Madagascar has unique wildlife might just be its biggest attraction, with many visitors visiting the island to discover lemurs and chameleons. Tourists may get excited to determine lemurs and chameleons. But also discover a remarkable history, captivating culture and dramatically varied landscape. Madagascar is definitely an island relying on its early Asian settlers and proximity to Africa, but is shaped by its isolation.
Snapshot: Area:587, 041 km² Capital: Antananarivo (Tana) Population: 23m Life Expectancy: 63 (male), 66 (female) Official Language: Malagasy, French Religion: Traditional beliefs (52%), Christianity (41%), Muslim (7%)
Did You Know?
Madagascar is the oldest island on the planet and fourth largest after Greenland, Papua New Guinea and Borneo.
It has the geographical and climatic diversity of the small continent, with rainforests, dry forests, deserts, rivers, mountains plus much more. Depending on the time of the year and location on the area, the next wind storm can consist of heavy rain and cyclones, stifling humidity, dry heat, pleasant days and cool nights.
It is you will find more than 200,000 varieties of wildlife, nearly all which are endemic to this tropical isle. This includes a lot more than 100 different kinds of lemur that can not be found anywhere else on the globe, 350 different frogs and around 370 different reptiles. Incredibly, new discoveries and classifications of wildlife are increasing this number on a yearly basis.
Despite its close proximity to your African mainland, the Malagasy population originally descended from Indonesian/Malaysian migrants. It is believed they arrived at the country 2,000 in the past via the Indian Ocean trade route, some time before settlers from East Africa joined the populace. The Malagasy language and diet is usually traced back in their Asian heritage, primarily locals enjoying rice thrice a day.
Only 10-20% of Madagascar’s original forestation remains. Conservation efforts have significantly increased during the last decade. New national parks and reserves have already been created, and education and awareness has focused on being an enabler of change. But would it be too little past too far?
The zebu (humpbacked cattle) is deeply imbedded in Malagasy lifestyle and culture. It is often a sacred and essential portion of ceremonies and celebrations, can be used as marriage settlements in many southern tribes, is usually a symbol of status and wealth within the countryside and may be the target of zebu stealers from the south west.
A large many Malagasy locals have faith inside the power from the razana (dead ancestors). They believe that relationships exist involving the living along with the dead, with ancestors holding the opportunity to influence the behaviour from the living. As such, it’s essential to respect don't forget the dead, a belief containing shaped customs and traditions which have largely withstood the exam of time.
Fady is often a key feature in the Malagasy lifestyle, essentially meaning ‘taboo’ or ‘forbidden’. A fady is usually a belief inherited through generations that influences local behaviour pertaining to food, people and places. It may be consistent across america or change from region to region.
Despite being abundant in natural resources, Madagascar is probably the poorest countries on this planet, through an alarming number of individuals living on a lot less than $2 USD daily. The growing economy and bright future that followed independence in 1960 was short-lived, with on-going political instability contributing to your economic challenges that always plague america today.
The names of places the ones in Madagascar are unusually long and hard to pronounce. Traditionally, family names were not used, with each part of your given name holding special meaning instead. The longest known example is that of your 19thcentury king together with the name Andrianampoinimerinatompokoindrindra, meaning “prince who was simply given birth by Imerina and that is my real lord”.