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Archive for October 19, 2016

Wednesday 19 October – Morondova to Bekopaka

Still very satisfied with yesterday’s afternoon at the Avenue de Baobabs with the chameleon as a support extra, I was pleasantly surprised when I started to recognise that wer were passing places that we had seen yesterday! Sure enough, we were driving back to the Avenue de Baobabs and enjoyed the opportunity to take some more images under quite different light conditions and with fewer tourists in the pictures.(S3468)

The Avenue is as much a staged tourist attraction as, for example, Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain back home. The Malagasy instinct seems to be to burn down nature with the intention to plant crops to feed the rapidly expanding population. As a result the Baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri and Adansonia za) stand as exposed soldiers on parade with little vegetation. Lots of market stalls where the locals earn their money from tourism rather than from agriculture. As we saw as we drove through the Avenue and on through a low dry forest, similar to the Caatinga forest in North Eastern Brazil, this is the usual habitat for these ancient giants, but of course it is a lot less inviting for tourists to fight their way through ‘thorns on everything’ shrubbery to get to the Baobabs.

S3468 - Natural Baobab habitat

The Baobab forest beyond the Avenue, where plants still grow in a low forest.

Deforestation in progress

Deforestation in progress

Les Amoureux

Two entwined baobabs known as Les Amoureux (Adansonia rubrostipa)

 

Ferry ride

First of two ferry rides to get to today’s destination, crossing the Tsiribihina river

Second ferry