Country Information to Madagascar

Off the coast of Mozambique, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, lies the second largest island nation in the world, Madagascar. Due to its unique flora and fauna and thick layer of laterite soil, Madagascar is also called the "eighth continent" or the "red island". For centuries, various settlers from Indonesia, Africa and India came to Madagascar, forming many different tribes, still largely based on the principles of their indigenous beliefs.

General Country Information

  • Population: ca. 29 million
  • Capital: Antananarivo
  • Religion: Nature religions (more than 50 percent), Christians (40 percent), Islam (5 percent)
  • Languages: Malagasy, French

A Brief Look at the History of Madagascar

The first colonization of Madagascar took place more than 2000 years ago. It is disputed whether the first settlers were Indonesians or peoples of mixed Indonesian/African origin. The first known European who saw Madagascar was Diogo Diaz, a Portuguese navigator, in 1500. Then a settlement by Europeans took place in the 17th century.

In the 18th century, the first kingdoms were founded on Madagascar, which established relations with England and brought Christianity into the country.

In 1883, France took control of Madagascar and made it her colony. Despite the fact that the Madagas led two major uprisings against the French (1918 and 1947), they did not gain independence until 1960.

Today, Madagascar is a presidential democracy. The political situation is self sustaining and an economic upswing is currently taking place.

Climate & Best Travel Time

Madagascar has a tropical climate that brings pleasant temperatures all year round. The year is divided into two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The months November to April are characterized by an average temperature of 27° C and heavy rainfall. The months from May to October, on the other hand, are characterized by a dry season, with an average temperature of around 20° C, providing the best travel time.