Continue to Morondava
On the bumpy dirt road we first go back to Belo-sur-Tsiribihina.
If you are not in a hurry to be at the photo shoot in time for sunset at the Allée des Baobabs, all the better: then you will have plenty of time for lunch at Mad Zebu. Either way, the ferry across the Tsiribihina gives you time to unwind for an hour or so. Then it's off by car on the red dusty RN 8 south. It is about 40 kilometers through a dry forest landscape, in which the first impressive Baobab already stretch their mighty trunks towards the sky. With a little luck you will see sifakas jumping around on the trees or running across the road.
In the midst of the dense gray and green, areas cleared by fire stand out again and again. In the immediate vicinity of the Kirindy and Analabe protected areas, the dramatic battle of man against nature is taking place here. After Beroboka-Sud, the journey continues south for 5 kilometers on the dusty national road.
You will come to another turnoff, this time to the left, into the middle of the seemingly impenetrable dry forest. If you turn here, it will be 5 kilometers straight through the jungle before you reach a large clearing: the Kirindy Forest Station is reached. Visits here are only worthwhile if you have special interests and enough time (at least one day and one night). It should not be concealed that Kirindy is mainly visited by scientists. Almost certainly you will meet German students from the Primate Research Institute in Göttingen. The establishment of the sanctuary is mainly due to the initiative of the Swiss CFPF (Centre de Formation Professionelle Forstiére).
Back on the main road, the journey continues southward. More and more mighty and impressive are the baobabs you now pass - some specimens are over 700 years old! Marofandilia, located about 45 kilometers north of Morondava, is the next big place on your route: a rather large village with a considerable attraction, the boutique d ́Art Sakalava. Originally founded with the help of the peace corps, the boutique is now under regional self-management.
The proceeds from the sale of the very high quality works of art go directly to the people of the village. Finally - about 12 kilometers north of Morondava - you come to perhaps the most famous attraction and one of the most famous photo motifs in Madagascar. If the baobabs you have seen so far on the roadside in the middle of the dry forest have been impressive enough, now follows a highlight of a special kind. The surrounding countryside has changed dramatically. Instead of the dry forest, a marsh and swamp landscape now stretches out before your eyes, dominated by the baobabs standing sporadically in the landscape.
They stand there like giant landmarks: remnants of a once huge forest made up of nothing but relatives of the species! Since the baobabs are considered sacred or at least worthy of protection, the remaining specimens have nothing to fear for the time being. The famous Allée des Baobabs consists of more than a dozen Baobabs of almost the same age on both sides of the track, whose bark is set into a magical glow by the red light of the setting sun at dusk. Assuming a cloudless evening sky (and not too many vazaha jumping around in front of your lens), this makes for magical photo opportunities.
Morondava ("On the Long Shores")
Today, Morondava has about 65,000 inhabitants. In the past, the city was an important center of the Sakalava and early on a trading center with seafarers, also from Europe.
Although Morondava hardly looks like a city at first glance, it does have the third largest port on the west coast. Coastal traffic continues to assure the city a certain importance. Morondava is less suitable for swimming - because of the sewage and sediments of the river.
For this, you should go to Kimony, located to the north. But a walk on the beach or a glass of rhum arrangée on the terrace of one of the bars on the shore at sunset time here still has its own magic...