Madagascar 20 Interesting Facts About (Part One)

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world

This island is roughly the size of Texas although it may not look so on map. Situated in the Indian Ocean it measures 1000 miles on the longest axis, and 330 miles along its widest points. Beaches and coral reefs occupy 3100 miles area. With this large proportion of area Madagascar’s features are diverse like volcanic mountains chains, humid rainforests, and dry sandstone and karst forests.

01-Madagascar via Flickr, by Frank Vassen, license CC BY 2.0

Weird facts about Madagascar

Remote and isolated this island is a home of 70 species and sub- species of lemurs. There are also more than 346 species of reptiles, including the world largest chameleons like Parsons Chameleon and the smallest dwarf chameleon. There is also tenrec and fossa. The flora is also impressive there are over 6000 species of endemic plants including the octopus trees and bottle shaped baobab tree.

One of the poorest countries in the world

Madagascar has been constantly ranked as one of poorest countries. After its independence it has struggled under the leadership of incompetent governments. In that time it suffered of political chaos and civil unrest. After 2001 Madagascar had bright future but that was not for a long time, then again the political chaos came.

You need to be ready to haggle

Don’t ever pay the first price asked, because you will be sorry. People in Madagascar always bargain especially in the restaurants and smaller shops. When the seller makes you and offer you make an counteroffer. Tipping does not exist in Madagascar.

04-Madagascar_Market  via Flickr, by carlos, license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the past Madagascar was a French colony

Marco Polo was the first who reported about the existence of this island, so this island was named after him. Despite, the Portuguese arrived first, it was French that colonized this island and French was declared as the official language. But in the 1890 Madagascar gained its independence but the French influence can still be felt even today. Customs that remained from the French is the Madagascar’s cuisine i.e. French cuisine. Baguettes and pastries can be found everywhere in the island. Although most people in the city speak French in the countryside only Malagasy is spoken.

Tropical climate or not?

Although the island has tropical climate not all entire isle experience warm climate. Because it is so large there all kinds of climates, in winter in some parts it is very cold but in the west down at the sea level the temperature is higher and the climate is sunny and hot. In the rainforests in the east it the climate is wet. So if you go to Madagascar pack summer and winter clothes.

02-Madagascar  via Flickr, by Frank Vassen, license CC BY 2.0

Most of the roads are not paved

If you travel to Madagascar you will have to travel a long time due to the poor and undeveloped infrastructure. The roads are extremely bumpy, mudded or porthole. They can be also impassible during rainy seasons.

Lemurs are sacred

Many of the myths make connections between lemurs and humans, usually through some common ancestry. There are many species of lemur that are rare or endangered so that’s why they protected by cultural taboo.

03-Madagascar_Lemur  via Flickr, by msegarra-mso, license CC BY-NC 2.0

Before French colonization, the island was ruled by a woman

The last sovereign of the island was Queen Ranavalona III, who protected the country from European influence.