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Madagascar shares maritime borders with Comoros, France (Mayotte and Réunion), Mauritius, Mozambique and Seychelles.

The fourth-largest island in the world has been isolated for about 80 million years, and many of its plants and animals are unique to the island. The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar-Indian landmass from Africa around 150 million years ago. 70 million years later, Madagascar split off from the Indian tectonic plate. Due to its isolation in a remote area of the Indian Ocean, flora and fauna on the island had developed independently.

With an area of 587,041 km², the island is slightly larger than France, or twice the size of the US state of Arizona. The island has a subtropical to tropical maritime climate.

Madagascar has a population of more than 28 million inhabitants in 2021. The capital and largest city is Antananarivo. Spoken languages are Malagasy and French. Christianity is the predominant religion, more than 80% of the population are Christians, but traditional beliefs are deeply rooted in society.

What is Madagascar famous for?

  • The island of Madagascar is best known for its unique fauna and flora, It is populated by lemurs, fossas, Malagasy civets, chameleons, frogs, and weird aye-ayes.
  • Madagascar is possibly the oldest island on the planet since the break up of the Gondwana continent.
  • Probably the most famous plants of Madagascar are the iconic baobabs and the traveller’s palm, a national landmark.
  • The chief food crop of Madagascar is rice.
  • About half of the world’s production of vanilla comes from Madagascar.
  • Lambas are the traditional, woven garments of rectangular length (like a scarf or a sash) worn by both men and women.
  • The aloalo is the Malagasy version of a tombstone, a pole sculpture placed on the graves of important people in the southwestern region of Madagascar.


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