The Quiver trees of the Northern Cape stands tall on the mountain edges. When paying a visit to the Growcery Camp, especially during the Winter season, hiking into the mountains of the Richtersveld is an everyday activity here.
This weekend was one like no other! During these hikes into the mountains, there are plenty of exciting things to see, such as a few birds of prey that can be quite an exciting finding. But we'll tell you all about these birds next week!
But first, allow me to tell you more about the Quiver Trees (Aloe dichotoma). The Quiver Tree naturally grows in the drier parts of Namibia, the Richtersveld, and most parts of the Northern Cape. The Quiver Trees love to grow in desert-like areas and mountains best. These trees are endemic to dry regions of Namibia and South Africa and can get as old as 80 -140 years.
With these desert plants, there can be quite a few exciting stories regarding these desert plants. As a person that lived and grew up around the Quiver Tree, let me share some facts and stories of this majestic tree. These plants have been in the lives of people that used to live in the desert long before we knew about the Quiver Tree.
The San people lived in most parts of the Namibian Desert and the Northern Cape mountains. The San people used the Quiver Tree for many things since it was quite common where they lived. One of the common uses was a carrier for their arrows when hunting. Hollowing the quiver tree branch and closing one end with animal skin, was the perfect arrow carrier for the san people.
The Quiver Tree has a white powder on the bark, which acts as a sunscreen and protects the tree from the hot desert sun, which the San people also used to protect their skins from sunburn. The core of the Quiver Tree's trunk is light and corky, and the San people hollow the tree's bark. The hollow bark is then used to keep things fresh, while the smaller pieces of the stem are used for storing arrows.