The Quiver Tree is the national plant of Namibia and appears on the country’s 50c coins, but you can find an entire forest of these unusual and endangered giant tree aloes here in South Africa too.
Just 25km north of Nieuwoudtville is the largest and southernmost colony of Aloe dichotoma in South Africa, but you've got to know where to look.
Soaking up the sun in the Karoo, some of these quiver trees are over 250 years old and seeing this collection of ancient aloes is one for the bucketlisters.
From Niewoudtville, take the R357 towards Loeriesfontein and enjoy the smooth winding mountain pass. Look out for a sign pointing to the Quiver Tree Forest and Gannabos Protected Area, this is a private farm but the owners allow visitors to come and check out the unusual fauna. There's only a few small signs so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
Thomas Baines (the English artist and explorer) called them "conspicuous and defining elements of the landscape" and he is certainly right - there's no plant that looks quite like it. Reaching heights of up to 10 metres, these trees are fit for their arid environment by storing water in succulent leaves and making use of a shallow root system that can better access water from short rain storms and fog that rolls in from the west coast.
These golden green trees are threatened by climate change and are so-named because bushmen were said to use their trunks and branches to hold arrows, this is called a quiver. In 1998 it's said there were only 200 trees left in the wild. Being so remote, you're almost bound to have the forest to yourself and you can wallow in the silence of these incredible trees.
The best time to visit is now, during the Cape flower season when the landscape drips with colour. Otherwise, the Quiver trees themselves flower May to July.