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Wild Teak or Kiaat

Trees of Namibia

The kiaat or wild teak tree grows in a woodland habitat and therefore only in the riverine areas of the northern Namibian border with Angola, from the west coast and the Kunene River, stretching to the Zambezi Region (formerly the Caprivi Strip), Kavango and Chobe Rivers. It grows to a medium to large height of around 5-13m, but can reach up to 30m. It is a deciduous tree with a tall trunk and a sparse, spreading crown of drooping leaves.

This tree has a dark, rough, grey-brown bark and the leaves are compound and have 5-9 pairs of leaflets, 25-70 x 20-45mm, and a terminal one. The fragrant, yellow flowers hang in branched sprays and bloom from August – February. The large pods of the kiaat are very distinctive; up to 150mm in diameter, round and pale brown with a broad flat wing and long stiff bristles in the central part of the pod (Jan-Jun).

Kiaat is well-visited and in much demand. The leaves are browsed by game, including elephant and kudu and the flowers attract bees. Butterflies breed on the tree and the pods are eaten by baboons, monkeys and squirrels. The timber is used for building, is a well-known wood for carving and in the furniture making business. The red sap is used as a dye and the bark and root are used in traditional medicine.

Trees of Namibia

  • Windhoek: Windhoek Market
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Epupa Camp

A tented camp on the banks of the Kunene River close to Epupa Falls and Himba settlements

Epupa Falls Lodge

A rustic option but closest situated to Epupa Falls, this site previously only provided campsites, but recently added rooms on stilts overlooking the river and falls

Fort Sesfontein

On the border between Kaokoland and Damaraland this fort was built at the same time as the fort of Namutoni in Etosha

Kapika Waterfall Lodge

On a hill above the Kunene river, the lodge has tremendous views of the surrounding area and looks towards the Epupa Falls

Khowarib Lodge

An excellent base from which to explore the Kaokoland area

Kunene River Lodge

n great lodge in a remote location on the banks of the Kunene River, for those interesting in birding, relaxing or river rafting this lodge is an absolute must. Undoubtedly one of our favourite out of the way lodges

Mopane Camp

A campsite near the village of Opuwo

Ohakane Lodge

One of the oldest lodges in the Kaokoland area, from here guest can visit Himba villages and other areas of interest in Kaokoland

Okahirongo Elephant Lodge

Near the tiny settlement of Puros, this luxury lodge offers you the ability to search for the desert adapted elephants

Okahirongo River Camp

On a hillside overlooking the Kunene River this small intimate camp offers accommodation for a maximum of 14 people.

Omarunga Camp

A comfortable tented camp, on the banks of the Kunene River, close to the Epupa falls

Opuwo Country Lodge

On the outskirts of Opuwo with has beautiful views over Kaokoland -a real desert oasis

Serra Cafema

Up-market luxury safari camp in a spectacuar setting overlooking the Kunene River. A range of activities are included and a highlight is a visit to the local Himba community

Walvis Bay Accommodation