The baobab, spared from deforestation thanks to its inability to be used for construction, is one of the emblems of Madagascar. Therefore, it is impossible to visit the Red Island without treading through Baobab Alley, some 12 miles north of Mondorava. Listed as a Natural Monument Protected Area, this small piece of the island offers some magnificent scenery that is particularly exquisite when the sun is ablaze in the sky during sunset and sunrise.
A dozen specimens over 800 years old line the dirt road. These centenary trees are actually the subject of worship, as can be seen with the 'sacred baobab', on the side of the RN35. A place of worship where the Madagascans come to honour their ancestors by laying bottles, conches and fabrics before it.
This large island is home to six of the eight species in the world, compared to only one in Africa. In fact, there are many myths surrounding these trees. One is that the Gods, offended by the plant's inordinate pride, decided to replant it upside down. A more romantic one is that couples who come to admire the entwined baobabs will have good luck.