The year 2002 saw the founding of a totally unique concept in South Africa. The Big Top is now a permanent feature on the Wilkie farm in Daleside, where children and children-at-heart come to celebrate their birthday's circus style, where corporations entertain and teach their valued staff and customers, where family values are of top priority and the name of the game is traditional entertainment.

Café du Cirque

The Café du Cirque, a quaint circus coffee shoppe, has become the meeting place of note for both locals and out-of-towners. As it is on the cycle training route, the weekend early mornings are alive with cyclist from near and far. The menu boasts a selection of delicious meals, presented with a flair all of its own. Full catering and bar facilities are on offer.

Crafts & Bead Shop

The Clay Top arts and crafts shoppe and Wanna-Beads Shop offers the public an array of knick-knacks, mostly in true circus style; value for money gifts, as well as fresh home baked breads and tarts.

Public Shows

Then of course there are the Public Shows, which are put on at regular intervals throughout the year. Watch the Press for details. At these grand occasions the Wilkies show the public that the sawdust is still in their blood and pull out all the stops to put on an extravaganza.

Corporate Events

A New Way To Get The Point Across

Introducing a venue with a difference, a venue like no other, where the days of yesteryear are remembered with a smile.

Let your company get in on the "act" by using the Big Top, The Boswell Wilkie Circus Tent, in the country away from the maddening crowd.

You set the date, hand out the directions and we will do the rest!

A circus show gives them the party of a lifetime. We can design a show to suit the client with traditional circus faire, candyfloss and popcorn, and give everyone an outing like no other in Gauteng.

You are welcome to come and see the Big Top, just give us a ring and we can get together at the Boswell Wilkie Circus farm.

We have had some really grand functions including :

  • SAB
  • BDO Spencer
  • Seekers Travel Bash
  • Diesel Fashion Show 
and lots more ... We look forward to hearing from you!
Please bear in mind we are not open on Mondays.

Team Building

Have you tried all the traditional team-building exercises? Are you looking for something totally new and exciting? We have it!

Bring the team; drag them out of their comfort zone, and watch your team develop in areas previously exclusive to the entertainment industry.

At the Boswell Wilkie Circus Farm we now offer team building with a difference. All participants are schooled in traditional circus acts, including the costumes, the makeup, and the “tricks”.

On The Day

  • Tea/Coffee & Muffins on arrival
  • Team Building Programme
  • Lunch with Tea/Coffee

For all the information you require, call us now to book this unique experience that will have your team talking for the rest of their lives.

Farm Animals

The farm is home to horses, ponies, dogs and several farm animals, and of course to the Wilkies and their extended family, all of whom are instrumental in keeping the circus alive.

We invite the children to buy some food and hand-feed the goats and ponies. 


Take the R59 from Alberton towards Vereeniging. Pass the Engen Blockhouse 1-Stop, slow down and look out for the Big Top and the Circus Coffee Shop signs and flags, turn left onto the R557, then left onto the M61 and then left again at the T-Junction. We are 100m down the road.


W. H. Wilkie's Mammoth Circus is born

Born in 1907, Mr Wilkie came from a family with a great deal of experience in the entertainment industry. At the age of fourteen he operated various rides at the New Palace Entertainment Center. At sixteen he joined a band that he later took over. After the war Howe Wilkie entered the world of the circus with W. H. Wilkie Mammoth Circus and Zoo on the Marine Promenade in Brighton.

W. H. Wilkie Circus comes to South Africa

In 1954 one W. H. Wilkie landed on the shores of Durban, complete with his circus from New Brighton, England. W. H. Wilkie's Great Continental Circus took South Africa by storm, featuring top class international artists.The start was a two pole canvas tent, and the now famous red and yellow trucks could be seen trekking all over the country, not an easy journey, what with the primitive dirt roads. But W. H. Wilkie had to share the excitement of the circus with all, and so it was a journey well worth it.

Boswell Wilkie Great Combined Circus is formed

In 1972, W. H. Wilkie bought the shares in Boswell Circus and the Boswell Wilkie Great Combined Circus was formed. Due to the size of the circus now, rail travel became the means of transport for the artistes and animals.

Robero's is born

1981 saw the start of a new circus under the wing of W H Wilkie, Robero's, named after his son Robert, who took over the reigns. This was the team that traveled by road, and due to the improvement in the roads, the two circuses amalgamated in 1982 and rail travel was a thing of the past.

The Moscow Circus arrives

In 1991 Boswell Wilkie Circus brought the highly acclaimed Moscow Circus from Russia to South Africa. The circus consisted of 72 artists and staff, 9 horses, 12 bears, 24 dogs and 70 tons of circus paraphernalia. The cost to fly out the entire circus cost an astounding R7 million.

In 1994, when the no-animal Chinese Circus joined the circus, the public stayed away due to the demand for animals in the circus.

SA loses a truly amazing man

Mr. W. H. Wilkie passed away at the great age of 91 in 1998, and South Africa lost a truly amazing man. Robert, who had been in full control of the circus since the age of 21, in 1983, had a major decision to make regarding the viability of the circus, due to the fact that people were now spending their money on the lotto, gambling etc, and sadly the circus was no longer a part of the family tradition.

Boswell Wilkie says goodbye

So, in 2001, the Boswell Wilkie Circus performed the last show in their neighbouring hometown, Alberton, to a tent full of circus fans.


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