The Sunland Baobab is estimated to be around 6 000 years old, and is the country's biggest baobab, featuring a small pub inside its hollow trunk. With its giant surreal branches, interesting flowers and quaint little pub, the Sunland Baobab delights all who visit.

Did you know?

The trunk of the baobab tree can store more than 30,000 gallons of water.

The Sunland Baobab, near the sub-tropical town of Tzaneen, is the country's largest baobab and one of the area's most popular attractions.

This is not only because of the tree's impressive girth and height (47m by 22m) and its considerable age (possibly 6 000 years), but also because there's a pub located inside, making it one of the most unusual places in the world to have a drink.

The pub was created back in 1933 when the owners of the farm cleared out compost from the central trunk, squared off a hole to make way for a door and installed a railway sleeper inside for the bar.

Also on the farm, owned by Doug and Heather van Heerden, is a nursery specialising in palms and bamboo, a mango and avocado plantation and accommodation for 20 people in huts they call 'jungalows'.

Baobabs are found throughout the Limpopo province and there are many myths and legends that surround them.

They are also known as the upside-down-tree. Legend has it that the early hunter-gatherers believed the baobab tree offended God and as punishment, God planted the tree upside down. (When you see a baobab tree in winter with its bare branches pointing skywards, you'll know where this notion comes from.)

In ancient times kings, elders and leaders held meetings under the spreading branches of huge baobabs, believing that the tree spirits would guide them in making the right decisions.

And baobabs are also immensely useful to man and beast, providing shelter for a variety of creatures, including bush babies and fruit bats that pollinate the flowers.

Baboons love the fruit of the baobab, and elephants browse the leaves and strip the bark for moisture.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Sunland Baobab
Tel: +27 (0)15 309 9039
Email: baobabbars@mweb.co.za

How to get here

From Johannesburg take the N1 to Polokwane, and just before Polokwane take the R71 to Tzaneen. At the T-junction at the foot of the Magoebaskloof Pass, turn left onto the R36 to Modjadjiskloof and from the town follow the signs to Sunland Baobab, which is a few kilometres further.

Best time to visit

The pub is open all year round but the tree flowers at the start of spring in September.

Around the area

Visit the Modjadji Cycad Reserve nearby Sunland Baobab The Magoebaskloof area is famed for its mountain hikes, trout fishing dams and beautiful waterfalls. The Phalaborwa gate into the Kruger National Park is an hour and a half's drive from Tzaneen.

What will it cost

R10 per person entrance fee

Length of stay

Spend a morning exploring the Sunland Baobab and enjoy a drink in the pleasant gardens here.

What to pack

Camera.

Where to stay

The Sunland Boabab offers five 'jungalows' which are wooden bungalows with self-catering facilities There are many B&B's, guesthouses, hotels, lodges and self-catering spots in and around the nearby Tzaneen area.

What to eat

Yum Yum restaurant and deli in Tzaneen features delicious contemporary fusion cuisine in a pleasant setting.