Madagascar (or “Mada”, as it is affectionally known) is the fourth largest island in the world at 592,800 square kilometres (228,900 square miles), and is located in the southwestern Indian Ocean. It is separated from the African coast by the 250 mile- (400 km) wide Mozambique Channel.
Madagascar is really unique: 5% of all known animal and plant species on the planet can be found there, and there alone, which is pretty amazing when you think about it! If you have watched the eponymous animation movie, you will know that the island's signature animal is the lemur of course, but there are many more weird and wonderful creatures and plants: zebus, baobabs, sharks, snakes, orchids, palms, birds, turtles, mongoose, amongst many.
Its remarkable fauna and flora is matched by wonderful landscapes of an incredible diversity: you can go from rainforest to desert in just 300km! Few places on earth offer such an intense kaleidoscope of nature. There are sandstone canyons, limestone karsts, mountains, fertile hills cascading with terraced rice paddies, forests of every kind – rain, dry, spiny – and a laterite-rich soil that gave the country its nickname of 'Red Island', hence the colour of its flag and seal. If you are more of a beach person, with 5000 km of coastline, the sea is never very far, and the island boasts some breathtaking beaches, in Nosy Be for example or Île Sainte-Marie.
The official language is the Malagasy language, which is of Malayo-Polynesian origin and is generally spoken throughout the island. Madagascar is a francophone country though, and French is mostly spoken as a second language and used for international communication, in particular with its “sister island”, Reunion!
There’s so much more I could tell you, but I guess you'll have to check our blog regularly for more updates and more information about Madagascar ! In the meanwhile feel free to visit: