Avenue of Baobabs in Madagascar unvarnished
Every country has its own “business cards” by which it is known all over the world. In Madagascar, this is the world famous baobab alley near the town of Murundava. What do tourists want to see in Madagascar? Lemurs, Tsingis, and Baobab Alley.
Although in fact, if you dig deeper, this alley is the best monument to greed, cynicism and human duplicity. Well, first of all, there used to be a forest here. Not too thick, like in Kirindy. A normal forest, with lemurs, chameleons, flocks of birds, and all the attendant things. Where is it now? Same place as the other millions of hectares, in the Malgashas’ furnace. The baobab is lowly quoted by the local loggers, and it is often sacred – you can’t cut it down, and there’s no reason to. The timber in Madagascar is much better: polysander, rosewood… So these two or three tens of giant idols were left standing in a deforestation area of many kilometers around…
Secondly, in 2007 something like a nature monument was founded here in order to develop tourism in the region.
Thirdly, the Chinese are here. Not many yet, but… The place is far from being wild.
If you look through the eyes of a tourist, yes – beautiful, exotic, and at sunset and sunrise so just wow!
The eyes of the tourist in the alley can easily gather over a hundred. And this in low season.
“Vasya was here” are present in huge numbers and in all languages.
The view is beautiful – sticking out such machinations along the road for 30 meters…
In April, in the off-season, I easily found a place to shoot. The spectacle unfolds as the sun sets. There aren’t many shooting points, as the sunrise and sunset are in about the same place all the time. So everyone’s photos of Baobab Alley look about the same.
This is from a wide angle.
Give or take a little bit of Photoshop and Lightroom.
In the forest, these baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri) look more natural, but not as impressive. It’s a real challenge to take a good and epic picture! For example, there are 3 types of baobabs in Kirindi, including Adansonia grandidieri. In Ifati there are two species, not as tall, but thicker.
I rode my motorcycle to Belo Tsiribihina from Murundava and the road is full of these baobabs.
There are quite photogenic piles on the road between Tulear and Murundava. But to get there is a pain in the ass…
The advantage of this particular alley of baobabs is that it is closest to the paved road and accessible year round. But, of course, these are not the only baobabs of the Adansonia grandidieri species on the island, nor are they the only places like this.
The locals, who live under the baobabs, have mastered the souvenir business.
The fruits and seedlings of baobabs are also in circulation.
Tourist women have encouraged children to take pictures. In Madagascar, people do not take pictures as eagerly as in Indonesia, but without any problems.
The hackneyed plot with a zebu cart against a background of baobabs.
I drove through there once in the daytime. The light, of course, is not the same, but still beautiful!
Moto – freedom in Madagascar! I go where I want!
A few kilometers further away from Baobab Alley there is another interesting place, Baobab Amoureux. These are two trunks of baobabs intertwined with each other. Love they have, as it’s not hard to guess.
Without love, it looks like this.
Well, I have this kind of love!
Visiting time: all year round. Entrance fee: none, parking moto 2000 ariari at each location, auto I think 4000.
How to get there
The best way to get there is by your own transport – a car with an English-speaking driver or a motorcycle. Or on an organized tour of Madagascar. But you can also see everything using public transportation. Planes fly to Murundava from Tana and there are cab cabs. Including the comfortable Cotisse for 50,000 ariari. It takes all day to get to the baobabs. Then you can take another bus from Murundava to Bela Tsiribihina, the fare is about 5 thousand Ariari.
Where to live
The nearest town with hotels is Murundava. You can also mix a visit to baobabs with a trip to Kirindi National Park and stay there. Or on the way to (from) Tsing to see and live in Belo Tsiribihina or Bekupaka.
Baobab Alley: The most scenic and incredible road on the island of Madagascar
Africa is a hot continent, but here you can find both lifeless deserts and lush green forests. 165 million years ago, the island of Madagascar separated from the continent, which today is considered one of the most unusual places on our planet. Flora and fauna here are absolutely unique. There are no leopards, hippos or even lions on the island. Nevertheless, Madagascar is very interesting! One of the most famous and unusual places on the island is the famous avenue of baobabs.
In the western part of the island, along a dirt road between the small towns of Murundavi and Beloni Tsiribihina, grow incredible giant baobabs. This road is one of the most popular and visited places in Madagascar. Although the road as such is an ordinary dirt road, the local scenery attracts travelers from all over the world.
The road is one of the most accessible places in Africa to see baobabs. Some of these giants are more than 800 years old. These unusual trees have no annual rings, and their trunk can grow up to 30 meters tall. At the same time, the diameter of the trunk can be 8-10 meters! In addition, the trunk can hold up to 120,000 liters of water, in fact, it is a huge reservoir that helps the endemic to survive through 10 months of drought a year.
Photo: Iraiidh (CC BY-SA 3.0)
One of the baobabs was even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. The diameter of the trunk is a record 54.5 meters and the diameter of the crown 38 meters.
The Baobab Alley in Madagascar is a unique place where you can see one of the six baobab species growing on the island. Today, the species Adansonia grandidier is in danger of extinction. Nevertheless, you can still see these unaccustomed giants here, which look like trees with roots instead of crowns.
The avenue is only a small part of the dense rainforest that once covered the island. With the development of agriculture, the extensive baobab forests have gradually been destroyed, and if the trend continues, the ultimate loss of a unique representative of the flora is likely. Since 2007, work has been underway in the area to create a National Monument of the country. One would like to believe that a National Park will soon be created here to help preserve these majestic trees.