The Old Post Office Tree is so named because it acted as a mail system for seagoing men in the 1500s. It’s an old milk-wood tree on which sailors used to hang their shoes with notes in them for safe delivery. This is a National Monument and is generally known as Post Office tree.
The South Africa Mail System started because of this gnarled milk-wood tree. In 1500, one of the Commanders of Cabral ships, Pedro De Ataide, left a letter of importance in an iron pot shoe under this large tree on his return journey from the East. This letter was found by Commander of the third East India Fleet, Joao De Nova in 1501 when he was on his way to India. This is how the post office system started in the country.
There is a Post Box at the Old Post Office Tree where people can drop in letters and postcards to their loved ones. The letter-box is shaped as a boot as it is presumed that the first letter left under this old tree was found in a sailor’s shoe back in 1500. Today all outgoing mails from this letterbox have a special flank to commemorate the importance of this tree as the first post Office of South Africa.