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Madagascar

  • Madagascar
  • Хамелеон

Madagascar (Republic of Madagascar / Repoblikanrocks Tsingy'i Madagasikara / République de Madagascar)

Madagascar is located on the eponymous island and smaller islands nearby in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa, from which the island is separated by the Mozambique Channel. This amazing island, which is often referred to as "small continent" on the area, the fourth largest in the world after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo. One of the most unusual places in the world, which is surprisingly rich on nature and local traditions. It is the birthplace of the lemurs, baobabs and other endemics, pirate treasure, rocks Tsingy, deposits of the best sapphires and macabre rituals of exhumation of dead relatives. In Madagascar there is no luxury hotel, this is the place for those, who are looking for an incredibly exotic.

General information

The location, grounds and landscape 

The country is situated on the Madagascar island and the surrounding small islands in the Indian Ocean (Nosy Bee, Nosy Mitsiu, Nosy Vuruna, Nosy Wow, Sainte-Marie, Nosy Mangabe and others) and in the Bay of Diego Suarez, as well as the islands of Nosy Lava, Radama and Barrenok.

The country's territory is 587,041 km². The fourth largest island in the world after Greenland, New Guinea and Kalimantan.

The landscape is extremely diverse, most of the territory is occupied by Central Highlands, up to 2876 m (extinct volcano Maromokotro), stretching in the center of the island from north to south for more than 800 km. It consists of separate volcanic massifs with soft contours of the mountain slopes, between which lie the valleys and vast flat-bottomed troughs, many with small lakes or swamps. The island has many extinct volcanoes and hot springs. The eastern edge of the plateau drops off steeply to the narrow coastal lowland, western - wide terraces down to the vast coastal plain.

Population: more than 20 million people, 99% - Malagasy, presented now by nineteen different tribal groups, and the rest - immigrants from Europe, Africa and Asia.

Capital: Antananarivo (or colloquially abbreviated to "Tana").

Languages: gelding (a dialect of the Malagasy language) and French. In tourist areas English is common.

Religionabout half the population adheres to local traditional beliefs, Christians (Catholics and Protestants) - 40%, Muslims and Buddhists.

Time zoneGMT/UTC +3.

Calling code: +261.

Currency: Madagascar Ariary (MGA), 1 MGA = 100 centimes, 1 USD ≅ 2211 MGA, 1 EUR ≅ 2850 MGA.

Credit card payment systemsVisa, MasterCard, American Express.

How best to get

There are no direct flights from CIS countries. The easiest option is a flight to Paris of any airline, and more - the flights of Air France or Air Madagascar to Antananarivo (flight time 13-14 hours). As well as an option - Air France flight to Johannesburg (South Africa), and then in Antanananrivo. Flight duration is more than a few hours without taking into account connections.

Regular flights are carried out between Madagascar and Kenya, Mauritius, Comoros, Reunion, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

In the port of Toamasina regularly the cruise ships of international companies call at the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. Also the island connects to the mainland by a plurality of small coasters, without following the schedule.

The climate and the average temperature

The climate is tropical and equatorial monsoon. Average monthly temperatures are from +13 to +30 C. Annual precipitation ranges from 400 to 3000 mm per year. 

Madagascar is characterized by an exceptional variety of climatic conditions. The most arid areas of the island are the north-west coast and Bemaraha plateau, where the average of the absolute maximum temperature reaches +34 C. On the tops of mountain ranges can be very low temperatures and freezing air. In the area of ​​the array Andringitra minimum temperature sometimes reaches -15 C, at the soil surface may lie snow. Precipitation is changed to a greater extent than the air temperature. On the island of Sainte-Marie (Nosy drills) the maximum amount of rainfall in a year is 3612 mm in Anakau, same annual rainfall - less than 310 mm.

Flora and fauna

Since Madagascar for a long time has been isolated from the rest of Africa, its territory contains numerous endemic species of plants and animals. In particular, about 80% of animal species in Madagascar does not occur more than in any other part of our planet. Most species of baobabs are here. 

Madagascar is often called "the land of lemurs and chameleons" because there are about 60 species of lemurs and 60 species of chameleons (nearly half of all the chameleons of the planet). Almost all species of lemurs and chameleons that live in numerous national and private parks and reserves, are not afraid of people. You can take pictures and even pet them, previously treated (with a fruit or insects). Lemurs are very funny and friendly, with them you can get the best photos from the trip. 

Funny animals tenrecs that look like moles, shrews and hedgehogs, were probably the first mammals appeared in Madagascar. To protect themselves from predators they curl up into a ball and spread spiky hair. 

The largest predator of Madagascar - fossa, which has the body of the cat and dog's nose, a close relative of the mongoose. He's twice the normal domestic cat and hunts birds and lemurs.

Best time to visit

Going to Madagascar is best for the period from April to November, when the main resorts of the country are worth a comfortable dry weather. 

Ecotourism is worth viewing reserves and national parks from September to November, when the animals are most active, and the probability of rain is low. In March Alahamandi is celebrated - Malagasy New Year. In May and June - Music Festival "Donia". In May, all over the country hosts the Festival of rice, from June to September - a ritual ceremony honoring the dead Famadihana, one of the main festivals of the island. In October-November - Jazz Festival "Madadzhazkar".

Popular tourist sites

Antananarivo (Malaga. "City of a thousand warriors") is the largest and most picturesque town of the island. Its main attractions include a complex of palaces Ruva Ambuhimanga: Mahitsilafandzaka, Mandzakamiadana (XVII century), Manampisoa, Tranavaluna and tombs of monarchs. Also in the capital you can visit the Palace of the Prime Minister, the National Library, "canal district", the Municipal Theatre Izutri, quarter anus Mahamasina Stadium, Museum of Archaeology and paleontology, block Anusi, crocodile farm Iwata, farming center, park Tsimbazaza, Botanical Garden, and much more.

Pierina park, located in the east of the country, represents the ever-green rain forests, gained popularity owing to dwell among them a large population of Indri lemurs and many other interesting animals. Asi tself Pierina park is small, an area of ​​only 810 hectares and an extensive network of well-paved paths for tourists.

Nosy Be is an island the size of 30x20 km, located 600 km north of the capital Antananarivo, Madagascar. Here is a paradise for tourists: Mout Poissol, Silver Falls, aborigine village, town Dzamandzari where since 1900 rum is produced. The island of Madagascar is a business card, as it is one of the most famous and "fashionable" resorts of the Indian Ocean. Extraordinary beauty, deserted beaches with white sand, vibrant coral reefs and islets around annually attract thousands of tourists from Western Europe, the USA and other countries around the world who love the comfortable stay and excellent diving.

Fianarantsoa is the academic and intellectual center of Madagascar, which is located in the center of an agricultural region of the country. In Fianare lot of good and cheap hotels. To the west of the city stands the famous mountain Kiandzhasoa (1374 m above sea level). In the 70s of the last century a Swiss corporation, founded a wine industry and now is the leader of Madagascar winemaking in the region. In addition to wine tasting, you can visit tea plantation Savahambi 22 km east to the town.

Ambohimanga is Malagasy Holy City (Blue or Forbidden City), which is surrounded by beautiful forests and parks. Here is the Palace of Rova, built with cement from the egg white. You need to go there through the huge gate, which requires strength 40 adult males to open.

Tours in the direction of: Madagascar

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