Baobabs in Madagascar

By Nick Stooke
This item appears on page 21 of the January 2022 issue.
At sunset, the majestic trees along Baobab Alley in Madagascar create amazing silhouettes. (This panorama was stitched together from six photos.) Photo by Nick Stooke

My wife, Michaele, and I and another couple we often travel with booked a private 10-day trip to Madagascar through Kensington Tours (Wil­mington, DE; 888/903-2001, in June 2016. It started with a side excursion to Morondava, in the central portion of the country’s west coast.

The morning of our all-day outing, we were up before sunrise and ate breakfast by candlelight, since the city’s generators were not yet running. We then drove east for a while and turned onto the RN35 (Route Nationale 35), a dirt road that took us past majestic Grandidier’s baobabs that towered over the landscape.

Our primary destination was a game preserve in Kirindy Forest, where we hiked and sighted several species of lemurs. After lunch and a visit to the two intertwined trees called Baobab Amoureux, or “Baobabs in Love,” our guide was eager to take us back along a stretch of RN35 nicknamed Avenue of the Baobabs, with giant trees growing along each side.

He had us walk down the road, then positioned us at a special spot on the east side, where we could watch the setting sun as the skies turned reddish orange and the trees became giant silhouettes as if from a fairy tale.

The next day, the four of us flew to Antananarivo in the central part of the island, where we picked up a van with a driver/guide and started a fascinating multiday drive to Toliara, a city in the southwest corner of the country.

O’Fallon, IL