Sunland Baobab (Platland Tree)
One of the largest baobabs in South Africa is Sunland Baobab (Platland Tree). Sunland Baobab is the best known due to a peculiarity – pub inside the tree.
Map of the site
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Trunk of the tree had two connected parts that made the measurement of the trunk somewhat confusing. Each of these parts got its own enormous cavities, connected with a narrow passage. Unfortunately, in August 2015 one part of the tree collapsed.
Claims that the tree is 6,000 years old (1.) have no scientific background but we can be sure that a tree of such size is more than 1,000 years old. There have been made carbon investigations of the fires inside the hollows of the tree – after each of these fires, the tree managed to grow a new layer covering the burnt wood. The analysis shows that such fires happened in 1650, 1750-1780, 1900, 1955, and 1990 (4.).
Pub in a tree
Such aged baobabs develop large hollows in their trunk and in this case the hollow has been used in an ingenious way.
In 1993 owners of the farm – Heerdens – cleared the hollowed trunk of debris and there were found artifacts of Bushmen and first white settlers. In the process, there was made a nice room inside the tree with a floor one meter below the ground level. A natural vent in the trunk was replaced with a door and there was arranged a pub with draft beer, seats, music system.
There is enough space for 60 people – but Wondermondo has no information if they all will have seats in there.
In another hollow there has been installed a well-ventilated wine cellar with a constant temperature of 22 C (1.).
The giant baobab is a significant attraction of the Sunland Farm turning it into an attractive destination for tourists with bungalows and swimming pools.
Unfortunately these activities are not especially suited for the unique tree – especially the adding of concrete construction on its roots. The touristy landscape somewhat decreases the effect of this monument of nature (2.).
After the collapse of one-third of the tree in August 2015 the remaining part of the baobab still stands and is alive – with a bar in it.
Baobabs have beautiful, large flowers. Sunland Baobab has a beautiful bloom every spring. There are living many birds – including two pairs of owls – in the Sunland Baobab.
- The Big Baobab Website, see many pictures there. Accessed: the 20th January 2010
- Venerable Trees by Jérôme Hutin.
- Plantzafrica, South African National Biodiversity Institute’s plant information website. Accessed: the 20th January 2010
- Fire history of a giant African baobab evinced by radiocarbon dating: comparative calibration with Northern vs. Southern hemisphere data sets. Adrian Patrut, Karl F von Reden, Daniel A Lowy, Diana H Mayne, Robert van Pelt, Ann P McNichol, Mark L Roberts, Dragos Margineanu. 20th international radiocarbon conference 2009, abstracts. Accessed: the 20th January 2010
- The world-famous Sunland Baobab’s trunk crashed to the ground. Letaba Herald. Accessed: 23rd December 2017.
South Africa is extremely rich in unusual archaeological and natural monuments. Highlights are the rich finds of rare minerals, unique ecosystems, finds of the first humans, and some great waterfalls.
The category includes some of the most impressive and interesting separate trees in the world. The total number of tree species in the world still is a wild guess – maybe 10,000 and maybe 100,000 but most likely somewhere in between. Every month there are reported new tree species from the whole world, including Western Europe.
Africa has many outstanding wonders and some of the most surprising ones are the heritage of Egyptian civilization, the vernacular architecture of the Sahel region, tropical ecosystems, and others.
Text and pictures document the life cycle of this amazing tree of the African savannah and portrays the animals and people it helps to support
Standing tall on the sunburned plains of Africa and Australia, baobabs may be the oldest life forms on the planet. Many of the specimens still standing today have been around for well over two thousand years. Tremendous in size and bizarre in appearance, they have provided food, medicine, and places of refuge and worship to countless peoples, even serving as prisons and tombs on occasion. Long before European explorers opened up the African continent, the news of these “gnarled upside-down giants” had astonished the world of science and stoked the imagination of naturalists everywhere.