ABOUT MINWATER

“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!

YOUR HOST

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 the Karoo."

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)

WILDLIFE

Flora

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 “koesnaatjie".

Fauna

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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