Baobab of Madagascar

Beauty is God 's sign
( Charles Kingsles )


The 6 endemic species of Baobab of Madagascar, by Ravo.Madagascar
Birdwatching at 6 a.m. at Kirindy western dry forest
Ravo.Madagascar 2019 ©


Legend of the Baobab tree :

Many years ago, a big tree was very proud. It has boasted about its beauty and has done this against other plants & against God. So God has decided to punish it, He puts its top & its branches into the earth and left its roots in the air.


Adansonia (Baobab scientific name )
is a genus containing 8 species of trees,

Native to Madagascar ( having 6 species ), mainland Africa and Australia ( one species in each ). The mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island. The scientific name Adansonia honours Michel Adanson, a French naturalist and explorer who described Adansonia digitata ( see below : the 7 species of Baobabs ).


Adansonia (Baobab scientific name ) is a large wonderful tree,

With massive cylindrical trunks, bottle-shaped or irregularly gnarled. The baobab has 50 cm of high only after 7 years old, but it can last 1500 years old and more ( 3000 years old ). The species reach heights of 5 to 30 metres ( 16 to 98 ft ) and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 metres ( 23 to 36 ft ). Its root is as deep as its trunk ; and its root is like a carrot under the ground. The baobab increases just 1 mm per month that means the baobab increases just ... 12 mm per year. And finally termites don't eat baobab wood because baobab wood is wet and termites prefer to eat dry wood.


Baobabs of Madagascar by Ravo.Madagascar - Baobabs Avenue

Baobabs of Madagascar by Ravo.Madagascar - Baobabs Avenue
Baobabs of Madagascar by Ravo.Madagascar - Baobabs Avenue


Baobab tree

Has fibrous wood including a high water content ( up to 120 000 litres ). This water helps baobab tree to endure the harsh drought conditions in arid areas, and are deciduous, shedding their leaves during the dry season. So leaves are produced only during the wet season. The bark is smooth. The baobab sets fruits in the late dry season. The fruit is an indehiscent capsule.

The seeds are numerous, enveloping with a cream-coloured pulp which is high in vitamin C. Seeds too are high in protein & oil and may be traded for oil extraction. With its fibrous bark, people make hats, baskets, ropes, clothes, musical instrument strings. It provides a source of fiber, dye, and fuel.



Baobab of Madagascar, picture of Ravo.Madagascar
Many thanks to Edward FLETCHER ( from England )
for his precious information


The 7 species of Baobabs in Madagascar are :

  • 1- Adansonia grandidieri ( Brevitubae ) = Grandidier's Baobab
  • 2- Adansonia suarezensis ( Brevitubae ) = Suarez Baobab, in Diego Suarez
  • 3- Adansonia madagascariensis ( Longitubae ) =
    Madagascar Baobab, in Anjajavy forest
  • 4- Adansonia za ( Longitubae ) = Za Baobab
  • 5- Adansonia rubrostipa ( Longitubae - alias Adansonia fony ) =
    Fony Baobab, in Ifaty area
  • 6- Adansonia perrieri ( Longitubae ) =
    Perrier's Baobab, in the North of Madagascar
  • 7- Adansonia digitata ( the one African species ) = African Baobab

This last species was introduced in Yemen, Oman, India, Sri Lanka, ... The only Australian species is Adansonia gibbosa alias Adansonia Gregorii = Australian Baobab.



The Baobab in Africa,

In Africa, Baobab leaves are commonly used as a leaf vegetable, ( in Malawi, in Zimbabwe, and in the Sahel area ). They are eaten both fresh and as a dry powder. In Nigeria, the leaves are locally known as kuka and are used to make kuka soup.

The Baobab fruit is nutritious and having more vitamin C than oranges. Also known as " Sour gourd " or " Monkey's bread ", the dry fruit pulp separated from seeds and fibers is eaten directly or mixed into porridge or milk or water. Sometimes the dry fruit pulp is covered in sugary coating and sold in packages as a sweet and sour candy called " buui ".

The Baobab dry pulp is either eaten fresh or used to add to gruels on cooling after cooking ( a good way of preserving the vitamin contents ). It can also be ground to make a refreshing drink. In Tanzania, it is added to aid fermentation of sugar cane for beer making.


The Baobab of Mahajanga, Madagascar,

( = Majunga, a town in the North West of Madagascar ) is an Adansonia digitata. It's the biggest tree in Madagascar with 21,70 metres of circumference. But it's not tall because it has only 10 metres of high. It can have more than 900 years old ( but only radiocarbon dating may be able to provide true age data ) and it has been planted by Arab traders who used to do this habit in the main place of the region where they passed by.

To admire Baobabs in Madagascar,

The best area is the middle West ; that is to say the region between Belo sur Tsiribihina and Andavadoaka, passing by Morondava, Ankevo, Belo sur Mer, Morombe and the natural reserves & national parcs of Andranomena & Kirindy. You can go there only by using good 4 WD vehicle.



Baobab of Madagascar
Ravo & the Baobabs of Andavadoaka
Gilles Peltriaux's picture - Aug 2003

A healthy tree bears good fruit, but a poor tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a poor tree cannot bear good fruit ( Matthew 7 : 17 - 18 )


The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. It's the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it's the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches ( Jesus in Matthew 13 : 31 - 32 )


But « the Baobabs before to be so big was little » he said with wisdom ( Antoine de Saint-Exupéry )




To discover Madagascar
its Baobabs
, and its Lemurs

Madagascar is an island of emotions. Because of its insularity, it kept its traditions, its habits and customs, its fauna and flora with a high endemic character. Madagascar has become very attractive for the amateur in search of new discovery and emotions through hiking and trekking.

