Avenue of the Baobabs

The Avenue of the Baobabs is a picture of perfection. The unique formation and size of the baobab tree is dramatic and captivating. Though baobabs can be seen all around the country, this particular route is especially striking with the entire road lined with these magnificent trees. The road is situated in west Madagascar in the Menabe region between Belon’I Tsiribihina and Morondava. It is located on the west coast of the island, between Andranomena Reserve and one of the country's national parks, Kirindy Mitea. The Avenue of the Baobabs is one of the most visited, and most unique, in all the region.

"Baobab" is the common label given to the Adansonia genus which contains eight tree species. Six of the baobabs are native to Madagscar while the two others are native to Australia and the Africa mainland. Baobab’s live up to 1,000 years, reach heights of almost 100 feet, and widths around 40 feet. They are also called bottle trees, boabs, upside-down trees, and boaboas.

Baobabs may be beautiful to look at but they also give life to many. Often called the “Tree of Life,” baobab trees are the lifeblood of many people and animals living in Africa’s Savannah regions; they provide water, food, shelter, and even clothing. The bark is reminiscent of cork, and can be utilized to make rope and cloth. Leaves are harvested for medicinal use and for condiments. Storing more than 120,000 liters of water, the baobab tree trunk is drained for water during the dry season when drought is common. It is common to see old, hollow trunks transformed into shops, storage roms, barns, and more. 

Recognizing the need to protect the Avenue of the Baobabs, the government granted a temporary stay for protection to the alley in 2007, creating Madagascar’s first and only natural monument. There are more than a dozen baobabs along the avenue, some that are more than 750 years old. Visitors can find tours out of Morondava, a city just 45 minutes south of the attraction.

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