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Sunland Baobab (Platland Tree)

Sunland Baobab
Sunland Baobab before the collapse / South African Tourism, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  In short

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.

3.9 out of 10 stars 39.3%

GPS coordinates
23.6210 S 30.1980 E
Location, address
Africa, South Africa, Limpopo Province, near Duiwelskloof, Sunland Farm (also – Platland Farm)
Alternate names
Pub Tree, Platland Baobab, Baobab of Duiwelskloof, Mooketsi Baobab, Sebogo Baobab
Species
Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.)
Height
19 m
Diameter
10.69 m (before the collapse, calculated from the circumference)
Circumference
33.6 m (before the collapse)
Crown diameter
33 m (before the collapse)

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

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.

References

  1. The Big Baobab Website, see many pictures there. Accessed: the 20th January 2010
  2. Venerable Trees by Jérôme Hutin.
  3. Plantzafrica, South African National Biodiversity Institute’s plant information website. Accessed: the 20th January 2010
  4. 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
  5. The world-famous Sunland Baobab’s trunk crashed to the ground. Letaba Herald. Accessed: 23rd December 2017.

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