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Camelthorn Tree

Trees of Namibia

The camelthorn tree is one of the country's most common, found all over Namibia including the Namib Desert. The name does not refer to a camel, but rather to the Afrikaans name of the giraffe, meaning camel-horse, hence the old botanical name (Acacia giraffe). In areas such as Sesriem Canyon, they provide welcome shade to tourists after climbing the magnificent sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Camelthorn trees have a deep root system, which reflect the result of decent rains in the following growth season. In severe drought periods, their seedpods make up a major part of the survival rations of most animals.

The camelthorn is easily identified by large, grey, kidney-shaped, seed-carrying pods. During the dry season fallen flowers and pods are eaten by livestock and game, especially elephant, giraffe and eland. Cattle, donkeys and goats eat the shoots. The pods are highly nutritious and are collected in commercial and communal areas to feed domestic stock in times of drought, and although nutritious, the seeds can become insect-infested causing stock losses. The straight, paired-thorns, protect the trees from over-browsing.

Namibian birds, rodents and mankind feed from the camelthorn. The seeds can be finely crushed and used as a coffee substitute and the gum exuded by the tree is edible. Tree rats, insects, scorpions, spiders and lizards, all visit the camelthorn, and they also provide nesting sites for numerous species of bird.

The wood has many uses especially as poles in the construction of houses. It can be used as firewood, axe-handles and knobkieries. Many fences have been erected using the wood of the camelthorn.

Visitors to Namibia should take note that the camelthorn is a protected species and may not be damaged, cut or chopped.

Trees of Namibia

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Agama River Camp

Lovely rooms with rooftop terraces or a choice of campsites around 45km north of Sesriem

Desert Camp

Competitively priced self catering lodge - very close to the entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park

Desert Homestead

Mid-range accommodation offering some of the best value for money in the area. Horse riding an added activity

Desert Homestead Outpost

A new addition on the same property as the Desert Homestead. Hiking & riding are popular activities here

Desert Quiver Camp

Well equipped rooms with self catering kitchens only 5 kilometers from the entrance gate to Sossusvlei. Kitchen utensils can be rented on site

Elegant Desert Lodge

A budget choice, catering for both larger groups and individual travellers

Dune Star Camp | Hiking

These rustic wooden cabins can only be reached as part of a guided walking trail originating at Namib Desert Lodge. perfect for those wanting to explore the desert on foot

Greenfire Desert Lodge

A small intimate lodge in an amazing part of the Namib Desert. While the lodge can be used as a base from which to visit the dunes at Sossusvlei, the tranquil and beautiful environment make it a destination in it's own right

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Mid range lodge located only 22km from the Sesriem gate to the Namib-Naukluft Park

Kulala Desert Lodge

Up-market lodge with private entrance to the dunes at Sossusvlei

Le Mirage Desert Lodge & Spa

Moroccan inspired architecture seems strangely out of place in Namibia. The location, spa and general amenities are good.

Little Kulala

Luxury lodge with guided tour to the dunes using the lodges own private entrance, excellent choice for those looking for a little extra luxury

Little Sossus Lodge

Reasonable value for money - on the main route to Sossusvlei

Moon Mountain Lodge

A new hotel with raised rooms built on wooden platforms 40km from Sesriem

Namib Desert Lodge

Budget choice, fairly far from the dunes and next to the fossil dune cliffs

Namib Naukluft Lodge

Good solid choice, on a beautiful property some distance from the park entrance

Sesriem Campsite

This campsite offer the closest place to stay to the dunes - camping only

Soft Adventure Camp

A combination of permanent structures and canvas make this an interesting choice for the budget conscious traveller

Sossus Dune Lodge

The only lodge inside the borders of the national park. Allows for extra early visits to the Sossusvlei dunes

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Most luxurious lodge in the area, air-conditioned rooms and top of the range guiding

Sossusvlei Lodge

Large establishment right next to the Sesriem Campsite, best for keeping driving to a minimum

Weltevrede Rest Camp

A friendly owner run lodge offering excellent value for money. Rooms have private veranda's offering views of sunsets over the Namib Desert dunes & spot-lit waterhole.

Walvis Bay Accommodation