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Buffalo Thorn

Trees of Namibia

The buffalo thorn (Ziziphus mucronata) is known in Afrikaans as blink-blaar-wag-n'-bietjie (shiny-leaf wait-a-bit) and in German as Wart-ein-'n-bietjie, because of its vicious, paired thorns, one being straight, the other curved backwards and very sharp. It is this bush that tends to hook itself into skin and clothing, which then become extremely difficult and painful to dislodge. In the past, the buffalo thorn's (thorny) properties were put to good use building kraals (enclosures) to protect domestic livestock from predators.

In and around this thorny tangle of a bush, you can find hollows where animals such as gemsbok, hyena and jackal shelter from the wind. It has a shiny, bright green foliage, with small, round, reddish-brown and produces edible berries, with a slightly astringent taste. The small, yellow flowers attract many insects and birds, whilst rats, mice, baboons, dik-dik and tree squirrels eat the fruit. Dik-dik, springbok, kudu and giraffe browse the leaves.

As with other trees and shrubs, the roots once chopped and roasted can be used as a coffee substitute, although it has a bit of a bitter taste by all accounts. The leaves and bark have a medicinal value, and wine and brandy can be made by fermenting the fruit. The berries can be eaten fresh, or mixed with porridge.

Trees of Namibia

  • Windhoek: Windhoek Market
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Auas Safari Lodge

A privately owned game farm, with a good variety of wildlife just a short distance south of Windhoek.

Daan Viljoen Game Park

Newly built lodge in a small well stocked game reserve west of Windhoek

Dusternbrook Guest Farm

This lodge is very popular amongst those seeking leopard and cheetah viewing close to Windhoek. Regular feedings guarantee great sightings and photographic opportunities

Elisenheim Guest Farm

A relaxing lodge in the Eros Mountains (named after a local fruit and not the goddess of love) around 30km north of the city

Etango Ranch Guest Farm

Opposite the Windhoek International Airport, close enough to be extremely convenient but far enough away that planes are not a distraction. Great for those arriving late or leaving early, as cuts out the 45km drive from Windhoek/

Gocheganas Nature Reserve

One of Namibia's most popular spas with the added bonus of top game viewing.

Hohewarte Guest Farm

Between Windhoek and the International Airport lies this interesting cattle & game farm

Immanuel Wilderness Lodge

family friendly, mid range lodge in rural location

Naankuse Lodge & Wildlife Sanctuary

a wildlife sanctuary offering quality accommodation in a tranquil environment

Okapuka Lodge

Large lodge on a large well stocked game farm


On a large private game farm close to the Windhoek International Airport, ideal for those not wanting to travel into Windhoek before or after their arrival in Namibia

Onjala Lodge

Offering horse riding, spa treatments and two swimming pools, this is a good family lodge

River Crossing Lodge

a few kilometers east of Windhoek this lodge offers unsurpassed views of the city from a setting in the Auas Mountains

Windhoek Game Camp

20km north of the city, this tented lodge offers a quality self catering experience surrounded by the veld and wildlife

Walvis Bay Accommodation