25 Feb Watching Sunset at Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
“I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. I feel as if this tree knows everything I ever think of when I sit here. When I come back to it, I never have to remind it of anything; I begin just where I left off.” ~ Willa Cather”
There’s something I really like about trees.
I can’t quite put my finger on why- perhaps its their quirky shapes, perhaps its the way they sway in the breeze, perhaps its the fact that they will outlive all of us. Out of all the trees in the world, Baobabs have to be the best looking of all.
The most memorable moment of my entire trip to Madagascar has to be watching sunset at Avenue of the Baobabs, located on a dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the west of the country. Baobab trees are incredibly striking with their unique shape and the avenue features roughly 20-15 of them on either side of the dirt road. The trees are roughly 30 metres tall and this particular species- Adansonia grandidieri- is endemic to Madagascar.
We passed the Avenue of the Baobabs in the morning on our way to the Kirindy Reserve and got out of the jeep briefly to take photos, but the real draw is the sunset.
I have to admit, after a very long day hiking around the Kirindy Reserve and then waiting around for 3 hours in the heat of the day for the temperatures to cool down, I was quite ready to skip the sunset and go straight back to my gorgeous bungalow in the Palissandre Hotel. We had already stopped to see the ‘Sacred Baobab’ and the ‘Lover Baobab’ and by this point I was a bit Baobab-ed out.
I’m so glad I stuck around for sunset though because it was one of those moments I won’t forget in a hurry. My journalist friend Rob and I bought some beers from the roadside and sat on a big empty veranda with a bunch of Scandinavian girls who were in Madagascar volunteering as nurses for part of their university studies. We chatted for a while, then as the sun began to set, the Baobabs began to shine a sort of red colour from one side. I walked around getting pictures from all different angles but the best photo I took was looking right down the road, as a man herded his cattle across the dirt track.
I’ll leave you with some of the photos I captured…
Air France flies to Antananarivo in Madagascar from 14 UK Airports, via Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Return fares start from £818, including taxes and fees. For further information and to book, visit www.airfrance.co.uk.