The exquisite natural beauty of the land, with its uninterrupted views, unique vegetation and magnificent animals, makes Ikamva Safaris a haven for the eco-tourist and for photography enthusiasts.

“The Garden of Eden” is what respected conservationists, Richard Cowling and Shirley Pierce, named this part of the Eastern Cape.

“At the heart of the Eden, is the thicket biome, a rich and mysterious world of well-armed shrubs , tough succulents and tangling vines, with a greater variety of plant forms, life histories and lineages than any other region of Southern Africa.”

Seven of Southern Africa’s eight biomes are found in Eden, namely, forest, thicket, fynbos,grassland, savannah, nama-karoo and succulent karoo. This ecological phenomenon means that the region has a huge diversity of plants and animals.

At Ikamva Safaris, the arid and valley thicket, nama-karoo and succulent karoo are the most evident biomes although all seven do exist.  The arid thicket comes in two main forms; the Noorsveld and the Spekboomveld.   The magnificent abundance of both these plants at Ikamva Safaris is a wondrous sight.   The environmental benefits of Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) thickets is a well-documented study.  This leaf-succulent shrub is dubbed the “superplant” by some for its carbon efficient properties.   Ongoing research shows that 2.5 acres of Spekboom can convert carbon dioxide to an average of 4,2tons of oxygen per year.   This makes South Africa very popular on the international carbon dioxide sequestration commercial market.

Kruisementfontein farm is a listed National Heritage Site for the protected Elephant Footplant (Dioscorea elephantipes).   There are a number of Elephant Footplant colonies on the farm, with magnificent specimens of this rare plant.

The climate of the area can be described as semi-arid, with a relatively low and unpredictable rainfall.   The temperatures are generally moderate.   The winters are not severely cold, but in summer (February) temperatures of up to 45°C are not uncommon.

TREES and SHRUBS to look out for at Ikamva Safaris include:

  • Portulacaria afra (Spekboom)
  • Pappea capensis (Wildepruim)
  • Noors
  • Cycads
  • Boscia Oleides (Shepherd Tree or Witgatboom)
  • Euphorbia
  • Eulclea Undulate (Gwarrie)
  • Aloe Ferrox, Aloe Africana
  • Acacia Karoo (Soetdoring)
  • Rhus Lancia (Taaibos)
  • Schotia afra (Boerboon)

Spekbook

The thicket habitat supports a rich bird fauna. No birds are endemic to the thicket biome.   Over a hundred bird species are spotted regularly.  A complete  list to follow soon.

Resident animals include:

 

      Aardvark

      Aardwolf

      African Wildcat

      Baboon

      Bat-eared Fox

      Black-backed Jackal

      Blesbuck

      Bushpig

      Cape Clawless Otter

      Caracal (Rooikat)

      Dassie (rock rabbit)

      Duiker (common)

      Eland

      Gemsbok

      Genet

      Giraffe

      Impala

      Kudu

      Mountain Reedbuck

      Nyala

      Ostrich

      Porcupine

      Red Hartebees

      Sable

      Springbok

      Steenbok

      Vervet Monkey

      Wildebeest (blue)

      Warthog

      Waterbuck

      Yellow mongoose

      Zebra (Burchell’s)
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