Avenue of Baobabs

The Avenue of Baobabs is a magnificent stand of baobab trees which line a dirt road between western Madagascar's largest town of Morondava; and the smaller town of Belon'i Tsiribihina. The highlight is a 260 metres (850 feet) stretch of road where a stand of just over 20 of Madagascar's largest species of baobab are found. These are Grandidier's Baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri) whose cylindrical trunks can reach 3 metres diameter and 30 metres (100 feet) in height. A similar number can be found in nearby meadows and rice paddies.

The location is close to the start and end point of our journeys to the Kirindy dry forest reserve and the Bemaraha Tsingy, so we always make sure to stop here at sunrise and sunset. Lighting really brings alive the atmosphere these trees create; both in silhouette and in colourful light at the beginning and end of a day.

Conservation issues

The Avenue of Baobabs has been one of Madagascar's prime visitor sites for years, but has only been granted conservation status since July 2015. It is now a Natural Monument, which helps to protect the main trees, but the land beneath them has been cleared of most other natural vegetation. Continued disturbance through grazing, fires for slash and burn agriculture, makes low the chances of seedlings growing to replace large specimens. A growing international demand for the fruits of the Grendadier baobab, doesn't help with seed dispersal either.

Fortunately Grendadier baobabs are very long-lived, with some specimens at the Avenue of Baobabs estimated to be 2,800 years old!

Avenue of Baobabs Madagascar

If you want to see Grendadier baobabs within their natural environment surrounded by other vegetation, then the Kirindy Mitea National Park is a great place to do so; as is the Marofandilia Dry Forest Reserve where we also find a pair of Adansonia za baobab trees which have famously grown in an intertwined spiral. Called the Baobab Amoureaux, or Lovers Baobabs, these are another of Madagascar's 6 endemic species of baobab. Only 2 species exist outside of the country.

  • Local Communities grazing their Zebu cattle
  • Avenue of Baobabs at sunrise, Madagascar by Kathleen Varcoe
  • Grendadier Baobab - the tallest species

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  • Baobab trees are sometimes likened to trees uprooted and stuck in the soil the wrong way up


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