Madagascar is an incredible island state that is located in the Indian Ocean. There are people with the oldest history, faith and traditions, and the flora and fauna of the island are truly unique. Malagasy and French are considered official languages in Madagascar, but in the tourist areas the local population can communicate in English. Madagascar tourism is one of the main sources of the country’s economic growth.
The amazing nature of Madagascar impresses with its diversity. Thus, the impregnable east coast frightens with its rocks, valleys and ravines, as well as the presence of sharks in the coastal waters. The abundance of small harbors and lagoons, where pirates has settled on the borders of the XVII-XVIII centuries, is especially attractive for tourists. What is more, there are three large lakes and a lot of full-flowing rivers.
Today you can meet on the island such unusual inhabitants as lemurs, bats, fossa, tenrecs, chameleons, as well as many species of endemic rodents, turtles, spiders and birds.
Impassable tropical forests with colorful butterflies, incredibly beautiful lakes and waterfalls, corals, rare animals, beautiful mountains and deserts are the most important sights of Madagascar. A walk through the national parks and reserves of the “Montagne d’Ambre” and “Tsingy i de Bemaraha” can become a real adventure, which make your Madagascar vacation stand out among the others.
Those who are keen on art and archeology should visit Antananarivo, where Museum of Art and Archaeology and Queen Madagascar Palace are located. The city of Mahajanga invites the lovers of architecture to visit the Municipality, the Arabian mosques in the Old City, the colonial era buildings and the remains of the royal fortress of Rova.
It is believed that the Madagascar culture is formed under the influence of two cultures – the Austronesian culture and culture of the Bantu tribes. You will be pleasantly surprised by the culture of Madagascar. Tourists can even learn the art of weaving baskets or making jewelry. It is also recommended to participate in some activities that will show you the affability and sincerity of these people.
The Religion of Madagascar. 52% of the total population of the island is under the influence of the traditional religion of Madagascar. It includes fetishism, animalism, the forces of nature, ancestor cult. Approximately 41% are Christians, including Catholics and Protestants. The remaining 7% are Sunni Muslims who are settlers from Pakistan and the Comoros.
The Art of Madagascar. Not many people know, but Madagascar is a very talented country. Keep an eye on the architectural art of Madagascar. Sculptural works, painting and various articles made of precious metals will not leave anyone indifferent.
Basically, the cuisine of Madagascar consists of rice dishes. In the south, sometimes rice is replaced with crushed dried corn. As a rule, this groats are served with sugar, fruit, fried eggs or sausages. Also here eat a lot of vegetables, spices and seafood.
A popular rice dish in Malagasy cuisine is vary. It is steamed rice with meat and chopped greens. What is more, Malagasy people add to it a burning green pepper, which bring to this dish rather distinctive taste.
Customs and traditions of Madagascar. The customs and traditions of Madagascar really fascinate tourists. Locals simply adore music, that’s why there are their own musical instruments. A unique melody is selected for each holiday.
Sports of Madagascar. The most thriving sport of Madagascar is rugby. Also, locals are simply delighted with the cockfighting, which from time to time is carried out with specially trained birds.
Facts about Madagascar: amazing things you probably didn’t know
– Madagascar Island takes the 4th place in size around the world.
– You can meet here 12 thousand plants and animals. About 10 000 of them are unique. There are also a lot of rare endangered species and endemic. For example, fern palms and trees, desert bushes or various chameleons (more than 60 species).
– More than a half part of flora and fauna are endemic. It means that you will not meet them anywhere else.
– The island produces vanilla, and the economy is strongly dependent on its sale.
– The second name is “Great Red Island”, due to the fact that the soil is rich in iron and aluminum.
– Among all exotic Madagascar trees, Baobab is the national symbol of the island of Madagascar.
– The capital and at the same time the largest city is Antananarivo. It is translated as a “thousand villages” or “thousands warriors”.
– Almost 40% of the territory is covered by forests. Indigenous people and adverse natural occurrences have destroyed 90% of natural resources.
– There are more than 20 national parks, which are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
– The highest point of the island is the extinct volcano Maromokotro.
– There are no hippos, zebras, giraffes and lions on the island (this fact will surely upset fans of the cartoon “Madagascar”).
– The largest predator on the island is fossa. This is an endangered species; its closest relatives are the mongoose.
– Indigenous people do not kill spiders and do not touch their web: it is forbidden by religion.
– A documentary modern film was shot in 2014 about the island of Madagascar. It is called “Lemur Island”. After watching it you will definitely want to visit this amazing state.