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Destination Madagascar, the big red island. Madagascar is the largest African island situated in the Indian Ocean, about 450 km (280 mi) east of the coast of Mozambique. The fourth-largest island in the world has been isolated for about 88 million years and many of its plants and animals are unique to the island.

The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar-Antarctica-India landmass from the Africa-South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar later split from India about 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation.

With an area of 587,041 km², the island is slightly larger than France, or almost twice the size of the US state of Arizona. Madagascar is geographically relatively close to Comoros, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, and South Africa.

Madagascar has a population of more than 22 million inhabitants. The capital and largest city are Antananarivo. Spoken languages are Malagasy and French.


Madagascar, the Red Island, the Rainbow Island, the Eighth Continent, there are many names for the world's 4th largest island. Madagascar is situated in the southwestern area of the Indian Ocean east of the coast of Africa about 400 km off the coast of Mozambique. The island is recognized as one of the world's top ten hotspots for biodiversity.

Madagascar is inhabited by various ethnic groups of Malayo-Indonesian, mixed African and Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry. Five centuries before the Europeans discovered the island Malayo-Indonesian seafarers arrived in roughly the first century A.D., the Arabs followed in the 6th century to establish trading posts.

Since the 16th century French and British influence left their mark.
In October 1958 the Malagasy Republic was proclaimed as an autonomous state within the French Community and gained full independence in June 1960.
Like many former colonial countries, Madagascar went through various political states like uprisings, provisional governments, single-party rule, socialist economic policies, and the threat of secession.

Today the country is on a slow and steady economical and political growth path from an extremely low level.

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Official Name:
Republic of Madagascar
Short form: Madagascar

ISO Country Code: mg, MDG
Local Time = East African Time (UTC +3h)
Country Calling Code: +261

Capital City: Antananarivo (Tananarive)
Other Cities:
Antsirabé (about 500,000), Mahajanga (about 400,000), Toamasina (about 450,000)

Type: Republic
Independence: 26 June 1960 (from France)
Constitution: 19 August 1992 by national referendum

Transparency: Rank 149 (out of 180 countries); Score 25, on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). Madagascar is ranked in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 between Lebanon and Mozambique.

Location: Southern Africa, an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique.
Area: 587,040 km² (226,658 sq mil.) about the size of Texas or France.
Terrain: Mountainous central plateau, coastal plain.

Climate: tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south, periodic cyclones. Dry season from April to October, rainy season from November to March.