Madagascar is a large and beautiful island located between the Indian Ocean waves, southeast of the African continent and divided from the mainland by the Mozambique Canal. Despite its underdeveloped economy, Madagascar has long been renowned for its tourist paradise with its majestic natural landscape of numerous hills and mountains, vast rainforest and unique flora and fauna. Do you know…?
MADAGASCAR IS THE BIGGEST ISLAND ON THE WORLD
With a length of over 1,600 km and a width of 570 km, Madagascar is ranked fourth in the list of the world’s largest islands, just behind Greenland, Papua New Guinea and Borneo.
Huge volcanic ranges on the island are up to 2,876 m high, surrounding the central highlands and vast rain forests. This unique island also possesses majestic sandstone cliffs on the west bank and exotic limestone forests in the north.
Many types of animals in MADAGASCAR CAN’T BE FOUND IN ANY OTHER PLACE
For 70 million years, Madagascar was isolated from the rest of the world after being separated from Africa and India. It is this isolation that creates a unique flora and fauna with about 90% of species that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. Only lemurs have more than 100 different species and sub-species. However, it is estimated that up to 16 of them are extinct since humans appeared on the island.
Madagascar is also the home of the largest and smallest chameleon in the world – Parson and Brookesia. The strange plants on the island are also extremely rich, up to over 6,000 species. You will encounter stems covered with thorns and even big baobab trees in Madagascar.
DON’T HAVING LIONS OR HORSES
Pixar’s famous animated film Madagascar drew a colorful world about this island. But, in fact, even if you scour the island, you can’t find lions, zebras, hippos or giraffes anywhere. The dwarf hippopotamus used to live here, but they were extinct nearly 1,000 years ago.
ALSO THERE IS NO TROPICAL CLIMATE
One very strange aspect of this island is that despite being in the tropical area, it does not have the typical climate of this area. Some places on the island also have extremely cold winters.
Lemurs are considered mascots
Throughout the island of Madagascar, lemurs have always received respect and maximum protection by cultural laws. Many ancient legends suggest that there is a special connection between lemurs and humans, usually through a common ancestor. In 2012, most of the island lemurs were classified as rare or endangered, requiring strict conservation.
THE FIRST PEOPLE SET FOOT ON MADAGASCAR ARE ASIA
From 350 BC to 550 AD, the inhabitants of the island of Borneo – now in the territory of three countries Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia – traveled to Madagascar on canoes. Until 500 years later, the Africans began to set foot on the island. As time went by, groups of Asian, African and European people came and settled here, bringing with them their cultural characteristics.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE BACKGROUND HERE FOLLOW THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY
The cuisine in Madagascar blends influences from Southeast Asian, African, Indian, Chinese and European cuisines. Rice plays a key role in daily meals – in fact, the Malagasy verb “mihinam-bary” literally means “eating rice”. Garlic, onions, ginger, tomatoes, curry, coconut water, vanilla, cloves and turmeric are common spices in today’s island meals. Zebu beef is a frequently used ingredient, alongside beans, greens, bananas and rum. Madagascar is one of the world’s largest sources of vanilla, cloves and orchids, and is also very famous for coffee, cloth and shrimp.
BEFORE YOU BECOME A COLONY OF FRANCE, MADAGASCAR IS RULED BY A WOMEN
Ranavalona III, the last queen of the Kingdom of Madagascar ruled the island from 1883 to 1897 before the French colonized and established the colonial regime. Her title was named after the powerful queen Ranavalona I (ruled from 1828 to 1861), who had worked hard to protect the country’s sovereignty over interference from Europe.
3 THE WORLD HERITAGES AT MADAGASCAR YOU SHOULD NOT IGNORE
Tsingy de Bemaraha Biosphere Reserve
In this Biosphere Reserve, erosion has created unique “tsingy” limestone fields interspersed with dry forests, lakes and mangrove forests, creating a large area of residence for many rare species of birds and animals, including lemurs.
Royal Ambohimanga hill
Ambohimanga Royal Hill is located in the central highlands, which serves as a political and spiritual hub for islanders since the 16th century. It is home to many kings and ritual sites. The sacred royal family is also a pilgrimage site to this day.
The six national parks together form the vast Atsinanana rainforest, home to “exclusive” plant and animal species found only in the Madagascar rain forest ecosystem.