Indigenous Species

Learn how to bring biodiversity to your backyard

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Indigenous trees you should plant

It is important to keep the river system as natural as possible for them to perform their vital functions. The following indigenous trees are recommended for any planting or restoration:

Cape Ash

Cape Holly

True Yellowwood

Wild Peach

Indigenous Shrubs, Groundcover & Aquatic plants you should plant

It is important to keep the river system as natural as possible for them to perform their vital functions. The following indigenous Shrubs, Groundcover & Aquatic plants are recommended for any planting or restoration.

Arum lily

Red-hot Poker

Cobra Lily / Piempiempie

Wild Iris



Sedge / Stergras

Watsonia / Suurknol

Palmiet / Palm Rush


Water Lily

Yellow Water Onion

Bring chameleons back into your home garden

Make sure your garden is “Chameleon-Friendly”. The best way is to plant indigenous, and be sure there are plenty of insects for them to prey upon. If your garden is right for them, they will move into it themselves. However, one chameleon friendly garden within the neighbourhood is not enough. Encourage your neighbours to go chameleon friendly too. This will create a set of linked gardens (a “green corridor”) creating a larger sized habitat for a healthy and sustainable population of chameleons.

To be Chameleon-Friendly, be sure to plant plenty of nice thick vegetation, which differs in structure (diameter of perches for chameleons). This is because you need to cater for both adults and juveniles and they require different vegetation. Smallest chameleons need small perches to sit on, whereas bigger chameleons are uncomfortable on small perches and need larger ones. It makes sense. So for example, in the Cape Town area, it would be best to plant some restios and perhaps Erica’s for the babies (low bushes and thin perches), and have this mixed with Rhus, wild olive and milkwood (higher bushes/small trees and thicker perches). You can vary the species, but be sure there is some differing structure.

Regarding food: The garden cannot be sterile and bug-free. This is what chameleons eat. So if you use insecticides you won’t have chameleons, even if you have the right vegetation. They will not stay where there is no food. In fact, if you want chameleons, you should even make a compost heap to attract in the flies! Plant your bushes in the same area and it will make a very nice haven for them.

Not good for chameleons: grassy lawns and larger trees like oaks and pines. The reason is simple. Where ever would they perch themselves? They might cross the grass, but they need to sit somewhere in the bushes. Large trees have big branches, too big for the size of most chameleons. Far better are smaller trees, which have low-hanging branches, where chameleons can live.

To learn more about bringing chameleons back into your home garden please download  Frequently Asked Questions about Chameleons 

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