Our world is full of spectacular streets and beautiful boulevards but nowhere is a stretch of road so naturally magnificent as the Avenue of the Baobabs: a majestic grove in Madagascar's outback where towering Baobabs rise up alongside a dusty dirt track. For anyone drawn towards jaw-dropping landscapes - this place is for you. We have all the information on how to get there and what to expect.
Where is the Avenue of Baobabs? 🌍
The 260m stretch of road that's stolen the hearts of many travellers is located in Western Madagascar.
How to visit
The only way to reach the Avenue of Baobabs is by road. This means either renting your own vehicle (Madagascan road trip anyone?), arranging a taxi from the closest town Morondava (21km away) or hiring a guide and getting a tour bus to the trees:
🚌 By Tour Bus: Pre-arranged visits the Baobabs can be done through tour companies which mostly depart from Morondava. Try to find a local Madagascan guide or company which will support the local economy. This tour looks great.
🚕 By Taxi: Getting a taxi from Morondava is easily arranged once you are in the town or before travelling. Communicating with locals or with your accommodation hosts will be a quick way to arrange the drive which costs about €11 (it takes 45 minutes each way and the driver will wait for you).
🚜 With your own Vehicle: The roads aren't smooth streams of asphalt but renting an off-roader will get the job done and make for an ✨ extra ✨ epic adventure! Road Trip Africa is a good option and rents out 4x4's for €69 per day (this includes round the clock road assistance, full insurance and unlimited kilometres).
Tip: There is a small parking fee of about 50 cents when you arrive.
Regardless of how you arrive we recommend you depart from Morondava which is not only the closest town to the Avenue (a 45 minute drive), but a beautiful place in its own right.
When is the best time to visit? 🌞
Sunset and sunrise are sublime times to lay witness to this landscape. Driving along the road and watching the silhouettes of the baobabs draw near against an orangey-pink African sky will be a delicious travel moment.
But don't expect to be the only ones visiting; small tour groups and other visitors often pick sunset as a prime time to get supreme views of the trees. If you want to visit at quieter times (locals use the road as part of their daily routines) 2-4pm is a good time to arrive. Or wake up very early and visit at dawn.
What's the best month to visit Madagascar?
Timing your trip to perfection means thinking about the best month to visit the trees. The surrounding landscape and the appearance of the baobabs shifts quite dramatically depending on the season:
January to March: many skip visiting the island during these months which is Madagascar's rainy season, but cheaper accommodation and fewer tourists will be the off-season perks! (note: February is the month when cyclones can hit the island).
Late March to May: these months mark the beginning of Madagascar's dry season which means the land and trees will be flush with leaves and new growth. March and April will be relatively quieter times to visit the island.
September to December: the most popular time to visit Madagascar due to the hot, dry temperatures which makes ideal beach weather.
What to know before you visit 🌱
Here are a few quick facts and tips to read ahead of your Avenue adventures:
- The regal baobabs rising from the road are Grandidier's Baobabs - a species endemic to the island of Madagascar.
- In Malagasy, the locals call the baobab "renala" which translates to "mother of the forest".
- The trees are estimated as being up to 2,800 years old! 🤯
- Madagascar has suffered huge deforestation and a loss of trees over the years so savour visiting these remaining giants - they used to be part of a huge tropical baobab forest.
Top Tip #1: Even though visiting the Avenue is free (apart from the small parking fee) we recommend supporting any local businesses you pass. There is a tourist information centre near the trees which sells drinks and snacks.
Top Tip #2: In the spirit of conservation, we recommend you plant your own baobab during your visit! Look out for a baobab nursery or ask around for it (reports say it's not well marked). It will cost about €2.