Hike Overview: Wonderboom Hike
The Wonderboom Nature Reserve is a great outing and an opportunity to appreciate nature and the rich history of South Africa.
Go Outside Rating: ***
Trail Type: Day Hike
Slack Packing: No
Level: Easy, the route is steep in parts but short so there is plenty of time to rest on your way up
Total Distance: 3-4 km’s
Location: Wonderboom Nature Reserve, Pretoria
Path Markings: The path to the fort is well marked, other trails are not as clear. Maps are available at the entrance
Parking: Yes, uncovered
Access Road: Paved, great condition and easy to find
Cell Reception: Yes
Bookings: No booking required
Price: R20 – R40 for a day pass into the reserve
Facilities: Picnic & braai facilities, large jungle gym
More Hikes in Pretoria:
The magnificent Wonderboom (translation: “Miracle Tree”), located in the Wonderboom Nature Reserve is over 1000 years old. The size and age of the tree, along with the unique history of its location make it a fascinating attraction in the heart of Pretoria. The tree is easily accessed from the Reserve parking and the hiking trails to the Wonderboom Fort and waterfall both start from there.
The tree is in fact a wonder; where Wild Figs typically reach a maximum height of 9m the Wonderboom once stood at 23m. The branches of the original tree, which has been dated back more than 1000 years, have given root to 2 new generations – and it is this unique method that the tree has used to expand itself, which makes it a truly rare natural phenomenon.
The beauty and sheer size of the tree can be admired by exploring the wooden walkways which surround it. Take some time to enjoy the massive shade canopy which the tree offers, as the hike ahead is steep with very little protection from the elements until you reach the fort at the top of the hill.
The hike to the Wonderboom Fort is 2.5km’s. It is clearly marked and the path is in great condition. The route showcases beautiful panoramic views of Pretoria (but this does include the busy and noisy highways so you don’t ever feel like you have really escaped the city). Half way up the hill the trail comes to a T-junction, the path to the Fort continues up the hill while the path to the Waterfall heads in the opposite direction.
We recommend pushing on to the Fort first and then visiting the Waterfall on the way back down as there is still a considerable climb ahead to the Fort, which tired legs may struggle with. (The waterfall trail adds an extra 1.5km to the hike, but is unimpressive in the dry winter months.)
The Wonderboom Fort is beautiful. Even though it is in ruins it remains a showcase of the rich history of Pretoria and South Africa. The last time we were at the Fort we met a group of hikers who knew a lot about the fort and the history of the Boere who built it. They said that there is a secret tunnel that leads underground from the fort to the waterfall – an escape route in case of attack…
We never found the tunnel but there are many interesting areas to explore, beautiful views and lovely shaded areas for a well deserved lunch break before heading back down the hill.
As with most day trips close to the city, we recommend getting there early – the Reserve picnic and braai areas are popular especially over weekends (but the hike and the Fort itself are seldom busy.) Overall a visit to the 1000 year old Wonderboom Tree and the hike to the Wonderboom Fort make for a great day out.
To see more about the hiking route and the nature Reserve check out the Wonderboom Hike Video below.
Video Date: 1 May 2016 Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more trail videos like this one
Wonderboom Nature Reserve Contact Number: 012 567 4296 Website: Wonderboom Nature Reserve