Avenue of the Baobab: the place which we would skip, but ended up visiting!

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

Avenue of the Baobabs (or Alley of the Baobabs) is perhaps the most famous place in all of Madagascar. And we wouldn’t visit it. It was too far from our route so we would lose too many days and besides, a place, so touristy, that could only be disappointing? Well here I am, it is four o’clock in the morning, completely dark and I am standing on Avenue de Baobab, surrounded by tall trees and some Japanese photographers. In this blog, I will tell you why we still went to Avenue de Baobab and I will show you a lot of photos if it was worth it.Avenue des Baobabs

Why did we finally visit Avenue des Baobab?

Avenue des Baobab is located in western Madagascar, around 40 minutes from Morondava. We were planning to ride the RN7, which runs from Tana, all the way to the southern city of Tulear. To go to Avenue des Baobab (and Morondava), after Antsirabe, we would have to take the RN34 drive there in eight hours and then drive back to Antsirabe for another eight hours. That would not only be a big detour, but it would also be rather dull to drive the same part twice.

But Ries couldn’t get them out of his head, the dozens of baobabs that stood by the side of the road like a bunch of fat and stately gentlemen. He could not have travelled through Madagascar for two months and not have photographed the most famous icons of the country. Fortunately, there was Jonah from Ramartour, who convinced us to go anyway. We would not have to drive the same route twice if we were to travel south after Avenue des Baobab via the RN9. We were under the assumption that it was impossible to do that route without a guide, but Jonah said that with a little common sense and some courage this would certainly be possible. And so we travelled, while Ries’s was super happy, to Avenue des Baobab.Avenue de baobab

Fog, cold and Baobabs against a starry sky!

It is 10 degrees and very foggy. Not able to see a thing, I am standing on the side of the road. Shivering in the cold wind and surrounded by the clicking sound of cameras. We are on the Avenue fo the Baobab, together with a handful of other people, to photograph the famous trees against the dark starry sky. It is cold, but magical, especially with the mist hanging between the trees. Slowly it becomes lighter and the dark shadows take on more solid forms. Blue, purple, yellow, pink, the sky seems to take on any colour. Because the fog keeps hanging, even with full sunrise, the scene has something mysterious about it.

It’s all very different from the day before. At 15.00 we arrived at Avenue des Baobab, just the two of us, but that changes fast. In no time there are tripods everywhere and a few hundred people walk through the trees. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing compared to a touristic attraction like the Eiffel Tower. Yet there is little magic in it and it is secretly quite annoying that wherever you look (or photograph), people walk into your image.

After that amazing sunset, we quickly get back in the car to continue our way. We have no idea what awaits us now, the next seven days we will travel from Morondava to Tulear via a dirt road. Hopefully, it turns out fine!

Avenue de Baobab

Practical information about Avenue of the Baobab

You will reach Avenue des Baobab (also called L’allé des Baobab) after a dirt road of 5 kilometres, from Morondava it takes approximately 40 minutes. There is no admission fee, but you pay 2000 Ar (€ 0.50) to park your car. If you go by taxi, then you pay 50,000 Ar while the taxi driver keeps waiting for you and takes you back into the city.

Seven kilometres further on the dirt road, you will find Baobab Amoureux. These are two Baobabs that are entangled with each other. Funny to see but after hearing everyone rave about it, I expected more.Baobab Amoureux

At what time are there many tourists at Avenue des Baobab?

During sunset it is quite busy here (not as busy as with European tourist attractions, but 100-200 people), it is quieter in the morning, think twenty to thirty tourists. However, when we were at the Baobabs on the first day at 3 p.m., there was no one at all.

If you are on time just like us, take the time to photograph the Baobabs without tourists and then wait for the sunset while chilling on the brand new terrace that was built at the beginning of Avenue des Baobab. A great place to enjoy the view with a beer.Avenue des Baobabs

Where do you sleep at Avenue des Baobab?

There are no hotels near Avenue des Baobab, all hotels are in Morondava. We slept in the super cheap and clean Hotel Menabe, for just € 12.50. Looking for something more luxurious, then Chez Maggy, Select Hotel or the brand new Laguna beach might be suitable.Avenue de Baobab

Is Avenue des Baobab worth it?

Avenue des Baobab is definitely worth it, it’s a beautiful place that I certainly can recommend everyone to visit. However, keep in mind that it is no longer as undiscovered as it used to be. In old travel guides, you read about ten, twenty people that you will meet here at the busiest moment, that is no longer the case. The best time to be here is in the morning when there are relatively few other tourists. But if you go, go absolutely now! Who knows what this beautiful place will be like in a few years …Avenue de baobab

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