Thirteen kilometres north-east of Keetmanshoop, on the farm Gariganus, is a huge Quiver Tree (Afrikaans name: Kokerboom) forest. This is not what one usually thinks of as a “forest”, but it is an amazing collection of approximately 250 Aloe dichotoma plants. These are tall (up to 7 meters or 23 feet tall), tree-like aloes which grow in the hot, arid regions of South Africa and Namibia. To find this many of them in one location is extraordinary. The reason it is known as a Quiver Tree is that bushmen have traditionally used the branches to make quivers (containers to carry their arrows).
We arrived there just after lunch in the hottest time of the day, but still stayed a while to walk around and take lots of photos. The forest was declared a Namibian national monument on June 1, 1995 – it is easy to see why.There were a lot of these darkened boulders lying scattered on the landscape. An excellent habitat for little animals.
One can see from the rock photos below how the rock has been weathered along crack lines. The cracks probably forming as the rocks were heated by the sun and cooled at night; the wind and other elements doing the rest.
Close by on the same farm is what is known as The Giant’s Playground. It really looks like the some giant beings have used the local rocks piling them up like Lego blocks into columns and forming a maze. You can see from the size of the Quiver Trees in amongst the rock, just how high and big these rock piles are.
The dolorites at the quiver tree forest and giant’s playground form part of the bigger sill complex. The dolorites are magma that was pressed up, but cooled off just below the earth’s surface. The softer parts of the stone and the top layer of the earth’s crust eroded away, which left the dolorites exposed.
The dolorites are between 160 and 180 million year old, and in the Keetmanshoop region cover an area of 180 000 km2. – Quivertree Forest Rest Camp