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Ubuntu tree

‘Only when the animals and humans gather safely together under my branches will the true healing begin.’

-Unabantu Nokuphila, Ubuntu Tree (Winter Solstice, 2012)


In the courtyard of the Ubuntu Wellness Medi-Spa behind the Mount Nelson Hotel is ‘Unabantu Nokuphila’ (Where people gather at the Mother of Health) an old Banyan fig tree believed by spiritualists to have healing power 

The tree is thought to be over 400 years old. Along with the two trees growing on either side marks what was once Weltevreden Dam, a natural pond fed by the streams of Camissa running from Table Mountain. Rooted in the Ubuntu Wellness Centre, her presence transforms the courtyard into a sacred sanctuary with a dynamic living atmosphere.

Valued through time by her people

Nokuphila has been a place of shelter and healing for hundreds of years. People would gather together for events, rest in her shade, or get news from neighboring villages. It was also a place to collect Camissa’s sweet spring water, gifted by Table Mountain. It is here where humans and animals shared Nokuphila’s shade and Camissa’s water. 
Looking up, encircled by her cover, Nokuphila’s branches forms an enchanting tapestry. One of these branch formations, situated just above the trunk, resembles the human heart with its four chambers and leaves the observer in wonderment.
Renowned as far away as Masaai-land for her medicinal and spiritual qualities and in India as part of the sacred Bodhi tree family.  Nokuphila has been honored by visitors from every continent.

A Masaai warrior dreams of Nokuphila and finds her on his long “No-Borders” walk

In Maasai cosmology, it is said that when ‘Ngai (God) split Heaven and Earth, and He was putting things in their correct place, He used the long arterial roots of the Wild Fig Tree to deliver the sacred cattle from Heaven to Earth where they would live in harmony with their Maasai custodians. This tree is therefore sacred, and has a very special relationship within their culture, being used for clothing, scripture and ceremony.
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