What countries are located near Madagascar? How many people live in the island? Read the article to learn more facts about this wonderful country.
Madagascar is a republican island state with the capital of Antananarivo. It became known to a wide range of people after a release of animated film of the same name. Filled with high points, colorful scenes and interesting plot, it has a response in millions of children's hearts and still enjoys wide popularity. But its creators not only have made a cheerful and interesting movie, but also have in some way described the surprising life occurring on Madagascar.
The main island of Madagascar Republic is located in the Indian Ocean at southeast part of the coast of Africa. It is the fourth in the world on the area. The island separates from the continent with Mozambique Channel. The area of the state is 587 thousand square kilometers. The population is nearly 23 million people from whom nearly 5 million live in the capital.
The island is divided into 5 areas:
- Central uplands;
- Tsaratanan massif;
- East coast;
- Western coast;
From West side of the island, through the passage, there is Africa, and from the East, the North and the South is only the Indian Ocean. Though the continent is nearby, climate of Madagascar strongly differs from African. There are tropics, droughty areas and moderate regions. In the central regions, it is not hot – about 18°C, and in the northwest temperature can rise to 34°C. In mountains, there are frosts, and on the coasts, cyclones are frequent. However there are many regions with a temperature of 24-27 °C on the Madagascar island, and actually there is no continuous rainy season – there are enough opportunities for rest and tourism.
The flag of Madagascar consists of two horizontal strips and one vertical. At the left side, the vertical white strip settles down, on other part two horizontal strips – red above & green below are placed.
State languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French.
Among representatives of fauna of Madagascar it is necessary to distinguish numerous species of lemurs, which can be met only in this territory, and also insectivorous centetes, water boars, bats.
The fact that a large number of animals can disappear in the next 20 years causes concern. Poor local communities fall trees to get a place for such cultures as rice. The huge amount of wood, prepared from the destroyed forest is used for production of charcoal. The primitive state Madagascar has been covered with the wood for 85%, and now there are only 8%. The fact that 50% of loss of the wood have happened in the last 50 years is even more shocking. Though the number of national parks on the island grows, ecologists are afraid that it isn't enough to rescue many animals.
The first settling of the territory, where Madagascar is located today, has begun between 3 and 6 centuries of our era. Having set up on light boats of canoe, people have overcome the passage and have given start to formation of settlements on the island. This theory is quite popular among the scientists. It is based on comparison of two cultures. They found similarity of language, methods of cultivation and processing of crops, same type of a canoe. The first written mention of the country has appeared during the first arrival of Arabs. Then attempts to Islamize the population of republic have begun, but it was not fully succeeded to do it. Ancient beliefs, staying here since the first settling, cover the most part of the population today. About 45% of the population are followers of Christian beliefs.
Very few people know that Madagascar was the homeland for pirates. Here auctions for slave traders were carried out. The best-known pirates – John Bowen, William Kidd, Robert Drury, etc. – called the island their homeland and spent time here, periodically plundering maritime routes from India.
Basis of Madagascar kitchen is rice, which is eaten with vegetables and hot pepper, corn, meat zebu, fish, pieces of cheese and spices. Dishes, as a rule, are very spicy. The most well-known national foods are ravitoto (beef fillet with mashed potatoes from leaves of cassava and a coco) and romazava (meat ragout with tomatoes and spices). Admirers of European cuisine will appreciate a local goose liver. On the coasts, the sea kitchen is widespread (spiny lobsters, crabs, oysters, sea hedgehogs). There are a lot of fruits all the year. Production of wine and alcoholic beverages is well developed.
Though many people say that tourism is the most important branch of economy for the country, but it still develops poorly. Political situation prevents it. As experience shows, the president in this country can just be expelled, and his former supporters can easily cause mutinies. Different ethnic groups aren't always able to agree among themselves. The situation is aggravated with intervention of the West, so nobody wants to make long-term investments.
As a result, though the nature of Madagascar is unique, and for development of beach leisure, there are all prerequisites, the infrastructure develops poorly. It interferes with normal, modern rest, but its active types, in particular, ecotourism, are developed well and the prices are low. Low cost attracts tourists: if to be guided with modest food, it is possible to spend about $3 a day, and the most expensive products can cost $10. Even the normal housing can be hired for $5-10 a day. There are also other parties. On some responses, high-quality service costs almost as in the developed countries, but at the same time, the probability of violations is quite high. It isn't always possible to receive promised – no wonder that tourism development in general has slowed down.