Photographer: Sara Nastry
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The Avenue of the Baobabs (or Allée des Baobabs) is a prominent group of baobab trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in western Madagascar. Its striking landscape draws travellers from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region.
Baobab trees, up to 800 years old, known locally as renala (Malagasy for “mother of the forest”), are a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on Madagascar. The trees did not originally tower in isolation over the sere landscape of scrub but stood in dense forest. Over the years, as the country’s population grew, the forests were cleared for agriculture, leaving only the baobab trees, which the locals preserved as much in respect as for their value as a food source and building material.