Baobabs, “The Tree of Life”
By Ale Coyote |
Baobabs are 30 meter-tall trees that have inspired writers and infuriated the gods who envied their beauty. Visit them in Madagascar.
MAJOR ATTRACTION MADAGASCAR
We know you are planning a trip to Madagascar Island where you hope to find enthusing landscapes with exotic and dreamy settings worthy of being immortalized through your camera. That’s why DINKtravelers recommends including baobabs in the list of subjects you want to photograph. We’ll tell you all about them in this article.
BAOBABS AND THE LITTLE PRINCE
When you walk along this beautiful island you’ll notice these huge cylinder-shaped trees. They’re called baobabs although they are also commonly known as “Adansonia” or “Tree of life”, and the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry liked them so much that he included them in one chapter of his famous book The Little Prince.
There are eight species of baobabs and they mainly grow in Central Africa and Madagascar. The best time to see them is during summer because that’s when they bloom and absorb humidity in order to store it in their ample trunks. In fact, they can store thousands of liters of water, enough to help them survive draughts for the rest of the year.
A baobab’s fruit is known as monkey bread and it measures from 10 to 40 centimeters. It has a hard peel, similar to that of a coconut. Inside you’ll find a bittersweet pulp that’s rich in nutrients like calcium, vitamins and fiber. On the other hand, a baobab’s seeds can be used as a substitute for coffee and their yellow or white flowers bloom only at night.
BAOBABS AT HOME
If you want to have a baobab at home, you’ll need to plant the seeds in a pot and water them every third day. When the plant grows, avoid watering it when its leaves fall because that’s when they’ll use the water they stored in their trunk. As far as space goes, don’t worry, they need approximately 200 years to grow 20-30 meters tall and have very leafy branches.
BAOBAB FUN FACTS
- In some parts of Africa they use the huge baobab dry trunks as houses. They say that a 400 year-old tree can harbor up to 20 people in its trunk, so some locals even use them as theme restaurants.
- The tree’s bark is so smooth that sometimes it’s used to elaborate baskets.
- They say that millions of years ago, this species of trees was so magnificent and leafy that the gods envied them and so they punished them by only allowing their roots to be visible.
Morondava, better known as “Baobabs Avenue” is lined by a handful of baobab trees that create a magnificent runway that tourists can photograph. It’s found in the Menabe region, west of Madagascar.