Allée des Baobabs

Top choice in Western Madagascar

One of Madagascar's most recognisable images, this small stretch of the RN8 between Morondava and Belo-sur-Tsiribihina is flanked on both sides by majestic Adansonia grandidieri baobabs. Some of the trees here may be 1000 years old, with huge, gnarled branches fanning out at the top of their trunks – it’s easy to see why they’ve been nicknamed ‘roots of the sky’.

The actual stretch of road is shorter than many visitors expect, but even this brief concentration in honour-guard formation is without parallel anywhere else in the country.

The best times to visit Allée des Baobabs are at sunset and sunrise, when the colours of the trees and surrounding earth deepen and the long shadows are most pronounced. That said, every vehicle driving down from Parc National Bemaraha aims to get here around sunset and it can therefore be very busy, particularly during the park’s high season (July to September).

With popularity has arisen a small-scale local industry, with an excellent facility set up by the local community at the southern entrance to the Allée. It includes a gorgeous gift shop selling local handicrafts, lemur field guides and baobab jam or oils, as well as a coffee shop/bar, superclean toilets and a small breakfast restaurant. The whole complex opens at 5am and closes after the last sunset visitors leave. The handicraft shops across the road are part of the same setup. It's a worthy project that deserves your support. Parking costs Ar2000 per vehicle.

If you don’t plan to see the Allée on your way to/from attractions north of Morondava ( Parc National Bemaraha, Tsiribihina or Réserve Forestière de Kirindy), a taxi from Morondava town costs at least Ar60,000 return. All tour operators in Morondava can also help you out.