In recent years, Madagascar, often referred to as the “Vanilla Island”, has become very popular with tourists. This is not surprising, given that this island has unique nature and equally unique wildlife, friendly residents and a very interesting history. Madagascar is a great place for both beach and outdoor activities.
Geography of Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the southeast coast of Africa. This state includes the island of Madagascar (the fourth largest island in the world), as well as several small islands. Total area – 587,041 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 6,004 km.
In the central part of the island of Madagascar there is a high plateau Anjafi (from 800 to 1800 meters above sea level), gradually descending to the west and abruptly breaking off closer to the east coast with its lowlands. The Tsaratanana mountain range extends in the north of the island. The highest local peak is the Marumukutru volcano, whose height reaches 2,876 meters (nowadays it is already an extinct volcano).
In the northwest of Madagascar, the Becibuka River flows – the largest river of this island (its length is 525 km.)
According to allpubliclibraries.com, Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar. More than 1.5 million people now live in this city. Antananarivo was founded at the beginning of the 17th century.
Official language of Madagascar
There are two official languages - Malagasy (belongs to the Austronesian language family) and French.
Almost half of the population professes the traditional Madagascan religion, based on the veneration of ancestors. Another 45% of the population are Christians (Catholics and Protestants).
According to cancermatters.net, Madagascar is a democratic multi-party republic, headed by a President elected by popular vote. The President appoints the Prime Minister.
The bicameral local parliament consists of the Senate (22 senators) and the National Assembly (125 deputies).
The largest political party in Madagascar is “I love Madagascar”. The remaining parties have very little political influence.
Administratively, the country is divided into 22 regions, which in turn are divided into 119 districts, and then into 1,579 communes.
Climate and weather
The climate in Madagascar is hot subtropical, cooler in the mountains, especially dry in the south and western regions. The local climate is influenced by winds from the Indian Ocean. The coldest month is July, when the average air temperature ranges from +9C to +21C. The warmest month is December – +28. However, keep in mind that December is the rainy season.
The eastern and northern regions of Madagascar are prone to storms and cyclones from December to March. The rainy season is from November to March and the dry season is from April to October.
Ocean off Madagascar
Madagascar is bordered on all sides by the Indian Ocean. The average annual water temperature near the shore is +26C.
Rivers and lakes
The largest river of this island is the Becibuka, which flows in the northwest. The length of this river is 525 km. There are several large lakes on the island – about. Alautra, oh. Kinkuni and about. Ihutri.
Culture of Madagascar
The culture of Madagascar is very original and interesting. Also interesting are the customs of the inhabitants of this country. So, mothers whose children are three months old choose a person who would cut their little child’s hair. The main thing is that this person has good thick hair, then the child will have everything in order with hair.
The main event in the life of local men is the circumcision ceremony (Famoràna). Before circumcision, all the boy’s relatives and friends gather for a fun dinner. This party goes on all night. On the east coast of Madagascar, collective circumcision is practiced.
The local New Year is called Alahamandi and is celebrated in a big way every March.
Other popular holidays are Easter, Christmas, Uprising Day, African Unity Day, Republic Day, Doniya Music Festival.
People in Madagascar love to eat. The inhabitants of this country eat a lot, the portions are large and everything is very generous. A typical lunch, for example, necessarily consists of a large portion of meat, vegetables with spices and sauce. Peppers are almost always added to hot dishes, and therefore they are quite spicy. Many Madagascar desserts are flavored with vanilla (understandably, as Madagascar is called the “Vanilla Island”).
We recommend trying the following dishes: “Ro” (beef or pork marinated in vinegar, then boiled with onions, vegetables, pickles, and seasoned with spices), “Ravitoto (fried meat), “Ramazava (pieces of beef or pork fried in oil with herbs), “Vary amid ‘anana” (rice with herbs, meat, and sometimes shrimp), “Kitoza” (long slices of fried or smoked meat).
Traditional non-alcoholic drinks – “rano vda” (rice drink), mineral water.
Traditional alcoholic drinks are Litchel (aperitif made from lychee), Toaka gasy (drink made from sugar cane and rice), beer.
Sights of Madagascar
In Antananarivo, we recommend that you definitely see the ensemble of Ruva Ambuhimanga palaces, which houses the tombs of the Madagascan monarchs, as well as the Botanical Garden, the Izutri Theater, the Presidential Palace, the Museum of Archeology and Paleontology, and the Iwatu crocodile farm.
In the vicinity of Antananarivo, tourists will be interested in the Tatamarina volcanic lake, the Antafufu waterfalls, the Andraykiba and Tritriva lakes, the fortress on the Ambuhimanga hill and the ruins of the castle of the Madagascar king Ralambu, built in the 16th century.
Of great interest to tourists is always the Montagne d’Arbre National Park. There are more than 50 species of lemurs, one species of pygmy hippopotamus, several species of crocodiles, iguanas, narrow-mouthed frogs, snakes, boas and a large number of birds.
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are Antananarivo, Antsohihi, Sambava, Antsirabe, Toamasina, Fianarantsoa, Manakara and Touliara.
In the vicinity of Madagascar, there are many small islands that are ideal for a beach holiday after traveling through the tropical forests of this state.
The most popular Madagascar island for a beach holiday is Nosy Be, where there are always a lot of tourists. Less “densely populated” tourists are the islands of Ile Sainte Marie on the east coast, Nosy Komba on the north coast, and the private islands of Tsarabanjina and Nosy Iranja. These islands have many secluded beaches with fine sand and clear water, over which frigatebirds soar.
Tourists in Madagascar can go diving, active water sports, or just sunbathe on the beach.
Tourists in Madagascar buy handicrafts, knitted and embroidered tablecloths and clothes, jewelry with semi-precious stones, leather goods, vanilla sprigs (no more than 100 grams), saffron and other spices, honey.
Mon-Sat: 08:00-12:00 and 14:00-18:00
Ukrainians can apply for a visa directly in Madagascar at the point of arrival.
Currency of Madagascar
Ariari is the official currency of Madagascar. Its international designation is MGA. One ariary = 5 iraimbilanya. Most hotels accept all major credit cards.
Import and export of foreign currency is not limited (an amount exceeding the equivalent of 7500 euros must be declared). Local currency can be imported in the amount of no more than 5 thousand MGA. It is forbidden to export local currency.
It is forbidden to import drugs, weapons, explosives and ammunition, knives, meat and meat products, pornographic materials, counterfeit goods. To import vegetables and fruits, even in small quantities, you need to obtain permission. You can not import rare plants. A veterinary certificate is required to import dogs and cats.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
The interests of Madagascar in Ukraine are represented by the Embassy of Madagascar in Russia:
Index: 119034, Moscow, Kursovoy per., 5/1
T: (495) 290-02-14
The interests of Ukraine in Madagascar are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in South Africa:
Address: 36463, Menlo Park 0102, Pretoria, South Africa 398
Marais str., Brooklyn 0181, Pretoria
T: (8 10 2712) 460 19
43 mail: [email protected]
17 – Police
18 – Fire brigade
22 357 53 – Ambulance
Behind Kyiv for 1 hour. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in Antananarivo – 12:00.
If the service charge is included in the bill, then tipping is not required, however, it is customary to leave a small amount.
No vaccinations are required to enter this country. Doctors recommend making preventive vaccinations against cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, malaria, polio, tuberculosis, tetanus and typhoid.
Resting in Madagascar is quite safe, unless, of course, reasonable precautions are observed. We recommend traveling in a group. Do not wear gold jewelry, and leave expensive video cameras and phones in your hotel safe. Never leave valuables unattended. In any case, Madagascar is safer than many African countries.