Before it all ended in a sad way, inside a pub built into a 6,000-year-old baobab tree

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Before it all ended in a sad way, inside a pub built into a 6,000-year-old baobab tree

Picture raising a glass in a cozy bar made from the hollowed-out trunk of a baobab tree that is 6,000 years old. That’s exactly what people saw at the Sunland Big Baobab in South Africa, which is also called the Pub Tree.

People at the door to the Baobab Bar. South African Tourism Picture
The circumference of this huge baobab tree was more than 108 feet, and its branches reached gracefully up to the sky at a height of nearly 75 feet. Surprisingly, nature had split the Sunland Big Baobab into two big pieces that were linked. Each of these sections had huge holes inside them that were linked by a passage. These huge hollows are what make baobab trees unique. They form when the trees reach the amazing age of one thousand years. This hole turned into a truly amazing sight in the case of the Sunland Big Baobab: a one-of-a-kind pub and wine cellar.

Vistors at the entrance of the Baobab Bar. Photo: South African Tourism


Beginning in 1993, the owners of Sunland Farm, which is near Modjadjiskloof in Limpopo Province, South Africa, saw the unique promise in the baobab tree. But before they could make their idea come true, a thick layer of compost had to be taken away, revealing a floor that was about one meter below ground level. Following this, a railway sleeper bar was carefully built inside one of the holes. A door was placed in a naturally formed square opening inside the trunk, which let people get in. The newly opened bar had all the charm you’d expect, with music playing in the background and draft beer on tap. According to historical records, there was even a party with a record-breaking 60 people!

Inside the Sunland Baobab tree, Limpopo, South Africa. Photo: South African Tourism

The second hollow wasn’t ignored; it was turned into a wine cellar with controlled temperature, made possible by the big baobab’s natural air flow system. The temperature stayed at 22°C the whole time, making it great for storing wine.

When people walked into the cozy bar, they were met with 13-foot ceilings and warm, wooden benches that could fit fifteen people. There were shelves on the walls that held historical items that told stories about the Pub Tree’s unique history. A classic dartboard proudly hung on one of the baobab’s inner walls, adding to the atmosphere even more and making it feel like a real pub. The Van Heerden family owned a working farm that included the baobab. The family even had a bed and breakfast for people who wanted a memorable stay.

Sadly, this amazing story took a terrible turn in 2017. The tree’s structure was already weak because it had a big split two years ago, but it finally gave way. A scary truth was revealed in a scientific study that came out in 2018: the Sunland Baobab wasn’t the only one that died. What the study said was that “most of the oldest and biggest African baobabs have died in the last 12 years.” A lot of data points to climate change as the cause of this terrible environmental event.

Even though the Sunland Pub is no longer there, its story is a powerful reminder of how beautiful and strong nature is. It also serves as a stark reminder of how climate change could affect the most beautiful nature sights on Earth.

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