I'm pleased to help you and to give you useful advice for a tour in Madagascar and to give you entire satisfaction to see Baobabs. With my experience in tourism through Madagascar's National Parks and Reserves since ... 1993 I'm especially capable of providing all kind of travel arrangements. Please feel free to contact me for a customized itinerary ( individual tours, groups, essentials road trip, treks and adventurous trip, in luxury hotels, in tents and bivouac, etc. ). To organise your trip and to guide you to make your trip pleasing and unforgetable. No one who visits the island is left unaffected either by the warmth and hospitality of the Malagasy people. Madagascar is the kingdom of lemurs, the kingdom of baobabs and the kingdom of chameleons.

Go to Madagascar if you love wildlife nature. With the famous Allée of Baobabs nearby Morondava at sunset.



I have worked in tourism in my country since ... 1993 till now as tour guide. So ... a lot of experiences ;-)

I love my country, Madagascar. I love public relations.
I love nature. I love people. I love trips.

These passions are what makes me good at my job. Thomas Peters said: « Success at work depends on passion ». I have passionate interest in tourism. And it's a pleasure for me to invite you to visit my wonderful country : Madagascar thank you.

For more details thank you to contact me at :

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Baobab of Madagascar
Loving Baobabs
( Morondava area )

The West area of Madagascar

has a dry climate and is characterised by wide plains, uninhabitated beaches, rolling hills and deciduous forests. The lack of roads is one of the attractions and is ideal for walkers. The tourism infrastructure is the least developed of the island. The West is a must for adventure travellers.

The two biggest towns in this area are MAHAJANGA which is the most beautiful town in Madagascar ( as for me, a town with full of charm and with the kindest people of the country ) and MORONDAVA. Both are coastal towns and both are the Sakalava kingdoms, the first for the Sakalava of Boina and the second for the Sakalava of Menabe. I've spent my childhood in Mahajanga, so I know the town very well. Hubert & Marie-Colette Dupuis were very satisfied of their trip in this big town ( where you can see the biggest baobab of Madagascar ) in 2008. Morondava is a strategic centre for visits to the baobab forests, to the famous Avenue of Baobabs and to the famous Tsingy of Bemaraha.







Clients' Testimonies after their trips in Madagascar :

• Ravo is a real professional guide, in a country where professionalism is sometimes lacking. He is good at planning a trip, and always seizes an opportunity when there is one. An example : once our small group of eight made a short train journey, just to get the feel of train travel in Mada - as the locals call Madagascar -. It was interesting to see how the arrival of the train shook up the quiet lives of the villagers who came to the station to sell their goods and to watch and be part of the conundrum. After the train journey our two drivers with their SUVs were to come and pick us up. As it happened, they were not there when we got out of the train. Flat tyre ? engine trouble ? out of petrol ? Who knows. To make good use of the time we had to wait, Ravo took us to a nearby health centre. We could see with our own eyes how this centre was lacking in even basic medical equipment. Ravo also seized the opportunity to explain us how heath care works ( or doesn't work ) in Mada, and what the different levels of health care consist of. Ravo is a very congenial man who is always friendly and who never loses his temper. I can recommend him to any possible visitor of the splendid Isle of Madagascar.
René Weemaels ( English teacher )
Laarheide 282 - 1650 Beersel - Belgium


• With 8 friends we toured for 3 weeks Madagascar from west to east. Ravo had organised the trip from A to Z and considering all the imponderables of travelling in Africa, it all turned out just great. What we particularly appreciated : his good humour and his resourcefulness under any circumstance. Just one example, the 8 of us being of unequal fitness, he always managed to find us several guides to walk us on different tracks through the various parks ( Tsingy, Isalo, Andringitra ) such that all of us would equally enjoy the journey, and we did. What to say more : try out Ravo, you won’t regret it, on the contrary, you’ll have not only a lifetime memory of a stunning country but a new ‘friend’.
Colette Billiard & Erik Segers ( Belgium )


• In « LinkedIn » another person has written :
Ravo did concoct us a customised journey to discover Madagascar. He listened to our wishes, gave us many suggestions before and during the tour. He’s very skilled and can adapt to all sorts of clients. We sincerely recommend to all those who would love to discover this big island to contact this outstanding guide.
Isabelle Burcheri & Emmanuel Leborgne ( Canada )


• In « » :
Dear Ravo. Thank you so much. The tour has been really excellent. Your knowledge is fantastic and thanks for your patience and help with our requested focus on plants - you have really found great guides. Thanks for sharing 3 weeks on the road, a long time and lots of adventures but very rewarding and lots of fun ! We have learnt so much about the people, landscapes, plants and animals of Madagascar. Thanks for a wonderful itinerary.
Susan Wake & Mark Locquat ( New Zealand )


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Baobab of Madagascar - Grandidier s Baobab

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Baobabs - Morondava area Madagascar
Ravo's 2012 Pictures ©




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the famous Baobabs Avenue in Madagascar - Christian thought the famous Baobabs Avenue in Madagascar - Christian thought the famous Baobabs Avenue in Madagascar - Christian thought




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