Madagascar Destinations Travel Guide



Language: Malagasy, French, English

Currency: Malagasy ariary (MGA)

Calling Code: +261


Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, is an island country located in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of the African continent, east of Mozambique. It is also the largest island in Africa and the fourth largest in the world, and is formed by small and numerous islands. It is separated from the mainland by the Mozambique channel. Formerly the island was united to the African continent, from which it separated. Its isolation has favored the conservation in its territory of many unique species in the world, 80% of them endemic to the island. The most notable are the lemurs (an infraorder of primates), the carnivorous pit, five endemic families of birds and six endemic species of baobabs. Madagascar is in the list of mega-diverse countries, Madagascar is Madagascan and Malagasy is the national language, French is its second language. The majority of its inhabitants have traditional beliefs, are Christians, or an amalgamation of both.

Madagascar belongs to the group of least developed countries, according to the United Nations. Ecotourism and agriculture, together with increased investments in education, health and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. However, these benefits were not distributed evenly throughout the population, producing tensions over the rising cost of living and the decline in the standard of living among the poor and some segments of the middle class. In 2017, the political and economic crisis 2009-2013 has weakened the economy and the quality of life remains low for the majority of the Malagasy population.


Travel Destinations in Madagascar


Isalo National Park

Isalo National Park covers an area of 815 kmĀ² and contains 88 species of birds, 15 species of frogs, 33 species of reptiles, 14 species of mammals and 3 species of lemurs.

Perinet Rainforest

Perinet Rainforest is a large expanse of virgin jungles situated in the central eastern Madagascar. Much of territory of Perinet Rainforest is protected by Andasibe-Mantadia National Park that covers an area of 155 square kilometers.

Ranomafana National Park

Ranomafana National Park lies in the Fianarantsoa Province of Madagascar. Ranomafana National Park covers 41,600 hectares (161 square miles).

Tsingy de Bemaraha

Tsingy de Bemaraha is situated in the Melaky Region on the Western Coast of Madagascar.


History of Madagascar

Radiocarbon analysis of the bones of flightless birds of epiornisis (Aepyornis) with traces of cutting showed that the marks left during the cutting of birds with stone tools have an age of approx. 10.5 thousand years.

By archaeological standards, the settlement of Madagascar occurred relatively recently. Madagascar was inhabited around the 200s-500s. e., the colonists from the Austronesian peoples, who got there by canoe. This theory is supported by many parallels between the Austronesian culture and the culture of the inhabitants of Madagascar, for example, a special type of canoe or a special method of growing rice, as well as the close relationship between the Malagasy language and the language of the population of the southern part of the island of Kalimantan and genetic research carried out at the beginning of the 21st century. There is no evidence of Austronesian colonization of mainland Africa.

Around the same time or somewhat later, settlers from the Bantu tribes moved to the island through the Mozambique Channel. At the same time, new arrivals occupied mainly coastal territories, while the descendants of the Austronesians lived in the middle of the island. Genetic studies have shown that the confluence of the Austronesian and African populations began around the 10th century, as a result of which a people formed with the self-name of malagasy.

In the VII century, with the arrival of the Arabs on the island, written references to Madagascar begin.

The name of the island was given by the famous Venetian traveler Marco Polo, who casually mentioned in his notes about the island of countless treasures, called Madeigascar. Most modern researchers believe that in fact it was not about the island at all, but about the current capital of the state of Somalia - the port of Mogadishu. However, after marking the island on Italian maps as Madagascar, the name stuck and has not changed since.

Despite the widespread influence of Muslim culture on the island, Islam in Madagascar did not take root. However, some signs of Arab influence, such as patriarchy and calendar names for days, months, and seasons, still exist to this day.