Worlds Only Bar INSIDE a Tree

A bar inside the trunk of a Baobab tree has tourists flocking from far and wide just to drink a cold brew in the amazing tavern. It was fashioned inside a massive 72 foot (22 meters) high tree in a garden in Limpopo, South Africa, for thirsty locals.
The amazing Big Baobab Pub, complete with a phone and dartboard, hollowed into a tree.

Grown in the grounds of Sunland Farm, the tree trunk is so wide it takes 40 adults with outstretched arms to encircle its 155 foot (48 meters) circumference. The trunk is hollow, but its walls are still up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) thick.

The tree has its own cellar, with natural ventilation to keep the beer cold.

Carbon-dating has determined the ancient tree to be about 6,000 years old. “This tree is likely to be older than the Giza Pyramids of Egypt.” said Heather van Heerden, owner of Sunland Farm.

“It is phenomenal to have such a magnificent tree in your back garden. It is possibly the biggest living thing on earth.” she adds.

More than 7,000 visitors come from all over the world to see the grandiose Baobab every year and have a drink in its pub, which has 13 foot (4 meter) high ceilings and comfortably seats up to 15 people.

“One year we had a party and squashed 54 people inside, but I wouldn’t recommend that.” said Mrs. van Heerden.

She and her husband Doug came up with the brainchild to set a bar up inside when they found a natural hollow in the Baobabb shortly after they bought the farm in the late 1980’s.

“When Baobabs are more than 1,000 years old, they hollow naturally.” said Mrs. van Heerden.

The pub has surprisingly plenty of space for customers to sit.

While clearing out the hollow centre of the tree trunk, the van Heerdens found historical evidence of Bushmen — indigenous people of the Kalahari desert — who may have once lived in the tree, and artifacts belonging to the Voortrekkers, the Dutch pioneers who travelled through South Africa in the mid-1800’s.

“We found the remains of a Bushmen bed made from rocks, possibly in the 1700’s.” says van Heerden. “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 Bushmen of the Kalahari have long had a unique relationship with the peculiar looking tree, which stands leafless for the better part of the year, with its branches resembling a mass of roots pointing upwards to the sky.

The pub is even lit with electric lighting and has a bell outside for last orders.

Called the ‘Tree of Life’, the Baobab is capable of providing shelter, food and water for the animals and humans alike of the African savannah. Hundreds of birds, insects and small animals live in the tree whose fruit — called “monkey bread” — is an important source of vitamin C for many.

Many myths and legends are told about this king of all trees. “The Baobab is a sacred tree in African culture. If a baby drinks a mixture of its bark and water, it is said to grow up mighty and powerful.” van Heerden explained.

Africans also believe that anyone who dares to pick a Baobab flower will be eaten by a lion. But if a person drinks water in which the tree’s seeds have been soaked, he will be safe from a crocodile attack.

About the Baobab
Other common names for the Baobab include Boab, Bottle Tree and Monkey Bread Tree.

The Baobab typically reaches heights between 10 to 80 feet (5 to 25 meters), with exceptions up to 100 feet (30 meters). They’re renowned for storing water inside the swollen trunk, with a capacity to store up to 32,000 US gallons (120,000 liters) of water to endure the harsh drought conditions.

They grow in seasonally arid areas, shedding their leaves during the dry season. Some are reputed to be many thousands of years old — the wood doesn’t produce annual growth rings to verify its age, although carbon dating has been used. Few botanists give any credence to these claims of extreme age, with current evidence suggesting they rarely exceed 400 years old.

The leaves are common as a leaf vegetable throughout the African mainland, eaten both fresh and in the form of a dry powder. The leaves are locally known as kukain in Nigeria, used to make kuka soup. The dry pulp of the fruit is eaten directly or mixed into porridge or milk after separation from the seeds and fibers. The seeds are mostly used as a thickener for soups, but may also be fermented into a seasoning, roasted for eating, or pounded to extract vegetable oil. The tree provides a source of fiber, dye, and fuel. Baobab produces an extremely nutritious fruit once used in the production of tartar sauce.

In various parts of East Africa, the dry fruit pulp is covered in sugary coating, packaged and sold as a sweet and sour candy called “boonya” or “bungha”.

Baobab Avenue, near Morondava in Madagascar

The Baobab was used by indigenous Australians as a source of water and food, and the leaves for medicinal purposes. Fruits were painted and carved on the outside and worn as ornaments.

Odd and Unusual Factoids
A very large, hollow boab south of Derby, Western Australia was used in the 1890’s as a lockup for Aboriginal prisoners on their way to Derby for sentencing. The Boab Prison Tree still stands today and is now a tourist attraction.

African Baobab
Baobabs are used for bonsai.

The baobab is occasionally known informally as the “upside-down tree” from the Arabic legend which claims that the devil pulled the tree from the ground and planted it upside down.

Older African lore claims that after creation, each animal was given a tree to plant and the hyena planted the Baobab upside-down.

Rafiki, in The Lion King, makes his home in a Baobab tree.

Ernst Haeckel mentions “monkey bread-fruit trees” in his The History of Creation (chapter 29), and claims that their “individual life exceeds a period of five thousand years.”

In Malawi, the fruit pulp is used for juice production which is very rich in nutrients such as calcium and vitamin C. The shells are utilized as heating energy.

Subscribe to receive free email updates: