Madagascar is a state located in the western Indian Ocean. This country occupies the territory of the island of Madagascar and the small islands adjacent to the east coast of Africa.
The area of the state of Madagascar is 587 thousand square kilometers. Its population is 18.4 million people (according to data for 2005). The capital of Madagascar is the city of Antananarivo. The form of government in Madagascar is a parliamentary republic.
The central part of Madagascar is represented by the high-mountainous plate of Anjafi. It descends gently to the west of the island, but abruptly breaks to the lowlands of the east coast of Madagascar.
Malagasy and French are accepted by the state. The national currency of Madagascar is the Malagasy franc, as well as arari. Eighteen tribes live in Madagascar. All of them have their own traditions and customs.
Madagascar is one of the largest islands in the world.
Madagascar is the fourth largest in the world in size: its area is 590 thousand square kilometers. This island is located in the waters of the Indian Ocean near the eastern coast of the African continent. In length, Madagascar stretches for 1600 kilometers; Its width is more than 600 kilometers.
Madagascar is a typical tropical island.
To say this is very difficult. The fact is that here the tourist will be pleased to see the amazing beaches with snow-white sand, coral reefs and clear ocean water. And the mysterious untouched nature will amaze the one who came here from the first time.
The climate in Madagascar is tropical.
Average air temperatures in low-lying areas range from + 20 ° to 30 °. The most suitable time for rest is the period from April to October, which corresponds to winter in the southern hemisphere. The explanation is this: in this case, the tourist will be given the opportunity to avoid the southern summer in the period from November to March. Among other things, this period is known as the time of hurricanes. However, it is also necessary to take into account such specific climate of Madagascar as its variation in different territories of the country. Summer in the central part can be excellent for rest. Summer on the east coast is often characterized by rainy weather.
Madagascar has a unique flora and fauna.
The animal and plant world of Madagascar contains about 5% of all species of animals and plants known to man and science. The habitat of 80% of them is limited only to the island of Madagascar. The whole world is known for living on the island of lemurs. And all this despite the fact that Madagascar is very near the continent! Although, the island of Madagascar is very often called just “a small continent” (or even “the smallest continent”). The tropical forests of the island of Madagascar literally swarm with different animals that live only here, and serve as a place of life for many plants that also grow here!
Madagascar – “The Great Red Island”.
So his name is sometimes called due to the prevalence of red soils in the central highlands of Madagascar. Soils, even more rich in minerals, are found in those areas of Madagascar, where once there was high volcanic activity. The eastern coast of Madagascar is characterized by the presence of a thin “belt” of alluvial soils. The west coast of the island in some places reveals limestone and clay.
Madagascar is a country with a developing economy.
In 2007, the GDP of this state amounted to more than 18 thousand million dollars (according to the IMF). The per capita income in Madagascar for the same year was more than a thousand dollars (according to the same data). The most important branches of the economy in this state are agriculture, the cultivation of spices and spices (which are mainly exported) and fisheries. In addition to spices and spices, vanilla, coffee, cocoa powder, rice, peanuts, bananas, legumes and sugar cane are exported. In the production of vanilla, Madagascar leads the world.
Tourism is the source of economic growth in Madagascar.
Along with exports of agricultural products, light and textile industries, as well as minerals (hard coal, nickel, ilmenite). Often tourism is based on the biological uniqueness of the island: after all, about 80% of the flora and fauna of Madagascar are endemic.
Madagascar has amazing natural attractions.
Or even masterpieces. What is, for example, a unique natural complex in the area of Cape Sainte-Marie. The climate of this complex is characterized by strong winds. It is thanks to them that this territory “became famous”. The fact is that these very winds “forced” the woody vegetation to form a kind of ground carpet. This unique carpet consists of millions of woody threads, in which the horizontally interwoven trunks of trees protrude. And what beautiful lakes, steeps and waterfalls!
The Dead Lake is one of the wonders of Madagascar.
It is located near Antserabe. Its waters are enclosed between steep granite blocks. The depth reaches four hundred meters. Interesting is the fact that the lake is not a habitat for any living creature. Strange as it may seem, but with the size of the island 50 meters per hundred meters and its water temperature around 15 degrees Celsius, no one has been able to overcome it by swimming (at least, such rumors go).
Madagascar is famous for its numerous waterfalls and rifts.
The scenery of these places is truly amazing! For example, the rapacious river Betsibuka. It flows not far from the city of Maevatanana. Water dust from the overthrow of its waters from narrow shafts rises much higher than the tallest trees. And the waters have an unusual reddish color. Such a shade gives the waters in them suspended silt particles. Waterfalls are widely known on the Mahavavi River, which is near the city of Ambilube. Not less known is a whole cascade of waterfalls in the area of the National Park of Madagascar – Montagne d’Ambre. To look around these beautiful creations of nature, it is not necessary to specifically go to the hidden places of the island. You can admire them, for example, from the railway – so to speak, along the way. We are talking about the waterfalls on the Mandrianampucci River, which you can get acquainted with the railway Fianarantsoa – Manakara. The tallest waterfall of Madagascar on the Sakaleun River. Water falls here for as much as two hundred meters! However, to admire this miracle of nature, it is necessary to drive a short distance from the city of Nusiwariq. But the journey is worth it!
