Madagascar Facts

Madagascar Facts and History


Madagascar – the second largest island nation

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and is located off the east coast of Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. The island has a coastline of around 4,830 km. After Indonesia, Madagascar is the second largest island nation in the world in terms of area. Madagascar was a French colony until 1960 and became independent on June 26, 1960.

However, the plight of the population, which is very poor in itself, is relatively minor, as they have been feeding on what the land has produced for centuries. Madagascar is reluctant to open up to the tourism industry, which is why there are still relatively few travelers in the country.

Of the eight species of the baobab that exist worldwide, six grow on this island.

About 85% of the animals found in Madagascar live only on this insect, so they are endemic.

Because of the sometimes extremely unsanitary conditions in parts of the country, there are numerous rats whose fleas repeatedly cause the plague – mostly bubonic plague – to break out among humans.

In October 2017, however, there were also frequent diseases with the extremely infectious lung plague, which, if left untreated, ends relatively quickly and practically 100% fatal

Name of the country Repoblikan’i Madagasikara (Malagasy)République de Madagascar (French)
Form of government republic
Geographical location Madagascar is off the African east coast,south of the equator in the Indian Ocean.
National anthem Ry Tanindrazanay Malala ô
Population about 27 million (Credit: Countryaah: Madagascar Population)
Ethnicities 18 ethnic groups. The three largest ethnic groupsare the Merina (25%), the Betsimisaraka (15%) and

the Betsileo (12%).

Religions about 8 million Christians, about 1.4 million Muslims and about 1% Hindus.The majority – around half – of the residents believe in natural religions, which determine the life and customs of the Malagasy people.
Languages Malagasy and French.
Capital Antananarivo
Surface 587,295 km²
Highest mountain Maromokotro with a height of 2,886 m
Longest river Mangoky with a length of 560 km
Largest lake Alaotra Lake with an area of 220 km²
International license plate RM
National currency Ariary
Time difference to CET + 2 h
International phone code 00261-20
Mains voltage, frequency 110 and 220 volts(alternating current with French sockets)
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .mg

Madagascar: history

From the year 1000 to the 17th century

The earliest settlers were sailors from Indonesia and Malaysia around 2,000 years ago.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, Madagascar was discovered by Portuguese sailors in the 15th century.

From the 16th century, smaller kingdoms developed in Madagascar. The first immigrants belonged to the Vazimba ethnic group.

The most important dynasty were the Maroseranana, who were of Arab origin. The predominance of the Merina ethnic group in Madagascar was defended until the end of the 18th century.

The orally transmitted “history of the kings” of the Merina, who lived on the highlands, mentions seven and eleven rulers. The rule only came to an end with the French colonization.

In the 20th century

In 1942 the British sent troops to Madagascar, but in 1943 handed control to France. Madagascar’s independence was proclaimed on June 26, 1960 and the Republic of Madagascar became an independent nation.

The conservative regime of the First Republic was replaced in 1975 by a Marxist-oriented and dictatorial regime. The country soon fell into social and financial ruin. Corruption, manipulation and unrest continued until 2002.

In 2001 the African Union sent a mediator delegation to Madagascar to provide assistance on political issues. Since 2002, the situation in Madagascar has largely calmed down.

Madagascar Facts