17th June 2015
Head of Group Tours Marc has just returned from a two week recce around Madagascar. Below he talks about the appeal of the country's fascinating baobab trees.
It seems that everyone likes a good baobab and that they invite universal acclaim a bit like the Taj Mahal... or penguins.
What is it though about these ‘upside down’ trees that is so appealing? The exact nature of their charm may be hard to pin down, but when viewed at sunset or sunrise in particular their aesthetic allure is undeniable.
Of the eight species of baobab found globally, Australia and the African mainland are home to just one each. The other six are to be found only in Madagascar (which also, by the way, has the species found on the African mainland). Madagascar is therefore without question the best place in the world for seeing these magnificent trees and that’s just one of the reasons why I am here.
Yet despite baobab trees featuring prominently in promotional material about Madagascar, most visitors to the country rarely get to see more than a few scant examples at the very southern end of the asphalted Route National 7 or inside the special reserve at Reniala.
More adventurous souls will need to head, as I did, for Morondava and the famed “Avenue of the Boababs”. This place does not disappoint and while I have been fortunate to visit many memorable sunset spots around the world, this has become my newest bestest favourite.
However it was beyond the “Avenue of the Baobabs” – on the rough and rarely travelled road south of Morondova towards Morombe – that the largest and most enticing baobabs were to be found, appearing unexpectedly (but always photogenically) either as lone guardians of a remote village or in small clusters in the spiny forest. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I became a bit of a baobab-addict and have literally hundreds of shots of baobabs from along this route (with which I’ll be sure to bore my long-suffering family), but I have been kind and included just a few here as a taster of the delights that the beautiful baobab can offer. Enjoy!