Biggest quiver tree forest in the southern hemisphere September 2020

Marianne (one of our morning visitors in Niewoudtville when parked amongst the flower fields) had told us about a waterfall and quiver tree forest just north of Niewoudtville and after our botanical visit to the Hantam Botanical Garden, we headed out that way.

The waterfall was just 7km away and quite unexpectedly tumbled down in quite an impressive canyon: a small waterfall on top, falling through a hole/narrow passage into the valley below. A lizard, sunning itself in the late afternoon sun, checked me out to see who was disturbing his afternoon nap.

(Image courtesy of Lee Shaw)

We continued for another 20 odd km towards the quiver tree forest. It was quite amazing how, on those 20-25km, the landscape changed so dramatically from the landscape around Niewoudtville: from meadows and flower fields to a more desolate landscape with ombre mountain ranges and green valleys.  We arrived at the Gannabos quiver tree forest late in the afternoon with the sun quite low.

The internet refers to it as “the biggest quiver tree forest in the southern hemisphere”, and we totally believed it. Compared to the one in Kenhardt, where we had a glass of wine, this forest was enormous. The Google map only gives a slight impression but doesn’t show it all (all the tiny black spots are quiver trees). If I enlarge the area, unfortunately you would lose the quiver trees. The road we drove is at the top of the image, the rest is all mountain slopes covered with quiver trees.

It was beautiful in the setting sun but with an extra urge to find accommodation we moved on to Gannabos. As this was a private road and property we couldn’t just wild camp at the side of the road. We continued to Gannabos, but unfortunately the owner had to refer us to a bush camp just up the road. On our way back to the main road, the sky turned into its magical pink-purple canvas etching the mountains with the lacey edge of the quiver trees.  We found the bush camp and had a great evening in the quietness of the bush.

(bottom 3 images courtesy of Lee Shaw)

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