Traveling is one of our passions. Although we still have many places to visit and it is almost impossible for us to keep covering many of them, we are happy we decided to write at the top while choosing our latest destinations: The Baobabs Alley in Madagascar.
This is one of those places that you never regret visiting, and even when it seems simple when researching it, you notice it has a lot more to offer, like the Antelope Canyon in Arizona.
However, we understand why some people might be skeptical about visiting it: Because it looks like an alley full of baobabs only, and essentially, it is.
But when you give it a chance or decide to even go deeper into its history, what the place involves, and why people choose it as part of their destinations just like us, you get to love it even before knowing it.
Therefore, we want to make sure you know a bit more about it before making a decision without knowing much. For it, we will go over the details of the Baobab Alley in Madagascar and why it is an all-time destination.
Knowing Its Inception: The Baobab Alley’s History & Details
First, we need to start with its specific location and definition.
The Baobab Alley, which is also known as the Avenue of the Baobabs, is called in this way due to the prominent group of Grandidier’s baobab you can find in the area, which is lining the road between the city of Morondava and the town of Belon’i Tsiribihina.
By looking at some pictures, you will be amazed by the beauty of this natural monument. However, those stunning trees have been for years in the dirt road between the previous two locations, and before reaching the actual appearance, some factors were involved.
What we know about them is that these massive, dry-season deciduous trees (members of the Mallow family) can reach over 800 years old and have trunks more than 150 feet in diameter. However, they did not always stand on their own.
The trees that line the lane once belonged to a dense forest. Still, modern civilization and growing populations have led to massive deforestation and left the baobabs alone, which is why they are so precious to the community.
Although there are a few ancient trees that remain in the surrounding areas, the majority of trees along the road are at risk of being felled.
The first Arab seafarers visited the area a little over 1,000 years ago. They claimed that the devil had ripped them from the ground and turned them upside down, which is why their canopies look like roots.
Fortunately, local conservation efforts and private organizations took notice of the location and now promote efforts to make the avenue a national natural monument, which is the first for the country and was granted temporary protected status, which is why anyone who wants to visit Baobab Avenue needs to respect certain rules.
This effort will ensure that the trees can survive for 800 more years and, why not, even include more vegetation in the area.
Now, baobabs can be used in many ways. Their trunks can be used to tap water for water in dry seasons and even live inside them.
When they are edible, the young leaves are used as salad vegetables, and the nutritious, sour brown pulp of the hard-shelled fruits are used in Senegalese peanut and couscous dessert called Ngalakh.
They are found in novelty gardens in warmer regions of the Mediterranean and occasionally in California. They are hardy to zone 10a (minimum 30 to 35 F) and can survive for 8 to 10 hours in the snow.
Baobabs bloom, but their blooming time is only 24 hours, which makes them even more peculiar.
According to some legends, the tree was created by God to make it big, beautiful, and powerful.
The baobab is so majestic that all types of animals are known for resting in its shade, which made the tree too proud and eccentric. As punishment, it is said that God decided to plant them upside down, which is why the upper body of the baobabs looks like roots.
Visiting the Alley: Is It Worth the Time?
What many people find a bit illogical about the place is the fact that only 240 meters have them along the dirt road. This means only about 25 to 35 baobabs are in the area and it isn’t like they go a long way.
Therefore, should you really spend your time visiting the place just because of “some” trees? Well, believe it or not, you should.
Even when we mentioned that these trees are over 800 years old, real-time studies and research have noticed that the baobab trees are about 2,800 years old, which means they are a legacy of the old dense tropical forests that must have been beautiful to see on Madagascar.
As you might know (or maybe not), Madagascar is known for its beautiful vegetation and wildlife, which people try to preserve along with organizations and international institutions.
But with this information, we aren’t really telling you why you should visit the place or what people like it. The answer, however, is quite simple: Because it isn’t only about the baobab trees.
Since the alley is near the city and town previously mentioned, you can find more tourist activities to enjoy your time and have a look at the majestic trees every time you move from one to another.
Morondava Beach is a very famous destination for tourists, while the Kimony Beach Morondava also stands at the top of places to visit.
Some options for tourists include a day tour to Kirindy Park and Baobab Avenue included, while some food and specific places in the city and town are visited.
It is a bit different from what people would expect since the baobabs are located on a dirt road; visitors assume it will all be dust.
However, these assumptions are far from reality, and we can guarantee you the place is worth your time. You might even appear in some of the documentaries filmed in the location.
Some don’t really believe this is very protected by the local community and local residents. Finally, this striking landscape draws travelers without fail, making it one of the most visited locations worldwide.
6 Jaw-Dropping Facts About the Baobab Alley, Madagascar
- One of the beauties about the baobab trees is that you can find 7 out of 8 species, of which six are endemic to Madagascar. All of them are in the alley.
- You don’t need to pay a single penny for visiting the avenue since it is completely free.
- People near the avenue are doing as much as they can to plan more baobabs to preserve the trees and bring more food sources to the location.
- You should definitely visit the avenue during sunset if you want to get the best photos and views.
- You can stargaze at the alley and take photos of the Milky Way. Just set your alarm very early!
- You can find the famous “Baobabs in Love” that are two of the trees that become twisted to each other the larger they grow over the years. The location is only 7 kilometers far from the avenue where you can get to easily with some external links.
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