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Reakaly baobab (Ampanihy baobab)

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 24.6677 S 44.5622 E (mistake up to 5,000 m)
No:460        (list of all attractions)
Category:Trees
Values:Visual, Biology
Rank:5
Address:Africa, Madagascar, Atsimo-Andrefana Region, 22 km north-west from Ampanihy town, in a small grove near Reakaly village
Species:Adansonia za (Baill.)
Circumference:23 m

It is well possible that the giant baobab near Reakaly village at Ampanihy town is the largest tree in Madagascar. The trunk of this beautiful tree has a circumference of some 23 m.

Baobabs of Madagascar

Out of nine species of baobabs which are known to science in Madagascar grow six species of baobabs out of nine known to the science. All these six species grow exclusively in Madagascar. These baobabs are:

  • fony baobab (Adansonia rubrostipa) - comparatively smaller baobab, but with very impressive, bottle shaped trunk. Found in the western part of Madagascar.
  • Grandidier's baobab (Adansonia grandidieri) - enormous, beautiful tree, one of symbols of Madagascar. These trees are increasingly rare and grow only in the dry tropical forests of south-western Madagascar. A group of these trees forms the famous "Avenue of Baobabs".
  • Madagascar baobab (Adansonia madagascariensis) - large tree, found in the north of the island.
  • Perrier's baobab (Adansonia perrieri) - large, up to 30 m tall tree which is very rare and found only in the north of island.
  • Suarez baobab (Adansonia suarezensis) - large trees with characteristi flat-topped crown, found only in the north of the island.
  • za baobab (Adansonia za) - most common baobab in Madagascar, reaches very large size.

Largest tree in Madagascar?

Reakaly village is located in the south-west of Madagascar - an area with the unique Madagascaran dry forest ecosystem. This eerie landscape is adorned with spiky, greyish-brown plants of fantastic forms.

Not far from this village is located a sacred tree - baobab of giant size. This picturesque tree is surrounded by a small grove of smaller trees and bushes and is revered by locals for centuries long. According to local legends, in the 12th century in the hollow (approximately 20 m² large) of this tree were hiding people of Zanakang clan from the hostile Fahavalo clan.

This fantastic tree belongs to Adansonia za species. Trunk of the tree has a circumference of 23 m, what makes it the largest known tree in Madagascar. Plaque at the tree notes that the circumference is 27 m, but this, most likely is circumference at the ground level.

In the hollow of Reakaly baobab live hundreds of bats, countless cocroaches and other living beings. Under the tree lives (or lived?) even Madagascar ground boa.

Images of this tree are available here:

Map

See Reakaly baobab (Ampanihy baobab) on the map of Madagascar!

Reakaly Baobab is included in the following list:

Map of 10 stoutest trees in the world

10 stoutest trees of the world

References

  1. Jérôme Hutin, Madagascar, Venerable Trees. Accessed in the 30th June 2014.

 

Landmarks of Madagascar

Baobabs in Madagascar
Baobabs in Madagascar / , / CC BY-SA 2.0

Highlights of Madagascar are:

  • Karst features. Unique are tsingy - "forests" of giant limestone blades, but very interesting are also enormous sinkholes and diverse caves - f.e. some isolated patches of primeval forest on the bottoms of giant sinkholes in Ankarana are available only through crocodile infested cave rivers.
  • Unusual ecosystems teeming with endemic animals and plants. Some 75% of Madagascar's animals and plants are found only here and numerous species are found only in certain small patches of forests or mountains. The dry forests of southern Madagascar represent a very unusual ecosystem, visually very different from other ecosystems of the world.
  • Gorgeous and rare gemstones. Almost anywhere in Madagascar can be found gemstones, such as some of the most beautiful sapphires, beryls and tourmalines in the world. In Madagascar have been found the largest crystals in the world - up to 18 m long beryls.

Trees

Tree Of Life, Bahrain
Tree Of Life, Bahrain / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Category includes some of the most impressive and interesting separate trees of the the world. Total number of tree species in the world still is a wild guess - may be 10,000 and may be 100,000 but most likely somewhere in between. Every month there are reported new tree species from the whole world, including the Western Europe.

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