There are many national parks and reserves in Madagascar.
Rest on Madagascar will not be complete if the person who has arrived here does not visit the specified places. For example, the Tsyngy de Bemaraha Reserve. From its history, it can be noted that for a long time tourists did not have access to it. For the time being. The situation changed after the reserve was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The reserve is located in the western part of Madagascar. It is a large forest with limestone mountains. The structure of Tsyngy de Bemaraha includes 2 parks. In them once settled eight species of reptiles, six species of lemurs and fifty three (!) Species of birds. Tour of the reserve involves not only an inspection of the places of life of wild animals, but also an exciting walk by canoe to the waterfall. (The Manambolo River flows through the reserve). But the national park of Madagascar under the name of the Amber Mountain will provide the tourist with the opportunities for stunning hiking. A small waterfall, whose waters are thrown into a mountain pool, as well as a lake and a beautiful botanical garden, will open up to the visitor. In the latter grow palm trees, lianas and orchids.
Nosy baraxa is an island of women.
In the translation into Russian, the name itself will sound like this: Santa Maria. This is a very beautiful island. The length is only 57 kilometers. Nature is striking in its primordial nature.And all its beauty is open to tourists from all over the world for a few years. But despite this modest tourist history, this island is rapidly gaining popularity. And more! After all, amazing beaches with white sand in combination with coconut palms stretch for 80 kilometers. And in the depths of the island is an untouched tropical forest with its unique flora and fauna. But to entice a tourist who wants to rest from the delights of civilization, it can be the fact of a weak development of infrastructure and a small number of cars on the island. It is interesting that even in the rainy season, there is very little precipitation on the island of Santa Maria. Live tourist can quite right on the ocean coast in a bungalow. Hotels and hotels on the island of women must be booked in advance.
Mesoala peninsula is one of the most fascinating places in Madagascar.
Peninsula forests alternate with sandy clean beaches, ocean bays. The seated tourist has every opportunity to see sea turtles, whales, dolphins. For diving enthusiasts, all conditions are created, including nature: coral reefs around the peninsula are unusual and very beautiful. Since 1997, the peninsula has a national park with an area of 3 thousand square kilometers.
Madagascar speaks the same language as the African continent.
This is not true. The Malagasy language has absolutely nothing to do with African languages. This language belongs to the western Malayo-Polynesian languages. The latter belong to the Austronesian family, which was established at the end of the eighteenth century. Thus, the Malagasy language is related to the languages of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, the most similar to the languages of the island of Borneo – 90% of the basic vocabulary of the language in Madagascar coincides with the vocabulary of the south of Borneo. These data allow us to conclude that the island of Madagascar was settled by people from the south of Borneo, the causes of this phenomenon are not exactly defined. The writing in Madagascar appeared in the fifteenth century.
Antananarivo is the largest city in Madagascar.
It is also called “the city of a thousand inhabitants”. But this is not only one of the largest cities in Madagascar, which is also the capital of this state, but it is no exaggeration to say that it is also one of the most colorful. For example, many buildings in the metropolitan city are a vivid confirmation of the skill and art of wood carvers and carpenters of Madagascar. Among these buildings, for example, the beautiful palace of Andrianampuinimerin and the house, which was the property of Jean Laborda. It should be noted that the traditions and craftsmanship of wooden architecture have long been passed down from generation to generation. They continue to exist even now. To adhere to them is very characteristic of the tribe zafimaniri, which settled the forests of Ambusitra.
Antananarivo – “the city of ten thousand warriors.”
And so it is called the same. What else is interesting in the city with such an unusual name as Antananarivo? The capital of Madagascar rests comfortably in twelve sacred hills. The capital of Madagascar, of course, produces a very strong impression on the one who came here for the first time. Narrow streets are organically combined with the original architecture of this city. In this city, it seems, there is no specific architectural style – there is presented a wonderful mixture of all these styles. The city, as if from a fairy tale, it is all made up of small, located directly on the street, markets. Very near the Independence Square, the tourist will find a variety of royal buildings (of course, the former), as well as the ruins of the palace of Queen Row. Well and very necessary for the tourist information: almost in any suitable institution you can eat, on average, for ten dollars.
“Zuma” is a characteristic phenomenon for Antananarivo.
Well, first of all, this is nothing more than an ordinary fair. Or not quite ordinary, and the famous fair of Madagascar.The fact is that on certain days (on Fridays), traders and artisans from Antananarivo and the environs of this city begin to gather on the central street of the capital.
The cuisine of Madagascar is based on rice dishes.
