Mkhambathi Prehistoric Palm

We were in the Transkei a few weeks ago and had the good fortune of hanging out at the Mkhambathi Nature Reserve. It rules! Grasslands next to the sea, waterfalls flowing into it, hiking, birdlife, migrating whales, baboons and no-one else (aside from staff) in the whole reserve.

The reserve is also know for the Mkhambathi Palm  (Pondoland Palm or Jubaeopsis caffra). The palm is a flowering plant species in the palm family (Arecaceae) and belongs to the monotypic genus Jubaeopsis. It is only found only in South Africa where it is becoming rare due to habitat loss . It is apparently a living fossil, the last remaining lineage of palmtrees that were widespread in southern Africa in prehistoric times.

While we saw a load of palms I’m not sure if we came across the Mkhambathi Palm (which has distinctive yellow branches). I think the last pic might be a baby one… Anyone know?

Mkambati Falls
Mkhambathi Falls

Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls
Baby Mkambati Palm?
Baby Mkhambathi Palm?

7 thoughts on “Mkhambathi Prehistoric Palm”

  1. Only just saw this now … memories! Mkambathi is this amazing wonderful place you makes you feel like you just stumbled upon by magic. When we went there yonks (20 yrs?) ago I remember wildebeest grazing outside the window of the rondavel – with the ocean in the background. Then we went for the longest walk and looked over the edge of a waterfall and a HUGE leguaan as if on cue in some Hollywood blockbuster swam lazily across the pond beneath us: zig, zag. Indelibly imprinted.

  2. Well, the beautiful realm of Mkhambathi was the main driver why I chose to study Tourism Management. It’s a place in which every visitor has to visit in the Indian Ocean…the realm is the home geography and unbeatable place to go and study about different plants. That place is becoming a destination of choice for everyone because of tourism products that are always discovered.

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