On our way south of Bekopaka, we start to see baobabs, and their number increase on our way to the famous Allée des Baobabs, or Alley of Baobabs near Morondava. We are unfortunate to have several serious problems with our 4WD, which means that our driver is reluctant to stop (his clutch doesn't work, the tank falls off and has to be tied to the bottom of the car, the car is difficult to start, and other, smaller issues) apart from many stops to try and keep the car moving. It means we arrive at the Allée des Baobabs much later than we had wanted. A crowd of tourists walks on the sandy road, locals try to look for opportunities to earn some money. I decide to concentrate on the enormous baobabs above me, the tallest and most elegant of all baobabs: the Andansonia Grandidieri.
Unlike other baobabs, this kind has a tall trunk, with branches only at the top. It only underlines their height, and makes them very photogenic. The iconic image is to see the sun set behind the line of baobabs, thus making their silhouettes stand out against the orange sky. It is indeed a fantastic sight. Madagascar actually has 6 out of 9 kinds of baobabs to be found worldwide. On our drive from Morondava to Tuléar, we see other kinds as well. In fact, we see so many baobabs, some of them clustered like those at the Allée des Baobabs, we end up finding those anonymous baobabs more attractive, if only because we have them solely for ourselves. We see amazingly thick baobabs, ones with thick branches, more elegant ones; sturdy, low ones, ones which seem to have been painted on by an artist but which turns out to be the work of nature.
Close to Belo sur Mer, we find a group of bottle-shaped baobabs, and buy baobab fruits on the market. At first, we think it is only possible to suck the hard seeds inside, until we discover that the seeds hide a nut which tastes like pistachio and they become a snack on our drive south. Our young driver is now also enthusiastically spotting baobabs, and on or long drives, it is the main reason for a stop. Many baobabs seem to have holes in them to climb, which I try, but it turns out a little harder than I expected. Actually, baobabs store an enormous amount of water in their trunks for dry periods, which explains their sturdiness. For days, we enjoy spotting baobabs, also because every single baobab is unique, after they disappear from the landscape on our way to the interior of the island.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Madagascar baobabs (Madagascar). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Madagascar baobabs.
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