World Renowned South African Baobab
Baobab trees are found in a number of locations in sub-Saharan Africa and are easily recognized by their broad trunks and wide spreading branches with sparse foliage, giving rise to the nick-name of the ‘upside-down’ tree. These large distinctively shaped trees are generally solitary specimens standing out in savannah and scrub terrain. Its scientific name Adansonia digitata is a reference to the five leaflets in a cluster being likened to the five fingers on a hand. The fruit of the baobab, referred to as ‘monkey-bread’ is used as a traditional food in Africa and is high in calcium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. The leaves of the tree are edible, oil can be extracted from its seeds and as a succulent, it provides moisture to animals that strip its bark.
Located in Modjadjiskloof in South Africa’s Limpopo Province the Sunland ‘Big Baobab’ is the widest of its species in the world, and through carbon dating has been declared to be around 6,000 years old. Making the big baobab even more special is the cozy pub – right inside the tree. When Sunland owners, Doug and Heather van Heerden bought the farm back in 1989 it was with the intention of planting mango and palm trees, which they did. But upon finding that the huge baobab on their property was partially hollow – apparently a natural process as the tree ages – they decided to share this marvelous tree with others by turning it into a pub. The tree and the pub soon became one of the must-see attractions in this beautiful part of South Africa which already attracts thousands of local and overseas visitors every year. It has even been featured in New York’s Wall Street Journal and the UK Metro newspaper.
Located just 20 km from the Modadji Forest and an hour from the Kruger Park‘s Phalaborwa Gate, Sunland Baobab Jungalows provide accommodation for up to 20 people in five chalets. Activities include quad-biking, hiking and 4×4 trails, an 18-hole golf course just 5 kms away, solar heated mineral water pool, ‘tickle tank’ and slide and a pristine natural environment perfect for the wellbeing of the whole family.
In addition to being a tourist attraction, the Big Baobab is an important part of the ecology, with many animals and birds relying on it for food and shelter. With this in mind the owners of Sunland ensure the tree is well cared for while guests have the opportunity to enjoy refreshments inside what could very possibly be the oldest living tree in the world.