Wonderboom, Pretoria

Wonderboom lies just on the other side of the Wonderboom Nature Reserve of the city centre; neighbour to Magalieskruin, Montana and Annlin in the northern suburbs of Pretoria.

The pretty suburb lies ideally minutes from some of Pretoria's main attractions - the State Theatre, the Kruger Museum, Melrose House, the Pretoria Zoo and further afield the Voortrekker Monument, Smuts House Museum and Freedom Park. But the major advantage to staying in Wonderboom, nestled at the foot of the Magaliesberg as it is, is that it is on the main route to the Kruger National Park. Wonderboom also has its very own airport used mostly for light aircraft and the Pretoria Flying Club.

The Wonderboom Nature Reserve should be high on the itinerary list, even if it is only for a few hours, to catch a glimpse of the incredible wild fig trees after which the reserve is named. The 200 hectare reserve has a 1 000 year old specimen that was reputed to be so large that it provided shade for 1 000 people at a time, or, in those days, 22 ox-wagons. But a fire and parasite infection meant that the tree today is a shadow of its former self, despite having rooted further 'daughter' trees around the original specimen from its branches.

Whilst in the mood for nature, and perhaps to prepare for the journey inland to game farms further afield, the Onderstepoort Nature Reserve is also worth a visit, particularly as it forms part of an area of rehabilitated bushveld and provides some wonderful birding opportunities.

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