Sensational spekboom takes first shape

Left: The Great Labyrinth of Africas centre.

Something magical is happening on a farm in the Boland. The world’s biggest spekboom labyrinth is slowly but surely coming alive.

The Great Labyrinth of Africa is the vision of social entrepreneur Peter Shrimpton and will form part of Stellenbosch Bridge, an eco-friendly development.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde planted the first official spekboom tree at the opening a week ago.

Spekboom is used to help make people aware of their carbon footprint, as this indigenous South African plant sequestrates carbon dioxide day and night.

Sponsors are now needed to buy the spekboom being planted in the labyrinth from five treepreneurs. Peter created jobs for them to grow and propagate spekboom.

Eventually the huge project will draw tourists from all over the world, which can lead to more job creation.

Every Saturday volunteers come from all over the Western Cape to help plant the labyrinth.

Melissa Bailey, one of the volunteers, says it is a lot more than just building a labyrinth, it is building a community.

The huge labyrinth will have a diameter of 231 metres and will be five kilometres to walk from the entrance to the middle, thus 10km in total.

This, as far as is known, is the biggest medieval-pattern labyrinth in the world.

The path will eventually accommodate hikers and bikers, making this the first cycling labyrinth in the world.

Secret pathways will be incorporated if people want to shorten the walk, said labyrinth designer Terry de Vries.

For more information on helping to fund this project, contact Peter Shrimpton at or 073 420 4161.