Braamfontein Spruit Trust

Events report back


Wonderboom

We arrived at the Nature Reserve at 8.45am on a beautiful sunny morning all ready to experience this lovely venue

It is situated in the northern part of Pretoria, and straddles the Magaliesberg Mountains. It is a 200 hectare reserve famous for its magnificent specimen of the Wonderboom fig tree. The Wonder tree is a wild fig that grows at the foot of the northern slope of the Magalies Mountain area.

 

 

 The large Wonderboom fig tree is more than 1 000 years old, and legend has it that it grew this big because the chief of an indigenous tribe lies buried beneath its roots. It is recorded that the tree was once big enough to shade 1 000 people at a time, or 22 ox-wagons with 20 oxen in front of each! Today, it is much smaller - probably because of the devastating fire in 1870 started by a hunting party or because of infestation by a parasite, which put it in quarantine for 20 years. Over the years the branches have grown longer, hanging lower and lower until they touched the ground rooted and produced a circle of daughter trees. There are now three circles of daughter trees surrounding the original tree.

 

    

We really enjoyed this amazing tree with the interpretation trail from the boardwalk which circles the tree.

 Before we spent time enjoying the Wonderboom fig tree we walked up the steep Wonderboom Hill to see the ruins of the Wonderboom Fort, one of four forts built by the former Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek at the end of the 19th century to defend the city against the British. It was never used. It was blown up, probably on the instructions of Prime Minister Jan Smuts himself, in the early days of World War 2, lest it be used by anti-government dissidents as a springboard for an attack on the state.

The fort is still in very good condition considering its age and history.

 

 The walk, although very enjoyable and picturesque, was quite testing.

We saw a few Dassies who live in caves overlooking the Apies River. They provide a food source for a breeding pair of Black Eagles that nest on a rocky ledge nearby and that can often be seen circling above the reserve although we did manage to spot one as we were leaving.

 Although there are braai facilities in the reserve we sat on the grass and had a lovely picnic.

 

Below picture of us taken at the Fort.

 

 

 BST Contact Information

Chairperson Tim Hartwright

e-mail tim@jacanacollection.co.za  

   

 


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