And, of course, with garnish. The cuisine of this state is influenced by the culinary traditions of China, India, France. On the island grow several varieties of rice, each of which is important for the country. Madagascar knows many ways to prepare various dishes from rice. As a drink, it is often used with boiled fried rice, filtered and chilled (this is Ranun’ampungu). In Madagascar, the popularity of quenching vari amin’anana became popular. It consists of rice, meat and neatly sliced greens. As for garnishes, they have a seasonal character, i.e. depend on the time of year. Well, also from the degree of availability of products for each individual family. Here are the most common side dishes in Madagascar: firstly, it is worth talking about the garnish of vuandzhuburi, which is a bambara nuts stew with pork; secondly, it is a kituaz – sun-dried strips of meat with spices; followed by a garnish trundra gadi – it consists of white fish, which is extinguished with tomatoes and zucchini. Garnishes are also widely used for scratching (these are boiled beans in tomato sauce) and rumazawa (fried beef with onions, ginger and tomatoes). And, of course, the most diverse seafood serve the role of all sorts of side dishes. Seasonings and spices are presented with onion, garlic, curry, ginger, and also vanilla, coconut milk and cloves are used nearer to the coast.
Madagascar is not used to spicy dishes.
Unlike, say, African cuisine. Whatever it was, but in Madagascar in our time there are more and more fairly sharp dishes. On the coast of the island semi-finished sauces are made, which include widely distributed fruits such as lemon or mango.
Ranun’ampungu is the most popular drink in Madagascar.
But apart from it, the inhabitants of this state often drink tea and coffee. They also make rum and wine. But drinking milk – in its raw form – is not at all common here. Based on it, cheeses and yoghurts are produced.
The dessert traditions of Madagascar come from the culinary traditions of the indigenous tribes.
It is customary here to regard as dessert even any fresh fruit that is sprinkled with sugar. It can be both an ordinary apple, and a more exotic fruit of a baobab. Complex desserts include chocolate. This is due to the cultivation of cocoa on the island, which has excellent quality.
Honoring the dead in Madagascar is considered the main holiday.
This ritual ceremony is called famadihana, its essence is that the relics and remains are removed from the crypt and cleaned. After that they are put on public display and touch them. After the ritual, the remains and relics are wrapped in a new shroud and transferred to a new place in the tomb. The whole ceremony is associated with gay dances.
Circumcision is the most important event in the life of every boy.
Moreover, this is a multi-day holiday. Only after the fulfillment of the rite the boy has the right to be called a man. In honor of this rather noisy holiday, many people gather: families, friends (even from neighboring villages), children. Feast is decorated with meat dishes with greens. Custom does not allow to come on holiday in clothes of red color.
Wood carving is widespread in Madagascar.
This is a traditional artwork in this state. It is interesting, but often he has erotic motives. The art of woodcarving was sharpened by craftsmen for a long time during the manufacture of funerary pillars. The latter wore, most likely, namely festive, not mourning symbols. The most skilled cutters are the forest people zafimaniri. Its representatives make unique and surprisingly beautiful carved furniture.
Street theft is a common occurrence in Madagascar.
This is said too rude. The fact is that tourists, of course, and here can become objects of observation from the side of thieves. But everything is relative. And in Madagascar, we can confidently say that the number of relevant crimes is significantly less than in other tourist countries. Much calmer here and at night. And someone who comes to rest can be advised to follow the most elementary rules: do not believe everyone you meet, do not carry a camera behind and a purse in your back pocket, and do not carry large amounts with you, etc. But once again it is worth noting that street attacks in Madagascar are rare.
“It’s Ranavaluna” – such a saying is quite often heard in Madagascar.
And we are talking about a strong-willed woman. It is the strong-willed nature of the female representative that can be emphasized by this statement. After all, the Queen is meant in this. Looking back into history, we can recall that Ranavaluna I was able to resist the great European powers. And Ranavaluna III was even the head of armed resistance to colonization.
Madagascar is a state-matriarchy.
Even today, some traditions, identical to matriarchy, live here. For example, in peasant families, it is women who often make the most important decisions. It should also be noted that it is often women who are appointed to many leadership positions. And certainly, if in some areas there is no matriarchy, then equal rights between a man and a woman are provided!
Madagascar values art.
And does not just appreciate: the whole everyday life of a resident of Madagascar is permeated with art. This judgment can be applied to fine art, and to music, and, of course, to literature. The latter is largely represented by folklore; legends and tales, composed in non-forgotten times, could pass through the centuries and still live. After all, it is in them that the past of the people of Madagascar is so remarkably displayed, and the past simply needs to be valued.
Hira gashi is widely spread in Madagascar.
This is, in fact, a special kind of folk theater in this country. During the work of the chiara gashi, one after another, the views of the wandering troupes of artists change. They follow each other, not ceasing, for several weeks.
Music has firmly entered the hearts of Malagasy people.
And so it is. And their love for music is so great that the photo of the musician has found its place even on the thousand-franc note. The last one shows a flutist – Rakutu Frah. This person can be called the grandfather of the Malagasy stage. It was about him that the film “Red Island” was filmed. One of the most widely known musical groups in Madagascar is the “Mahaleu” group. Although it began its musical activity in Madagascar in the 70s of the last century, it still does not lose popularity and has many admirers among Malagasy people.