Officially, the Republic of Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean. It is approximately at 400 kilometres (250 miles) off the East coast of Africa. At 592,800 square kilometers.
Madagascar is the world’s 2nd largest island country. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world) and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife, is found nowhere else on Earth. The island’s diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats. The archaeological evidence of the earliest human foraging on Madagascar may date up to 10,000 years ago. Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and 550 AD by Austronesian people, arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around the 9th century AD by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life.
The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into 18 but with 20 subgroups, of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands. Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy ended in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar since then, has undergone four major constitutional periods, termed republics. Since 1992, the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009, president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014, when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community. Madagascar is a member of the United Nations, the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Andry Rajoelina is the actual president after his election in 2018.
Madagascar belongs to the group of least developed countries, according to the United Nations. Madagascar has a life expectancy of 62.9 years. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state, and very few people can speak English or German. The majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education, health, and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar’s development strategy. Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantial economic growth, but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class.
Today, Madagascar’s government is considered a republic with a legal system based on French civil law and traditional Malagasy laws. Madagascar has an executive branch of government that is made up of a chief of state and a head of state, as well as a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senat and the Assemblee Nationale.
Madagascar’s judicial branch of government is comprised of the Supreme Court and the High Constitutional Court. The country is divided into six provinces: Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, and Toliara. For local administration.
Madagascar’s economy is currently growing but at a very slow pace. Agriculture is the main sector of the economy and employs about 80% of the country’s population. The main agricultural products of Madagascar include coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava, beans, bananas, peanuts, and livestock products.
The country does have a small amount of Industry, of which the largest are: meat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly, paper, and petroleum.
In addition, with the rise of ecotourism, Madagascar has seen a rise in tourism and the related service sector industries.
Madagascar is considered a part of southern Africa as it is located in the Indian Ocean east of Mozambique. It is a large island that has a narrow coastal plain with a high plateau and mountains in its center. Madagascar’s highest mountain is Maromokotro with 2,876m but the highest that people put their foot is at Pic Boby in Andringitra National Park at 2,658m.
The climate of Madagascar varies based on location on the island but it is tropical along the coastal regions, temperate in land and arid in the south its portions.
Madagascar’s capital and largest city, Antananarivo, located in the northern part of the country somewhat away from the coast, has a January average high temperature of 82 degrees (28°C) and a July average low of 50 degrees (10°C). Madagascar is most well-known around the world for its rich biodiversity and tropical rainforests. The island is home to about 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, about 80% of which are endemic, or native, only to Madagascar. These include all species of lemurs and about 9,000 different species of plants. Because of their isolation on Madagascar, many of these endemic species are also threatened or endangered due to increasing deforestation and development. To protect its species, Madagascar has many national parks, and nature and wildlife reserves. In addition, there are several UNESCO certified World Heritage Sites on Madagascar called the Rainforests of the Atsinanana.
Origin of Malagasy people
Anthropologically, Archeologically, genetically there was people leaving in Madagascar around 4.500 years ago there name was « Vazimba » from Africa and Austronesia, they were leaving to the coast near outlets where food was easier.
At the begining Malagasy religion was animism it’s a religion centered on nature, but during Ranavalona 2nd reign she officialized that Malagasy people are christian, after her there was Ranavalona 3rd and Madagascar became French colony in August 6 1896 and got the indepensance in June 26 1960
After the COVID-19 people ask about many things so I want to add these reponses for helping them
Why Madagascar ?
How to get to Madagascar ?
If you are from Europe the straight way is coming to France there is direct flight to Madagascar
Or with connection and more cheapper people start using Ethiopian airlines, there is also kenya airways, south africa airlines, air mauritius and some place like Nosy Be, Sainte Marie, Fort Dauphin, Toliara there is some international flight instead of landing in Antananarivo or Tana the capital.
If you are from United Arab Emirates, Russia, Australia doing connection but you can check sometimes there is more options and cheap flight than it seems
If you are from the USA you can take Delta airlines to France or Réunion Islant then to Madagascar but also Ethiopian airlines is more used for travellers.
When to go ?
There is two season in Madagascar from April till end of October you can go everywhere you want but during begining of November till end of March it rains and road infrastructure don’t give you the opportunity to go out of bitumes so some places like the Tsingy, Belo sur mer is not accessible by car of course it can be possible by flight or boat like Fort Dauphin, Nosy Be, Sainte Marie…. Also depends on what is your trip goal but the south more precisely the RN7 have always access all other the year and a lot to do in terms of hikking, snorkeling, animals, diving… If you are mammal or bird watchers people come in September October, of course for mammals there is less restriction because our local guide can know their teritory and makes mammals easy seeing but of course we are talking to the nature so we never know animal’s behaviour.
How to move through the country ?
By flight : Domestic flight becomes more regular, not daily sometimes weekly but it becomes more regular, at the same time more expensive, sometimes it’s important to use it depends on where you wanna go.
Bus that we call taxi brousse :
There is luxury taxi brousses like cotisse, soatrans…which can help but need really to book in advance and most of place that you wanna visit they don’t deserve to that one like Isalo, Andringitra, Village zafimaniry, Kirindy, Tsingy…So if you choose luxury bus or simple taxi brousses be sure you have enough time to wait, to be packed like sardines, to smell all good and bad smell of a lot of people and goods to the same van, sometimes people take 3 mounths VISA and do that on their own
Train from Fianarantsoa to Manakara stopped working for a while which was the only one part that people was using which is ashame to Manakara because tourist was coming to Manakara cause of the train feeling and seeing local life and at the same time seeing Manakara with his fantastic chanel.
If you want to rent a vehicle in Madagascar with driver is cheapper than self drive because in average with driver is around 50€ a day and self drive is around 65€ a day. Many company, tour guide rent vehicle and can organize your plan but in average you can do only 60km/h and for safety reason it’s forbiden driven at night expect nocturnal visit
How to choose the destination or how to make your itinerary ?
If you take a tour guide company service they will help you for sure creating your itinerary but of course i twill depends on what do you want to see, how many days do you have… ? there is more options but when you choose a company, a guide, rental car service, when you take a tour or just rent a vehicle please give more precision and ask more precision about all you want.
How many days is enough ?
For all Madagascar the entire life is not enough so depends on how many days do you have and we’ll try to make your best trip ever.
How’s Malagasy people ?
Wherever you are in Madagascar you can see always friendly people on a foot that you don’t understand where they are from, they are face of difficulties of daily life but they can have the smile and fun on their live, appreciating each second.
How’s money working ?
One € is around 4.000Ar March 2023 and everybody use cash, if you book tour company use credit card or bank transfer but hotels, restaurants, shop you’ll need cash only few of them use it. Also you need to calculate in advance how much you’ll need because ATM is only in big city.
After COVID-19 crises what about vaccination and Visa?
Getting in and out of Madagascar COVID-19 Vaccination is not required 20€ is the VISA less than 30days that you can take to the airport uppon your arrival or from Madagascar Embassy to your country.
Sometimes you’ll need boat trip during your tour like going to Sainte Marie during the Whale Festival or ferry, they are safe but sometimes you need to book in advance depending on where you want to go.
If you have any doubts about any of the information we are giving you, just send as a message from our contact form. We will try to reply as soon as possible.
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