The Indaba Tree at Pretoriuskop
Did you know?
Pretoriuskop is the oldest rest camp in the Kruger National Park.
Pretoriuskop is the oldest rest camp in the Kruger National Park. Here you'll find this Trichilia emitica, an expansive Natal mahogany, where one of the park's first rangers, Harry Wolhuter, held his daily staff meetings.
Wolhuter was a colourful character in his own right. He dressed himself in the skin of a lion that he had killed single-handedly, earning him the Swazi name of 'Lindana' - which means 'loin cloth'. The Pretoriuskop Camp was originally the garden outside his hut. It remains the only camp in the park where non-indigenous trees are allowed to grow, because the park rangers feel that the red flamboyants and purple bougainvilleas that he planted are a nostalgic part of the park's history.
And of course, there is his South African indaba tree. These days, it offers shelter to picnicking tourists and a herd of plump impala who live inside the camp's fences, safe from the predators that roam outside. Even the loss of a section of its branches a few years ago doesn't detract from its majesty.
The Natal mahogany makes an ideal indaba tree, with its wide spreading crown and dark, glossy leaves casting a dense shade through summer and winter, when the African sun still burns white hot. It also has sweet smelling, creamy green flowers to add to the appeal of sitting beneath it. Its round fruits split open to reveal red and black seeds that are particularly delectable to birds and bees.
Indaba tree enthusiasts can also visit John Dunn's Indaba Tree in South Africa, the milkwood after which Mtunzini in Natal is named; the newly-planted Indaba Tree at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, under which storytelling and reading lessons will be held; and Shaka's famous Indaba Tree, another Natal Mahogany, outside the municipal offices in Stanger.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Kruger National Park Central Reservations (Pretoria)
Tel: +27 (0)12 428 9111