Trip to Morondava between baobab forests and endless beaches

14 and 15 June 2013 

Morondava is located on the west coast of central Madagascar and is home to a large population of large baobab trees that sometimes form mini-forest with other trees and shrubs have which have adapted to the long periods of drought. The wide sandy beach of Morondava see the frantic activity of local fishermen who go to sea with their small and traditional sailing boats.

Morondava is a town located along the west coast of Madagascar and is separated from the sea by a miles-long beach that multiplies its width during low tide.
Beach in Madagascar

The large beach of Morondava composed of fine sands and more compact sands where you do not sink
A football match on the beach
The beach becomes a meeting place for local, particularly young people who organize football matches or go to some strategic point for fishing..
Malagasy traditional boat
Meanwhile, under the warm light of sunset, fishermen are working from their sailing boats typical of Madagascar.
Morondava beach
The beach of Morondava at sunset..
Morondava beach Morondava - Madagascar
Photo of Morondava. The traditional boats for the fishing boats on the beach.
Grandidier baobab tree

Baobab pictures. Morondava and the surrounding region is famous for the presence of many baobab trees, in particular of the baobab Adansonia grandidieri, also known by the name of "Grandidier's baobab"
The baobab trees are sometimes found between rice and other products fields. This tree is placed in the popular beliefs of the native tribes, who consider it as a sacred home of the spirits of the people who are gone. For this reason, they are not cut down , but the overall degradation due to agricultural use, is producing a change in the ecosystem of the region, which is highly threatening these beautiful trees.
Height of a baobab
Photos of baobab tree. The baobab Adansonia grandidieri can reach 30 meters in height and develop a trunk with a diameter of 3 meters.
Baobab photo. The foliage of the baobabs Grandidier is made up of branches with leaves present only during the austral summer (rainy season). In the remaining months the trees are bare.
Menabe in Madagascar Menabe
Photo of Adansonia grandidieri in Madagascar. The baobab Adansonia grandidieri is endemic to the region Menabe (south-western Madagascar) and are not found in any other part of the planet.
Baobab picture. Magnificent is then the "Road of the Baobab", locally known as "Baobab Avenue" or "Allée des baobabs," where these ultra-secular huge trees surround a dusty road.
Baobab Forest
Allee des baobabs

Photos of baobab Grandidier along the "Allee des baobabs," (baobab alley) the highway 8 that connects Morondava to Bekopaka. In the Malagasy language these baobab are called "renala".

The Menabe region, in south-western Madagascar is home to three of the six species of baobab trees endemic to Madagascar. The other two species are Adansonia rubrostipa recognizable by the trunk that looks like a giant carrot and Adansonia za with a more erect trunk.
Adansonia rubrostipa
Young specimens of Adansonia rubrostipa and Adansonia za.
Other big baobab near a group of huts..
Baobab size

The huge trunk of the baobab tree that can reach and even exceed the diameter of three metres.
The baobab trunks intertwined, locally also called " love baobab"
Adansonia Baobab Adansonia

Big specimens of Adansonia isolated in the landscape made barren by the deforestation that plagues the region (as well as a large part of Madagascar). In these conditions the seeds produce little plants that root with difficulty, putting at risk the continuation of the species.
Baobab of  Morondava
Baobab in Madagascar

The impressive baobab trees along the "Baobab Alley" avenue.
The high trunk of a baobab.
Baobab Alley
Baobab Avenue pictures. The warm glow of sunset lights up the Road of Baobab (Baobab Alley), while local people normally carry out their activities.
Baobab alley
Allee des baobab
Sunset among baobab trees
The sunset on the Road of Baobab..
Adansonia grandidieri Baobab trunk
Although the Adansonia grandidieri, like other baobabs, is respected or even worshipped by the local tribes, shadows are on the future of the species, because of the degradation of environmental conditions due to agriculture and sheep-farming, which do not allow the young plants to root successfully. The IUCN, the 'International Union for Conservation of Nature, classifies this species, alas, as "in danger of extinction."
Night falls on the Road of Baobab.
Chez Maggie Morondava

A Morondava accommodation in a nice lodge on the beach, equipped with all comforts (Chez Maggie).

Geko Phelsuma Phelsuma madagascariensis
A beautiful and colorful gecko Phelsuma madagascariensis comes to visit me in the bathroom of the bungalow..

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English translation by Lorena Anzani.