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Baobab Avenue

The Majesty of Baobab Avenue: A Unique Glimpse into the Iconic Baobab Trees of Ilerouge

Strolling along the baobab alley at sunset

The Avenue of Baobabs is a rare and magical place of unmatched natural beauty. Located 20km from Morondava in the Menabe region of Madagascar, it is home to about forty giant baobab trees along a dirt road leading to the banks of the Tsiribihina River. This iconic site was designated as a “Natural Monument” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2007, making it a protected area spanning 320 hectares.

These enormous baobab trees are aged over 800 years and are also known as “Renala,” meaning “mother of the forest.” Endemic to Madagascar, they include species such as Adansonia Za, A. rubrostipa, and A. grandidieri, representing survivors of extensive deforestation that reduced the original dense forest to just 10% of its former expanse.

Considered sacred, these trees cannot be used for everyday purposes like making furniture or fuel. However, their fruits are essential in producing essential oils and beauty products while their fibers are used in constructing roofs for houses.

According to legend, gods planted baobabs upside down due to their perceived excessive pride, resulting in their unique bottle-like trunks with branches only at the top. These impressive trees can grow up to 30 meters high and store up to 100,000 liters of water in their trunks.

During rainy seasons, baobabs sprout leaves and flowers that open for just a few hours before being pollinated by animals such as lemurs and bats that transport their precious nectar. In times of drought, they shed their leaves but remain resilient against both humid rainforests and arid dry seasons.

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The avenue of baobabs is a majestic and magical place, making it a must-see stop for any trip to the West-Central region.

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