Allée de Baobab
The Avenue of the Baobabs is said to the most beautiful road in Madagascar and easily accessible. The legendary Allée de Baobab is located on the road (or let’s better say the dusty slope) between Morondava and Belo-Sur-Tsiribihina. Everywhere along the road between those two cities, the impressive Baobabs, only a small part of 250 meters length is known as “Allée de Baobab” due to its photogenic silhouette. Those up to 30 meters high trees belong to the species of Adansonia grandidieri and are considered to be Madagascar’s landmark. Some of these giant trees are allegedly on the island for more than 1000 years.
The Alley of the baobabs is a magical attraction for photographers from all over the world. Baobabs are usually solitary trees, standing tall and proud in the midst of empty spaces. Yet in Allée de Baobab, they cluster together forming an avenue of columns that border the dirty road.
With their massive trunks, crooked branches and furry fruit, baobabs have learned how to adapt to a dry and hostile environment. The secret of the baobab's success in surviving in harsh environments and the reason for its massive trunk is that it has little wood fibre but a large water storage capacity. Each tree can hold up to 300 liters of water, enabling it to live through long periods without rain. The life-cycle of these unique natural oddities is as impressive as their bulk - most live over 500 years! For the people of the Menabe region (Menabe means literally “very red” –as soon as you walk on the vermilion tinted soil of this part of Madagascar you will know why), the baobabs are their symbol and their pride. But baobabs are also endangered.
A ride through the Avenue is a memorable experience. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to visit these gentle giants when colors of the trunks acquire new shades and the shadows of the trees are the most pronounced, creating a more exotic atmosphere, and when their stark silhouettes form a spectacular contrast to the soft, calming colors of sunrise and sunset. The flowering period is between February and March.
A few kilometers from the Baobab Avenue are the Baobab amoreux, two baobab trees twisted around one another in an eternal embrace. There is a legend that the trees are the incarnation of two lovers who could not marry and have a child together. The trees are a popular destination for local sweethearts and young women come here to pray for a child.
Watch more photos about Allée de Baobab here.