Cactus labyrinth

A guest post by Estie for Notes from Africa

I am often amazed at how little one knows about ones own home town. How many times do you explore your own town? Only when you have visitors? Or do maybe you live in a small town with very little of interest?

I had read about the cactus labyrinth in Graaff-Reinet and put it on my list of things to see when I visited there (the first post about that trip is here). I had read that it was “at the cacti nursery”, but trying to find it took almost a whole morning. The problem is that there are two cacti nurseries with the same name – the difference appearing to be that the one is a wholesale nursery. The gentleman working at the first nursery with the right name, did not know where it was, or if it even existed.

Cacti as we usually see them. ©2011 Estie/

This first nursery (where the gentleman also tried to “chat me up”), was more a maze than anything else. Getting out of there was frightening because the cacti were close together and very high. Does it look like that in Mexico?

©2011 Estie/

Cacti and Quiver Trees together? Weird. ©2011 Estie/

The  gentleman directed me to the second nursery where I eventually found it, although still with difficulty. It was worth the trouble though to see the plants and the layout of the labyrinth. After our first close encounter, the second one was more visitor friendly and I did not get as anxious. At same time I was too stressed to be able to enjoy it for the relaxing experience it should be. It is amazing to see cactus plants this big because we normally see them as small pot-plants and in limited numbers. This was very different.

The right place at last! ©2011 Estie/

The Cactus Labyrinth ©2011 Estie/

Cactus Labyrinth with Spandaukop in the background. ©2011 Estie/

©2011 Estie/

It was worth a visit – but I do not blame anyone in Graaff-Reinet for not knowing about it!

Text and photographs are ©2011 Estie/

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Guest Bloggers, Lifestyle/Travel, Nature/Environment


I am a Life Science teacher (another scientist trying to write), living near Cape Town, with a passion for nature, reading and crafts.


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16 Comments on “Cactus labyrinth”

  1. jacquelincangro
    August 24, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    Hi Estie,
    The cactus labrynth looks to be well worth the trouble it took to find it. It is quite stunning in the photos. So unique.
    Great post!

    • August 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      Thank you. It was very interesting to “find” it .

  2. August 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    How totally fascinating, Estie! Who ever knew such a thing existed. They remind me a bit of the cacti in Haiti that were used to create a fencing of sorts. Great post!

    • August 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      It is so great to learn from al the people who visit the blog. Thanx

  3. August 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Hello Estie –

    I agree – that was fascinating! I did not know that there is a cactus labyrinth in Graaff-Reinet.

    A couple of years back (2009), we had visited a succulent maze and labyrinth at Soekershof, which is between Worcester and Robertson, near the Ashton area. I wrote about it here:

    Being in the middle of a maze, where you cannot see your way out, can be rather frightening – well done for keeping your head and getting out safely. 🙂

    • August 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

      Thanks for your nice comment. I have read your blog about Soekershof and will put it on my list. Thanks for sharing.

  4. August 25, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    beautiful. love the mountains in the background, too…reminds me of Phoenix

    • August 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      I would love to see Phoenix. Thanks for the nice comment.

  5. August 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Thank you. It was very interesting to “find” it .

  6. August 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    I think the gentleman at the first nursery knew where the labyrinth was – he just didn’t want you to leave! 😉

  7. August 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Who am I to disagree? ( Where did you get the smiley? I can’t get hold of one.)

    • August 26, 2011 at 5:10 am #

      You actually have to type out the smiley in ordinary characters i.e. ; – ) and then they get converted to those little icons.

  8. August 27, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    I´ve seen taller but not in Mexico if not in our North and in Bolivia too.
    I walk in the street as if I were a tourist in my own city …
    btw, who is Estie?

  9. August 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Love that second-to-last pic.

    • August 30, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      Thank you. Graaff-Reinet is a lovely place to visit.

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