May 6, 2023
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Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

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Madagascar is one of the most magical countries in Africa and the world: an unknown island that separated from Africa 135 million years ago, isolated, which is why it is home to countless unique animal species and limitless biodiversity. And the Baobab is one of the most fascinating trees in the world: it is not exactly known where its name comes from, they can live up to 800 years, reach heights of up to 30 meters, and hold up to 5,000 liters of water inside. Madagascar and Baobabs… now add a road trip and off-road to this equation, and the result is the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar: one of the most marvelous places a person can drive through.

Avenue of the Baobabs

Avenue of the Baobabs, Rod Waddington

Nearest townMorondava
AddressRT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Coordinates20°15′3″S 44°25′6″E

The Avenue of the Baobabs is a beautiful group of baobab trees that have lined up for hundreds of years along the dirt track that connects the towns of Morondava and Belo Sur Tsiribihina, in the Menabe province, on the central-west coast of Madagascar. It is one of the most accessible places to see baobabs in Africa and is known as the most beautiful road to drive in Madagascar. Its impressive and bucolic landscape attracts a large number of travelers, making it one of the most touristy places in Madagascar.

Why go? It is considered one of the most beautiful places in Madagascar.
When to go? From May to October, during the dry season.
How to get there? By plane or bus from Antananarivo.

Driving here is impressive, over 20 gigantic baobabs rise in a line between fields and rice paddies for a little less than 300 meters along a busy and narrow sandy road that connects the aforementioned towns. Getting to the place is relatively easy, from Morondava, head towards Belo Sur Tsiribihina, and about 15 kilometers away, you will find this beauty of nature.

The area is not a national park, so the baobabs are not protected. This situation is problematic as the baobabs are threatened by deforestation, the encroachment of wastewater from neighboring rice fields, and bush and forest fires. Despite their popularity as a tourist destination in Madagascar, the area does not have a visitor center, nor is it fenced or monitored, and the local residents barely receive income from tourism.

Conservation International (an American environmental organization), in collaboration with Fanamby (a local NGO), has launched an ecotourism project aimed at conserving the area and improving the economic well-being of the local community. Other local and international organizations are fighting for its protection and urging the authorities to finally safeguard the Avenue of the Baobabs and recognize it as the first natural monument of Madagascar.

Mud on the Avenue of the Baobabs

Mud on the Avenue of the Baobabs, photo by Rita Willaert

Sunset on the Avenue of the Baobabs

Sunset on the Avenue of the Baobabs, photo by  Tee La Rosa

Avenue of the Baobabs

Avenue of the Baobabs, Tee La Rosa

It is rare to find baobabs in such a dry place, but the truth is that they did not grow isolated among shrubs. The area where they reside was originally a forested area, but the increasing population led to gradual deforestation, leaving only the baobabs.

About 7 kilometers north of the Avenue of the Baobabs, another miracle of nature can be found: the famous “lovers’ baobabs”. These are two intertwined baobabs, which according to legend, have been together for centuries as the reincarnation of a young couple in love who couldn’t marry because their families had already arranged marriages for each of them. So, they sought help from God, who caused their bodies to be reincarnated as baobabs, enjoying eternity together.

Baobab amoureux

“Baobab amoureux”, Olivier Lejade

Mapa de la Avenida de los Baobabs

Africa · Madagascar

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