TheTreeApp is that very best kind of ‘work-in-progress’. The scope of the app is such that we never stop adding to it, improving it and in the process having the opportunity to be out and about in our part of Africa.

For a full two days in mid-January TheTreeApp team spent 16 outdoor, Land Rover hours focused on TheTreeApp updates as our photo team was treated to an intimate, intensive tree discovery journey with the Shamwari Game Reserve rangers. Shamwari is a mere 50kms from Port Elizabeth and this whirlwind excursion allowed us to traverse the five Biomes that occur there, and identify over 50 different species of tree, which for us is a new record.

Anyone familiar with the proliferation of trees growing in this kind of wilderness will appreciate how complex this task can be and may wonder how we did it.

Firstly, TheTreeApp Location, Reserve Search, showed us that an incredibly diverse range of trees grow in Shamwari, and there are at least another 200 for us to include next time.

Secondly, the rangers know their environment extremely well and knew exactly where to take us to find the various species.

Thirdly, when faced with the odd, difficult puzzle-of-a-tree, TheTreeApp proved to be a remarkably exciting and reliable resource.

Finally, the Shamwari rangers went the extra mile! We have photos to prove that Andrew Kearney climbed trees; that Jean Taute clambered on the 4 x 4 roof to reach fruit; and that Jess Tyrer buried herself both deep in the thorns and into the job at hand, and was only occasionally left baffled. Notable amongst these displays of engagement with TheTreeApp was Aymar Heyns, who ‘apped’ one of the trees faster than one of its creators, Val Thomas.

We extend a heartfelt thanks to Shamwari’s team for immersing themselves in this experience with us. We are leaving a legacy of close on 300 trees with a fine team of rangers that are technology enabled.

If you don’t already have TheTreeApp on your smart device it is available for R499.00 on The App Store for all Apple smart devices and on GooglePlay for Android devices.

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