Pretoria – Burgers park

Burgers Park is the oldest park in Pretoria and the site that it has been developed on was used as a camping area by Voortrekkers before
the city was established. The land was selected for a botanical garden as early as 1874 by Thomas Francois Burgers (1834-1881), President
of the ZAR from 1872 until the annexation by the British in 1877.
Money to develop and finalise the layout of the park only became available in Paul Kruger’s time as a result of the gold rush. The final layout was done by George Hays, the first owner of Melrose House, in collaboration with botanist James Hunter, and was completed in 1892. The original caretaker’s house, designed by Sytze Wierda, was replaced by a small house built in the Art Nouveau style in 1904. Burgers Park is bordered by Park Lane, Andries, Jacob Mare and van der Walt Streets.
Objects of interest in Burgers park include several trees planted in commemoration of important events and a florarium on the north-eastern side that houses plants from different climatic regions.
The Parkzicht iron gates came from the long since demolished house where Boer signatories of the 1902 Peace Treaty were housed.
The park is designed in a Victorian style layout, with its curved irregular pathways. Most pathways lead to its centre point where the Kiosk is situated. Pergola structures with pathways running underneath are also an enchanting feature of the park. Many botanically interesting and rare plant species were planted in the park. Species which includes: Encephalartos natalensis, The natal giant cycad, which is a protected plant species in South Africa, as well as a very attractive specimen of Encephalartos fredirici-guilielmi, The White-Haired-Cycad, which unfortunately has been stolen from the park by cycad thieves! Other indigenous species include a very impressive specimen of the Mountain Aloe, Aloe marlothii, as well as the kranlz aloe, Atoe arborescence. There is also a very impressive avenue of canary date palms, Phoenix canariensis. And an impressive stand of cedar trges, Cedruslibani. There are also a few very impressive ficus trees in the garden with very iryposing buttress roots.