Madagascar is located off the African Coast in the Indian Ocean. The nation consists of many islands, the major one being the island of Madagascar. It is the fourth-largest island in the world. The country covers around 600,000 km2. The population of the country stands at around 22 million people.

The country is poor. Around 90% of the population lives on less than $2 per day. The islands, which neighbor it, are MauritiusComoros, and Mayotte. 

The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo. The country hosts various ethnic groups and indigenous tribes. The people of Madagascar are called Malagasy or Madagascan.

THINGS TO DO

The isolated environment, which Madagascar hosts, makes for exotic flora and fauna. The biodiversity that is present here is unique, in comparison to anywhere else in the world. If you ever visit Madagascar, you will fall in love with the island’s plants and animals, which exist nowhere else in the world.

The country usually faces a hot, rainy season with frequent and destructive cyclones. The dry season is relatively cooler. The tropical cyclones cause a lot of damage to the infrastructure every year.

The tourist industry in Madagascar is smaller than in the neighboring Seychelles or Mauritius. It faces a lot of challenges here, such as poor infrastructure, bad roads, and expensive air travel. Madagascar offers around 500 hotels, but only 20% of them meet international standards.  Nevertheless, since the 1990s the number of visitors to Madagascar grows at around 10% every year. The majority of visitors are French, due to long historical and cultural connections between two countries.

One of the most popular tourist destinations on Madagascar is the Analamazoatra Reserve, situated four hours away from the capital city. There are also numerous historic sites in the country.

For example, such UNESCO Heritage Sites as the Royal Palace or the sacred Hill of Ambohimanga are very attractive to visitors. Also, a popular tourist route from Antananarivo to Tulear passes through several places known for their handicrafts, such as Ambatolampy, Antsirepe, Ambositra, and Fianarantsoa.

CURRENCY

The currency of Madagascar is Ariary. The approximate exchange rate is Ar3333 for US$1. The currency exchange is available at banks, bureaus de change, hotels, and airport in Antananarivo. Top-end hotels in Tana and provincial capitals accept all major credit cards.

However, outside of the main cities, you will need cash. ATMs are also only present in the capital and other large cities.

GETTING AROUND

Taxis are plentiful, affordable and easy to find in the cities, although they don’t have meters. Also, if you want to hire a car, you can easily do it in main cities. However, most options include a driver.

The minimum driving age is 18, though only a few companies offer self-drive cars. Cars drive on the right side of the road here, but roads are generally not in a very good condition.

ELECTRICITY

In Madagascar, they use electric sockets of types C and F, as in Europe. The standard voltage is 220V.

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July 30, 2016 12:00 am Published by 1 Comment

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