Allée des Baobabs; roots of the sky

When you’ve got limited time to travel such a vast country as Madagascar, you’ve got to choose your route carefully. It was simple for us. We only had 12 days and we had to choose between the North, South, East or West. Either way, we wanted beach time, beautiful landscapes and culture. North and South would require many more days than 12.  As for the East, it sounds wonderfully tropical – but it would most likely rain. So we chose the West. Mostly because there are turquoise beaches, (although not at Morondava) it would not rain and one of the reasons my husband specifically wanted to visit Madagascar was to see the ‘Allee des Baobabs’, an avenue of sky-reaching baobab trees growing alongside a dusty road near the coastal town of Morondava.

Morondava Avenue of baobabs sunset

 

We had one afternoon available to see the baobabs. The next morning we’d be hopping on a boat and travelling to a remote coastal village called Belo-sur-mer. While there are plenty of baobabs in the West, there is only one place to see them all lined up alongside a road, perfectly positioned with a magnificent fiery sunset as a back drop. It’s so beautiful that it almost seems clichéd, a photo shopped scene designed for a postcard – of baobabs, a road and an African sunset. But this kind of alignment of trees earns its fame. It is simply beautiful…and everyone knows it!

Alles des baobabs

“I have not tired of the wilderness: rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and the star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities.” – Everet Ruess

Morondava agriculture

We got to the Avenue of Baobabs around 3:30 pm after tearing our kids away from the beach in Morondava. They couldn’t quite believe what they were hearing when ‘mom and dad’ told them to get back into the car and to drive again to see some big trees. Have they gone mad? What about catching crabs, swimming and building sandcastles – the important stuff? But we had to be quick – we’d heard and read about the Avenue of Baobabs. Not only are there plenty of baobabs, but there are plenty of tourists too and if you get there early enough, you might not have to rely on Photoshop to create a beautiful, remote post card looking scene!

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“Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.” – Michelle Held

Morondava boat launch

Launching a Pirogue boat at Morondava

Boat launch

African sailing

Morondava

Allée des baobabs, 20 kilometres outside of Morondava

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
― Chris Maser, Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest

Tourists in Morondava

This was almost an awesome shot!

Morondava tourists

While the sunset was absolutely spectacular, if we had had more time, I think I would have preferred an early morning experience instead. Though I know this is a famous landmark in Madagascar, I still like to believe that places like this are remote and undiscovered, even if it’s only for a moment, or the click of a camera when the road is clear.

Alles des baobabs (2)

“The size and height of the tree determines how heavily the ground will shake when it falls. The cassava tree falls and not even the pests in the forest are aware. The baobab tree falls and the whole forest looks empty! Such is human life!”
― Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes

Avenue of Baobabs