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Fort Wonderboom

Fort Wonderboom
Overlooking the Wonderboompoort, on the crest of the Magaliesberg peak within the Wonderboom Nature Reserve stands the ruins of Fort Wonderboom. One of four forts built to protect Pretoria after the failed Jameson raid. Wonderboom fort was completed in September 1897 at a cost of 49000 Pounds. In October 1899, 18 men were stationed at Fort Wonderboom along with a long tom, a 37mm Maxim-Nordenfelt and a Martini-Henry hand maxim. By the time Pretoria was invaded by the British during the Anglo-Boer war in June 1900, only one soldier was station at Wonderboom fort, while the artillery and other soldiers were sent to the front. The fort which lies about 7km north of Pretoria and near the Apies River, is famously known as the fort which never fired any of their canons in battle.

The fort was opened to the public 7 July 1904 as it was no longer under military possession. The Pretoria City Council purchased part of the original farm with the wonderboom tree ('miracle tree') and Wonderboom Fort. The fort was meant to be converted into a prison along with Fort Daspoortrand, but instead, its roof was demolished during the Second World War. It is believed this occured under the istructions of Prime Minister Jan Smuts who feared the fort may be used by anti-government forces. This area was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1937.

There are no roads to Fort Wonderboom and a steep 2 km, 45 minute hike up the hill is required. Wonderboom Fort has not been well preserved over the years but its ruins have become a very popular tourist attraction, in part due to the history of the area and in part due to the magnificent Wonderboom fig tree found at the base of the hill on which it sits. Over and above these factors the site is still worth a visit as the views over Pretoria are breath taking. In the distance, the entire city of Pretoria can be seen, along with such famous sights as the Voortrekker Monument, the Telkom tower, and the South African Reserve Bank.

Wonderboom Nature Reserve
From Pretoria head north on the R101 (Paul Kruger St)
Just pass the mountains, turn right onto Lavender Rd
Over the Apies River bridge turn right again into the reserve

Daily 07:00 to 18:00

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