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 PalmĀ  (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

Read more