Visit the Quiver Tree Forest, Kokerboom Forest, in the Namibian Kalahari near Keetmanshoop or hop over the Namibian border to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Botswana and South Africa.
Kokerboom Forest/Quiver Tree Forest, near Keetmanshoop, Kalahari Desert
En route from Fish River Canyon north to Sossusvlei
, you have the perfect opportunity for a photo stop at the so-called Quiver Tree Forest or Kokerboom Forest. Take some pictures of these aloes with forked branches and cracked bark near Keetmanshoop, situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, close to the beginning of the Namib Desert.
The Kokerboom is not really a tree, but an aloe (Aloe dichotoma). This plant is characteristic for the arid and very hot regions of the Northern Cape in South Africa and Namibia. The Quiver Trees with their mostly cracked bark
and golden sheen look very interesting in the wide open spaces and eroded rock formations of the Kalahari Desert. The trees are a very special sight against the deep dark red shimmer of the setting sun. You will not be the only one to stop and have a closer look.
These aloes can grow up to 8 metres high and normally stand alone. Sometimes they occur in groups as in the Quiver Tree Forest
near Keetmanshoop, Namibia. The blue sky, red Namibian sand and light green clumps of grass built a perfect contrast to the yellow blossoms of the tree (in the flowering-season during June and July).
Take some snapshots or walk through the 200 to 300 year old curious trees
in this forest, which was declared as a national monument in 1955. But be warned - this is not the right type of forest if you are looking for some shade in the heat of the Kalahari Desert.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
While on holiday in the Kalahari in Namibia, you can hop over to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Botswana and South Africa
. There is no game reserve covering the Kalahari on the Namibian side. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park consists of two adjoining parks, the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa, and the Gemsbok National Park, Botswana and borders Namibia. The name derives from the Botswana word for the Kalahari Desert - Kgalagadi, meaning "place of thirst".
Enjoy this arid game park with its red sand dunes, dry riverbeds of the Auob and Nossob rivers, green grass clumps, camel thorn trees
and lots of African wildlife. A game-drive in this park promises excellent photographic opportunities.
Spot black-maned Kalahari Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Hyena, Gemsbok
(Oryx), Springbok, Eland, Blue Wildebeest and the little Suricate (little omnivores also called Meerkat). It is also a paradise for birders as various birds of prey, like falcons, eagles and buzzards can be seen. Secretary birds stalk over the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert and vultures wait for the next victim.
You can enter the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park from Namibia
through the Mata-Mata gate. The park stretches over 3,6 million hectares and the temperatures during the day here are very high. Winter nights can get very cold - so be prepared, but it's absolutely worth it!