Madagascar

Sainte Marie Island - Madagascar
Sainte Marie Island - Madagascar

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent 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.



Initial human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BCE and 550 CE by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around 1000 CE by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel. 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 eighteen or more sub-groups 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 socio-political 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 collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island regained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed Republics. Since 1992 the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009 the last elected president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina in a move widely viewed by the international community as a coup d'├ętat.

Baobab trees

In 2012, the population of Madagascar was estimated at just over 22 million, 90 percent of whom live on less than two dollars per day. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state. 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.

Madagascar Tourism

Madagascar has evolved into one of the world's most phenomenal destinations for natural history travel. The world's fourth-largest island contains an immense diversity flora and fauna Of 12,000 plant species identified here, 10,000 are endemic to the island including seven of the world's nine species of the iconic Baobab tree, some Renowned national parks and World Heritage Site

Madagascar travel takes you through diverse habitats from 5.000 km of coastal line, 220 small islands to Bio-diversity hot spot. We seek out some of the 40 different species of lemurs, a primate group found only on Madagascar, and identify many species of chameleons in their wild habitat as well as some of the world's most bizarre creatures on Earth like the nightmarish hissing cockroach, so-called Dracula ants, and the Giraffe-necked weevil. 

Rich and fascinating culture, heritage today is composed of 18 different ethnic groups that derive from a long history of trade and migration from throughout Indonesia, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, all united today in a common Malagasy culture and language. 

Legendary hospitality of the Malagasy population. Madagascar have a lot of precious stones as well. 

Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

Top 10 tourist attractions in Madagascar

1. Ile Sainte Marie
2. Isalo National Park
3. Tsingy de Bemaraha
4. Nosy Be
5. Avenue of the Baobabs
6. Ifaty
7. Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
8. Andasibe-Mantadia
9. Masoala National Park
10. Ranomafana National Park

More about Madagascar you can read on Wikipedia



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