“Minwater” (which means Little Water) is a private nature
reserve and is situated 24km southwest of the town of Oudtshoorn
in the foothills of The Gamka Mountain, an isolated range in the
malaria free Klein Karoo (Little Karoo), between the Swartberg
and Outeniqua Mountains. It is a rough, mountainous region which
includes high hills and a big plateau. From the high ground one
is rewarded with breathtaking views of the Eastern Klein Karoo
and surrounding mountain ranges. Minwater is adjacent to the
Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve.
We offer a real nature adventure for everybody – those who
want to experience the wonders of creation only as well as adrenalin junkies!
The owner of Minwater, Louis Jordaan, possesses a wealth
of knowledge of his veld in general and the plants that
grow on Minwater in particular. The following remarks
speak for themselves:
"And believe me, if you thought for a second that the
succulent karoo was boring, then this is the tonic you
need. This man brings the veld to life; in fact this is,
without doubt, the best interpretive floral tour that I
came across in all my travels for this book." and
"Louis is an absolute fundi with a contagious passion for
Fiona McIntosh in Southbound Guide to South Africa's World
Heritage Sites: Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
“...our host’s enthusiasm and boundless knowledge of the little
things that grow on the ground certainly will astound you.” and
“Allow him to share his passion... for Minwater’s floral kingdom.
It’s a treat as well as a humbling experience.”
(Ken Gerhardt in South African 4x4 Magazine of July 2003)
“Dit was ’n fees om Louis as gids saam te hê en veral sy
kennis van die vetplante was ’n ryke ervaring.”
(Corrie Laubscher of the “Suid-Kaapse Hak-tot-Toon-Voetslaanklub”
in Die Burger of 2 September 2003)
“...dat almal hulle verluister het aan Louis se kennis van die veld.
Op sy hurke is hy op sy gelukkigste wanneer hy jou vertel van
waar die kleinste vetplantjie tot bome in die natuur inpas. In
so ’n groot klaskamer, met so ’n kundige dosent, wens jy die
tyd moet stilstaan...”
(Danie Snyman, host of Incopho 4x4 Club in Die Burger of 25 Januarie 2005)
A large part of Minwater is situated in the succulent karoo biome, one
of 34 ‘hotspots’ of biodiversity which are internationally recognized.
A hotspot is an area which is exceptionally rich in biodiversity in
comparison with other areas in the same category and which is threatened
by human activities.
The Succulent Karoo is special, because it is the only hotspot
which is completely dry. As a rule such dry landscapes have few
species, but the Succulent Karoo is an unique exception. In the
area is more than 6000 plant species, of which 40% are endemic.
More than 1000 of the endemic species are succulents. It makes
the Succulent Karoo the area which is the richest in succulent
flora in the world.
The Eastern Klein Karoo (from Calitzdorp in the west to Uniondale
in the east and between the Swartberg Mountains in the north and
Outeniqua Mountains in the south) is a transition area between the
western winter rainfall area and the eastern summer rain fall area
and gets both summer and winter rain. Moreover, two other biomes
which are international hotspots of biodiversity as well, viz.
the fynbos and subtropical thicket biomes converge in this area
with the succulent karoo biome. Some of the plants of the Great
Karoo (Nama Karoo) occur in this area as well. The result is an
astonishing diversity of plants in the area - close to 2500 species.
Minwater boasts about 550 of these plant species and your host
will point out (on request) many species with interesting names
such as “ghaap”, concertina bush, “botterboom”, “dikvoet” and
If one is observant, many species of mammal or signs of their
presence can be detected. The following species have been sighted
here: klipspringer, common duiker, grysbok, steenbok, grey rhebok,
eland, kudu, scrub hare, Smith's rock rabbit, rock dassie, baboon,
striped polecat, small grey mongoose, yellow mongoose, honey badger,
antbear (“aardvark”), black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, aardwolf,
caracal, African wild cat, small-spotted genet, porcupine, several
species of mouse and last, but not least, leopard.
More than 140 species of birds have been sighted Minwater,
inter alia the rare black eagle and black harrier. No bird
watcher will leave disappointed.
Furthermore, here are many leopard tortoises and other interesting
reptiles, insects and other creepy crawlies - the Succulent Karoo
Biome is an important area of biodiversity for reptiles and a large
variety of invertebrates.
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