Madagascar Travel Destinations & Suggested Accommodation

This southern African country has been a unique meeting place for nature-lovers from all over the world. It's the world's fourth largest island and has a kaleidoscope of 14 million residents of African, Arabian and Asian descend.  Antananarivo, is this island's capital and nestled under the massive (8,671 ft) Ankaratra Mountains.  Madagascar has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April; and dry season with a cooler temperature from May to October. There is, however, great variation in climate owing to elevation and position relative to dominant winds.  The east coast has a subequatorial climate and, being most directly exposed to the trade winds, has the heaviest rainfall, averaging as much as 3.5 meters annually. The central highlands are appreciably drier, owing to the altitude and also much cooler.  The dry season in the highlands is pleasant and sunny, although somewhat chilly, especially in the mornings. During this time, the blue skies of the central highlands are considered by many to be among the clearest and most beautiful in the world. The west coast is drier than either the east coast or the central highlands because the trade winds lose their humidity by the time they reach this region. The south-west and the extreme south are semi-desert; as little as one-third of a meter of rain falls annually at Toliara (Tulear). The best season for travelling is in general February to December.

The People of Madagascar

The Island is a melting-pot of ethnic groups: Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole and Comoran. Major ethnic groups in the interior are the Merina (Hova) and the related Betsileo. The coastal areas are inhabited mainly by peoples of mixed Malayo-Indonesian, black African, and Arab ancestry. The population of Madagascar, however, is remarkably homogeneous in terms of language. Unlike most African countries, the vast majority speak the indigenous national Malagasy language. Population: 14,061,627 (July 1997 est.)
People of Madagascar

Flaura & Fauna of Madagascar

Cut off from the African mainland for millions of years, Madagascar's teeming forests are a naturalist's dream. They've preserved oddities and developed specialisations found nowhere else on earth, and you can get among them in a spectacular collection of accessible national parks. Sheltering more than 10,000 varieties of plants (with more discovered daily), the island is truly blanketed with one of the richest collections of flora in the world.    Like a giant Noah's ark, Madagascar is packed with every imaginable creature. Madagascar's dwindling forests are home to an enormous variety of unique animal life, including half the world's chameleon varieties, 300 species of butterflies, 28 kinds of bats, 150 types of frogs and 260 different reptiles, and 32 species of primates which are all endemic to Madagascar. Of the 201 resident bird species, half are found only on Madagascar. Apart from the scorpions, Madagascar has no beast which is dangerous to humans.
Madagascar Flaura & Fauna

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