Not far from Keetmanshoop in southern Namibia is the Quivertree Forest. The sheer number of these aloe trees here makes them special. Nearby at Giant’s Playground, huge boulders form strange patterns like massive Lego bricks. Find out how to visit Quivertree Forest and Giant’s Playground, Namibia, and where to stay when you do.
About 14km north-east of the town of Keetmanshoop in southern Namibia, along the C17 to Koës, you’ll find the entrance to the natural Quiver Tree Forest on your left. Stop at the reception office to pay an entrance fee for both this and the Giant’s Playground a few kilometres further on. The cost in mid 2018 was N$90 per person for both sites together.
Drive through the main gates of the Quivertree camp, turn right and go past the campsite to a parking area where you can leave your car and walk up a rocky path to see the army of quiver trees. There are some 200-odd individual trees here, beautiful specimens of the succulent Aloe dichotoma that stand like strange statues silhouetted against the sky.
The tree grows in rocky areas of desert and semi-desert, but is coming under increasing threat from climate change. It got its name because the San hollowed out its tube-like branches to make quivers to stash their poisoned arrows during the hunt. The trunks of dead quiver trees were also used as natural fridges to store water and meat because the fibrous tissue has a cooling effect as air passes through it.
From the Quivertree Forest, drive east for another 5km and you’ll come to a gate on the right-hand side of the road that leads to the Giant’s Playground.
When you visit the Quivertree Forest and Giant’s Playground near Keetmanshoop in southern Namibia, pitch camp a little further on at Mesosaurus Fossil Camp. It’s much nicer than the Quivertree Forest or Giant’s Playground campsites, or even the basic chalets at Quivertree Forest. You’ll find Mesosaurus Fossil Camp 24km from Quivertree Forest along the C17 to Koës.
If you don’t want to pay to see the ’official’ Quivertree Forest, I can promise you that you will see just as many quiver trees, if not more, from your campsite at Mesosaurus Fossil Camp. You’ll be up early to photograph them in the lilac-pink dawn light, and back again for more when sunset zhooshes up the sky. There’s lots of dolerite rock similar to Giant’s Playground for you to explore as well.
See more about the camp and things to do there in my blog post Mesosaurus Fossil Camp: camping in Namibia near Keetmanshoop.
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