The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Von Wielligh's Baobab, Kruger National Park

Afrikaans name: Von Wielligh's Krematart

Von Wielligh's Baobab tree

Von Wielligh's Baobab in Kruger National Park

Photo © Steven Herbert

Limpopo

Approximately 8 km north of Olifants Camp is a magnificent Baobab tree, which is known as Von Wielligh's Baobab. Although this is not the most southerly Baobab tree in Kruger National Park, it is a nice specimen in a region where Baobab's are not common. It is a stone’s throw away from the Olifants River. The tree can be seen on the S93 gravel road near where it joins the S44.

Gideon Retief Von Wielligh was a surveyor who set up camp by the tree in the 1890's. He was the Surveyor General of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) at the time and was made commissioner of the ZAR team to define the border between South Africa and Mozambique from the Limpopo River to Komatipoort. Joachim Jose Machado led the team from Mozambique.

The teams started at Komatipoort and slowly worked their way northwards. On the 10 th July 1890 Von Wielligh’s delegation set up camp under a rather large baobab tree. This tree had a circumference of 15 metres at the time. It is not, however, the Baobab that is known as Von Wielligh’s Baobab. They arrived at this baobab in 1891. At the time, Von Wielligh carved his initials into the tree, but elephants have damaged the tree so much that they are no longer visible.

References and further reading

Historical Sites of the Kruger National Park - Author: Ron Hopkins - Published: 2014 - Page: 72

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