Avenue of the Baobabs
MADAGASCAR The Avenue or Alley of the Baobabs is a prominent group of baobab trees in western Madagascar. Along the Avenue are about a dozen trees some 30 m in height, of the Adansonia grandidieri species, which is endemic to Madagascar. Baobab trees can be up to 800 years old and are known locally as renala (Malagasy for "mother of the forest"). They are a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on Madagascar. The trees did not originally tower in isolation over the scrub landscape but stood in a 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.