an eye for details
Photography in Quiver tree forest
The quiver tree forest is located near Keetmanshoop on the road from Keetmanshoop to Koes. From
Keetmanshoop you can drive to the Fishriver canyon or to Aus or Luderitz within one day. The
Giant's Playground is nearby. Here you will find a number of quivertrees. This place is better
known for its giant boulders stacked on top of each other like the blocks of a playing child.
This was caused by magma that has been eroded. From the parking lot a walking path runs through
the Giants playground. Both the quiver tree forest and the Giant's playground are located on the
Gariganus farm, a farm that is in full operation. They are not freely accessible.
You have to pass by the farm and buy a ticket, which is not particularly expensive. You can
also spend the night on the farm.
Quivertree Forest Rest Camp There are a couple
of bungalows and other possibilities to spend the night in some luxury, and there is a fairly
basic campground. Free WiFi is available at reception. I spent two nights on the campground,
because I wanted to be photographing at night. This is allowed, but you must buy a permit in
The quivertree, Aloidendron dichotomum, is a capricious, hollow tree found in Namibia and South
Keetmanshoop is the only place in Namibia where there are that many together in a forest. It is a
national monument. It is not a dense forest, the trees are standing far apart from each other. This
offers the opportunity to get beautiful views and to capture solitary trees aswell.
After sunset you can create beautiful compositions here where you can combine the Milky way with the
whimsical shapes of the quivertrees. With full moon you have many options here.
My intention was to stay in the quiver tree forest around new moon so it would be able to photograph
the galaxy, in combination with the quiver trees. This did not quite work out, because it was rainy
weather, with thunder storms. Beautiful aswell of course, but not what I was looking for. It is best
to make an orientation round through the forest in daylight so you know where to find the right
compositions. The forest is not very big, you will not get lost. At the west side, it can get busier
at sunrise and sunset, which means that it becomes more difficult there to take pictures without
other people in the frame.
Don't forget to bring enough water and something to eat when you venture into the quiver tree
forest. It is not big, but you would not like to interrupt your photography session
because the heat is to severe that you are forced to look for some water.
Photographing sunrise without having 'man made structures' in your composition. The sun sets
behind the farm, so you will have objects like water towers and antennas in your composition. In
some trees there are nesting Sociable Weaver. Sometimes these nests are re/used by parakeets. There
are also some rodents around and you will also encounter lizards.
The campsite is very spacious, your neighbors are probably about a hundred meters away from you.
There are two showers and two separate toilets and a place to wash dishes. The spots are lit,
operated by yourself. There is a place for a BBQ. There is no shop, but Keetmanshoop is about 15
km from the camp where there is a shopping center..
In terms of equipment, I brought a tripod, wide-angle 14-24 2.8 and 24-70 2.8 and my Nikon D810 full
frame. On the 24-70 I used a polarization filter. I also had an ND filter from Lee 0.9ND
S mounted on the 24-70 to control the wide dynamic range, the 14-24 cannot install filters.
I use a cable release or apply a 3-second shutter release delay to avoid blur
caused by camera shaken. I prefer to work with live view. A flashlight and miner's lamp should not
be missing in your bag.