About Cape Town's Ubuntu Tree

Also known as Nokuphila, which means 'place of the healing mother, where people gather for health and wellness' in Xhosa, Cape Town's Ubuntu Tree lies just off Kloof Street in the city bowl.

Did you know? A heritage tree is typically a large, individual tree with unique value, which is considered irreplaceable. The major criteria for heritage tree designation are age, rarity, and size, as well as aesthetic, botanical, ecological, and historical value ~ Wikipedia.

The landmark tree is endowed with magical and spiritual healing properties - not difficult to imagine given the sprawling health of the old Banyan fig tree that is believed to be over 400 years old. It's rather telling that today it finds itself in the courtyard of a wellness and health centre.

Nokuphila, together with trees alongside it, originally stood on the borders of a dam fed by the waters of Camissa, the water that ran off the mountain (Camissa was the ancient Khoi word for Cape Town - place of sweet waters).

Locals and visitors would congregate here to collect fresh water, so it has always been a place of meeting.

It is not the only historical tree in Cape Town. Others include the saffron pear tree, a 350-year-old tree in the Company's Garden, the Treaty Tree in Woodstock alongside Treaty House (although the house no longer exists) under which a treaty was signed in 1806, and the Slave Tree in spin Street, now on a traffic island opposite De Groote Kerk where slaves were auctioned.

Need to Know

WhereCape Town's Ubuntu Tree, 99 Kloof Street, Gardens, City Bowl, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Gardens Accommodation, Cape Town


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