface and caused 1000s of dolerite boulders to move and create dolerite dykes of all shapes and sizes.  Lyn and her Dad did some climbing up and around but I stayed on the path at the base of the rocks. Instead of writing any more about this incredible phenomenon, I thought that photos would describe it best.

balancing rocksBalancing rocks
Circle of rocks

A circle of rocks

L on some of the rocksLyn among the rocks

Lizard looks over the rockA lizard on a rock

We returned to our accommodation from where we were able to walk to the Quiver Tree Forest. When one thinks of a forest what is usually imagined is dozens of tall shady trees with moss and other small plants growing at their base. This Forest is nothing like that. Quiver trees can be found all over Namibia usually singly or possibly up to 4 or 5 within a small area. There is no clear reason as to why, in this reasonably small space of land, there are at least 250 trees some of which are believed to be 200-300 years old. They are not so close as to be touching one another as happens in other forests with large trees and dense foliage but it is a very rare phenomenon to have so many in one place.

 VT in Quiver Tree Forest

Trevor & Vicky in the Quiver Tree Forest

Quiver Tree Forest 1

A pair of Quiver trees

Bark of a Quiver Tree 2

Bark of a Quiver Tree

In this forest, the floor is dry and covered in rocks. Once again clambering to get close to the trees is not the easiest for those of us who find climbing a bit difficult but there are some nicely shaped and accessible rocks to sit on and just admire the scenery.

The farmer also had some cheetahs he cared for and we were able to stroke one of them and to witness all 5 of them being fed parts of a carcass. Namibia is known as the Cheetah Capital of the World even though its numbers have reduced by up to 90% over the years. The main reasons for this decline are farmers who have killed them as they see the cheetahs as a threat to their animals and reducing food availability. There are now a a number of conservation and rehabilitation farms in Namibia.

cheetah approaches

 A cheetah takes a stroll

 Cheetah eating on

 A large piece of meat for a large animal

It had been a long day departing Luderitz with a morning temperature of 16degC and ending the day in 40deg C weather but at least it was not humid. A very interesting day altogether.

Our cottage at Quiver Tree Forest

Our cottage at Garaganus Farm

The swimming pool

 and the pool was at our front door so could have a swim before bed