January 9, 2014
Forget The Tree House…Welcome To My Bar
The next time you have the urge to have a drink at a bar and are in South Africa, there is a very interesting spot to check out. It is not only the largest Baobab tree in the world, it also has a bar inside the hollowed out trunk.
The tree is called the Sunland “Big Baobab” and is located in Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo Province, South Africa on the farm of Sunland and mangos. The farm was purchased in 1989 by Doug and Heather van Heerden.
The tree itself has been carbon dated to be approximately 6000 years old and has made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. When a baobab tree ages, it will hollow out and this is just what has happened to this particular tree. The family decided to make use of this natural phenomenon and the tree is now a bar.
The tree is 72 feet high and has a circumference of 155 feet. When the family was clearing out the hollowed insides, they discovered artifacts indicating that Kalahari Bushmen may have once used the tree for shelter.
“We found the remains of a Bushmen bed made from rocks, possibly in the 1700’s,” Mrs. Heerden said. “We could also gather that a Voortrekker once lived here who repaired ox wagons for the Great Trek because we found tools and wagon pieces.”
The baobab is also called the upside down tree because during the dry season and the leaves are gone, the branches look like underground roots. It can also store up to 32,000 gallons of water in its trunk.
Inside the tree that was transformed into a pub, are 13-foot ceilings, bar stools, a dartboard, benches that can comfortably sit 15 people and even a telephone. Not only does the family operate the Big Baobab Bar, it also runs a tree house restaurant, and has overnight accommodations in A-frame bungalows, which they call “jungalows.” There is a swimming pool, benches and quad biking trails also on the premises.
According to the Heather van Heerden, “This tree is likely to be older than the Giza Pyramids of Egypt. It is phenomenal to have such a magnificent tree in your back garden. It is possibly the biggest living thing on earth.”
Forty adults with outstretched arms can circle the massive trunk. Over 7,000 people come to see the “Big Baobab” yearly from all over the world. Even though it sits 15 comfortably, one time Mrs. Heerden threw a party and crammed 54 people inside, “but I wouldn’t recommend that,” she said.
Image Credit: Thinkstock