Off Africa’s southeast coast in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo. A stunning diversity of plant and animal species found nowhere else evolved after the island broke away from the African continent 165 million years ago. It has a mountainous central plateau and coastal plains. The first settlers were of African and Asian origin, and 18 separate ethnic groups emerged, derived from an African and Malayo-Indonesian mixture. Asian features are most predominant in the central highlands people, and coastal people tend to show features of African origin. Most of the population depend on subsistence farming, based on rice and cattle, with coffee, vanilla, and seafood being important exports.
If you are looking for a different destination with refreshing warm-hearted locals, huge national parks under the beaten track, rare and endangered species, an astonishing sea life and spectacular trekkings in a moonlike landscape you will be highly rewarded.
Capital: Antananarivo; 1,678,000
Area: 587,041 square kilometers (226,658 square miles)
Language: French, Malagasy
Religion: Indigenous beliefs, Christian, Muslim
Currency: Malagasy Ariary
The Republic of Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, approximately (587,000 2 km). The only larger islands are Borneo, Greenland and New Guinea. Madagascar is a very biodiversity hotspot. Almost all of the plant and animal species found on the Madagascar Island are unique to this island. Madagascar has two seasons, a dry cooler season which starts in May and last until October and a hot rainy season which starts in November and last until April. The Island was under French rule from 1895-1957.
The name Madagascar was first recorded in the memoirs of 15th century by explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted transliteration of the Mogadishu name.
A wide variety of written literature and oral has developed in the Republic of Madagascar. One of the Madagascar’s foremost artistic traditions is its oratory, which is expressed in the forms of hainteny – poetry, kabary- public discourse and ohabolana-proverbs.
The Ibonia is an epic poem exemplifying these traditions which has been handed down over the centuries in different forms across the Madagascar, and offers insight into the beliefs of traditional and diverse mythologies Malagasy communities.
This tradition was continued by such artists as Joseph Rabearivelo-Jean, who is considered Madagascar’s first modern poet, and one other famous artist is Elie Rajaonarison which is an exemplar of the new wave of African poetry.This island has also developed a rich musical culture, embodied in dozens of regional musical genres such as salegy or hiragasy highland that enliven village gatherings, national airwaves and local dance floors. The plastic arts are also part of the island. In addition to the tradition of lamba production weaving and silk, the weaving of reaffia and other local different plant materials has been used to create a different array of practical items such as baskets, purses floor mats, and hats.
Wood carving has developed art form in Madagascar, with distinct regional styles evident in the architectural elements and decoration of balcony railings. Sculptors create a different of household goods and furniture, wooden sculptures and aloalo funerary posts many of which are created for the tourist market.
Traditionally people in Madagascar eat a large mound of rice with special ingredients, which is served with meat, sauce and different vegetables.
Zebu (kind of beef) steaks are usually excellent and most commonly served with a delicious green peppercorn sauce and different vegetables. Most towns in republic of Madagascar have cheap Chinese eateries, which are usually reliable with independent travelers and very popular. Pizza is popular everywhere in this country.
The many varieties of food here may be vegetarian or maybe include animal proteins, and different typically feature a sauce flavored with different ingredients such as onion, ginger, garlic, salt, tomato, curry powder, vanilla, less commonly or other herbs or spices. In parts of the arid south and west of Madagascar, pastoral families may replace rice with cassava, maize or sometimes with curds made from fermented zebu milk. A wide variety of savory and sweet fritters as well as other street foods are available across the Madagascar Island, as are diverse temperate-climate and tropical fruits. Locally produced beverages include coffee, herbal teas, teas and fruit juices. Alcoholic drinks are famous in this place too for example rum, wine and beer.
Whatever you enjoy- Shopping, Hiking, Diving & Snorkeling, History & Culture, Beaches, Spas- Madagascar will fulfill your wishes.