Wonderwerk Cave in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa contains a record of approximately the last 2 million years of occupation by hominins and humans although to date no skeletal material has been found. The site was first studied by Malan and Cooke (1941) and later extensively excavated by Peter Beaumont and colleagues from the 1970s to early 1990s (Beaumont, 1990, 2004; Camp, 1948; Thackeray, 1983; Avery, 1981, 2007; van Zinderen-Bakker, 1982) producing large amounts of artifacts, bone and botanical remains from seven excavations within the cave. In the mid 2000s a new team, led by Michael Chazan and Liora Kolska Horwitz, has used high resolution mapping and dating techniques in the cave. Beginning with Excavation 1 which is 30 m from the cave entrance, their multinational and multidisciplinary team is in the process of re-analysing old material and collecting new material (Figure 1), (Chazan et al., 2008, 2012; Rüther et al., 2009; Matmon et al., 2011). Some of the results produced by this team are being collected in a special issue of African Archaeological Review (AAR for 2015). A description of the relatively meagre macrobotanical remains from Excavation 1 Strata 12 to 5  includes only the older remains (Bamford, AAR in 2015) where the rare charcoal pieces are unidentifiable. These older remains comprise grass and sedge culms and seeds of a palm and a legume. Charcoal, however, is abundant and well preserved in the younger strata, 5 to 2, from pre-Holocene to Present. This paper is the first in a series of detailed descriptions and palaeoecological interpretations of the charcoal remains from the various Holocene strata. In due course the charcoals from the other strata will be compared and both the anthropogenic selection of woods and palaeoecology will be assessed.