Also known as the Pub Tree, the massive baobab had a circumference of over 108 feet, with its tangle of branches soaring to almost 75 feet.
The Sunland Big Baobab was naturally split into two separate trunk-like chunks that were nevertheless connected. Each had cavernous hollows inside that were connected by a passage. These huge hollows in baoabs begin to form after a tree reaches one thousand years of age. In the Big Baobab this has resulted in wonderful caverns and caves.
The stunning baoab tree became a popular tourist attraction when back in 1993 the owners of Sunland Farm near Modjadjiskloof in Limpopo Province, South Africa, turned the hollows into a bar and wine cellar. First, they had to be cleared of a substantial compost layer to uncover the floor at about a meter below the ground level. Then, a railway sleeper pub was constructed inside one of the hollows and a door installed in a squared off natural vent in the trunk. The bar was complete with draft beer, seats and a music system, with 60 people once attending a party. A wine cellar was installed in the second hollow, where the temperature was a constant 22 °C thanks to the tree’s natural vents.
The interior of the cozy bar had 13-foot ceilings and was complete with wooden benches accommodating up to fifteen people. Shelves full of historical knickknacks gave visitors a storied narrative of the history of the Pub Tree, which had all the regular accoutrements of a small pub, including a dart board hanging on one of the tree’s interior walls. The baobab was part of a farm owned by the Van Heerden family, who also offered bed and breakfast on site.
The pub was destroyed in 2017 when the tree split following a previous major break 2 years before. A study published in 2018 reported that not only the Sunland Baobab, but “the majority of the oldest and largest African baobabs [have died] over the past 12 years.”
So it’s all probably due to climate change, after all.