Books on the plants of Namibia

Have children? Will travel to Namibia
June 12, 2013
ATWS summit nearly sold out
June 12, 2013

Compiled by Luise Hoffmann

A bumper contribution by Coleen

Wildflowers of the Central Highlands of Namibia




  • Coleen Mannheimer
  • Macmillan Namibia
  • 2012

Coleen Mannheimer’s latest book – released on 4 April 2013 – describes a multitude of flowers as well as some common ferns and grasses found on the central highlands. Beautiful photographs of the entire plant as well as details of the flowers make it easy to identify these plants. The section on each genus is preceded by a description of its general features. The text provides many interesting details on the uses and particularities of each species. Dr John Irish contributed a well-illustrated overview of the remarkable biodiversity of the region.

Le Roux and Müller’s Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia

  • Revised and expanded by Coleen Mannheimer and Barbara Curtis
  • Macmillan Education Namibia (Pty) Ltd
  • 2010

The guide is highly recommended. It features photographs of the habitat, details of each species, distribution maps and identification keys that really work – indispensable for any tree lover.

Wildflowers of the Southern Namib

  • Coleen Mannheimer, Gillian Maggs Kölling, Herta Kolberg, Silke Rügheimer


  • Macmillan Namibia
  • 2008

This is another book featuring beautiful photographs of the flowering plants of the southern Namib, which never fail to surprise and fascinate by suddenly appearing in delicate shapes and bright colours after only a few scant showers in an exceptionally hostile habitat.

Must-have books on roadside plants

111 Roadside plants – a tribute to Namibia’s fascinating plant life

  • Antje Burke
  • Namibia Scientific Society Publisher
  • 2012  

Antje Burke’s latest book appeared towards the end of 2012. In addition to good photographs and concise descriptions of 111 plants, it gives an ecologist’s overview on topics such as the origin of plant diversity in Namibia, how plants survive in Namibia, Namibia’s endemic plant species, invasive aliens – curse or blessing – and thoughts on the effects of climate change and so on.

Her books on specific regions of Namibia present the most common species found in each area:

Wild Flowers of the Southern Namib/ Pflanzenführer für die Südliche Namib  

  • 2003 and 2008

Wild Flowers of the Central Namib/ Pflanzenführer für die Zentrale Namib  

111 Roadside Plants

111 Roadside Plants


  • 2003

Wild Flowers of the Northern Namib/ Pflanzenführer für die Nördliche Namib  

  • 2005

Wild Flowers of the Central Highlands   

  • (English only)
  • 2007  



Illustrated primarily with photographs and a few sketches, these books provide an overview of the most common flowering plants in the various regions. All were published by the Namibia Scientific Society

Co-authored books on regional flora

Patricia Craven and Christine Marais’ classical guides to the plants found in these three regions are particularly enjoyable due to the artistic illustrations and apt descriptions of appearance and uses. Each book follows a defined route or trail, making it easy to find the relevant plants. The species are confined to these specific areas. The books are illustrated with drawings and are available in English, German and Afrikaans.

By Craven & Marais:

Namib Flora

Namib Flora

Namib Flora


  • Gamsberg
  • 1986

Waterberg Flora

  • Gamsberg
  • 1989

Damaraland Flora

  • Gamsberg
  • 1992

Plants and their uses

Gemsbok Bean & Kalahari Truffle

  • Arno Leffers
  • Gamsberg Macmillan
  • 2003

The author collected the information for this delightful book among the Jul’hoansi in the Tsumkwe area, although many of the plants concerned also occur in other parts of Namibia. The text is accompanied by excellent photographs featuring diagnostic details of the plants and fascinating information on their various uses.

Trees & Shrubs of the Okavango Delta and Common Wild Flowers of the Okavango Delta

  • Veronica Roodt
    Threes & Shrubs of the Okavango Delta

    Threes & Shrubs of the Okavango Delta

  • Shell Oil Botswana
  • Both 1998

Even though these two books refer to the Okavango Delta, almost 75% of the plants described also occur in Namibia. The tree book is illustrated with water-colour paintings by the author and the flower book with photographs. Both books present a great deal of additional information about the various uses, nutritional value and medicinal properties of these plants, as well as the beliefs and superstitions attached to them, in many cases also illustrated by apt pen sketches, also by the author. All three provide entertaining reading while travelling in Namibia.


Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia is a high-quality glossy Namibia travel and lifestyle magazine tasked with promoting Namibia to the world. With riveting stories, first-hand encounters and magnificent photographs showcasing tourism, travel, nature, adventure and conservation, TNN is the ultimate and most comprehensive guide to exploring Namibia. Travel News Namibia is published in five different editions per year. These include four English- language editions and one German. Travel News Namibia is for sale in Namibia and South Africa.


  1. Agathe Dagutat says:

    Good morning,

    Hope to find you well

    Where can we purchase these books?

    Kind regards,

    • Travel News Namibia says:

      Hi Agatha, thank you for your message. The best would be to get into contact with the different publishers and order the books through them. If you are in Namibia, you might have luck purchasing some of them at curio shops in the capital city or at lodges.

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