Home Flora

Flora hotspot

With about 480 plant species, the flora of the Waterberg is one of the most diverse in southern Africa. This variety is due to the different habitats created by the plateau, the slopes, the valleys, the springs and the plains around the mountain.

Botanists have registered 80 different grasses and more than 60 species of trees alone. The huge fig and Camelthorn trees are particularly impressive, as are the so-called ancestor trees, also known as Leadwood because of the weight of the wood.

  • Purple-pod terminalia at the Waterberg

    Purple-pod terminalia at the Waterberg. Photo: Waterberg Wilderness

  • Sycamore Fig with buttress root at the Waterberg

    Sycamore Fig with buttress root at the Waterberg. Photo: Waterberg Wilderness

  • Fruit of fig tree

    Fruit of fig tree. Photo: Waterberg Wilderness

Ferns flourish in the shade of the cliffs; during good rainy seasons water plants start growing in rock pits.

Botanists are also thrilled by the variety of lichens which form unique white, green or yellow patterns on the reddish sandstone canvas. Lichens are a symbiotic form of life, an inseparable partnership of a fungus and a partner capable of photosynthesis – mostly green algae or cyano-bacteria. Since the fungus is the dominant partner, lichens are considered fungi. Experts estimate that there are 140 different species at the Waterberg.

  • Lichens on sandstone rocks

    Lichens on sandstone rocks. Photo: Waterberg Wilderness


The southeastern slope of the Waterberg is ideal to explore the mountain’s world of plants. Waterberg Wilderness private nature reserve offers a "Botanical Garden" in its valley. Small information boards present facts about trees and other plants along the trails.