The famous Wonderboom fig tree, situated at the foot of the northern slopes of the majestic Magaliesberg mountain range, near the Apies River, just 7km north of Pretoria and surrounded by a small protective barrier, is a thousand year old willowleaf fig tree (Ficus salicifolia) and hugely popular South African tourist attraction.
The tree was given its name, meaning 'Wonder Tree' or 'Miracle Tree' in Afrikaans, by Hendrik Potgieter and his fellow voortrekkers who first encountered this remarkable specimen in 1836. Although Hendrik Potgieter is credited with its 'discovery', the local tribesmen of the area had already known about it for hundreds of years, regarding it as a sacred landmark.
Over the years the impressive Wonderboom fig tree’s outlying branches rooted themselves in the ground around the original tree trunk (now 5.5m wide). This process was repeated over and over and it resulted in three circles of daughter trees with 13 distinct trunks around the main trunk. The ancient tree now covers an area of nearly 50m in diameter and can provide sufficient shade for over 1 000 people.
The Wonderboom fig tree is located in the Wonderboom Nature Reserve, a 1km² reserve that is centred around this fascinating tree. Besides its main attraction (the Wonderboom fig tree, of course), the Wonderboom Nature Reserve also boasts an ancient Stone Age site that contained the largest single discovery of Neolithic tools ever found in South Africa, a site showing evidence of the Iron Age, and a breeding pair of beautiful Black Eagles. The remains of Fort Wonderboom, an historic Boer fort that was constructed at the end of the 19th century, is also located within the reserve. The fort’s ruins can be reached by a short walk up a paved walkway. The view of Pretoria from this superb vantage point is truly spectacular.
The Wonderboom Physical Address
275 Jacob Maré Street, Pretoria
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