Madagascar is a truly unique destination with a staggering variety of attractions. Cut off from the African mainland for millions of years, countless endemic and exotic species have evolved here which are found nowhere else on earth. Most famous is the lemur, with over 70 species of this distinctive primate to be discovered in the country's many national parks and nature reserves. There are numerous other interesting flora and fauna on the island including over half the world's population of chameleons. The country's natural landscape is just as unique and fascinating, from the spectacular canyons of Isalo National Park to the bizarre limestone peaks at Tsingy de Bemaraha. The Malagasy people are culturally distinct and extremely friendly and welcoming, making a visit to this laid-back island paradise truly memorable. Explore in depth highlights of Madagascar.
|Time zone:||GMT +3 (Eastern Africa time)||Daylight savings: None|
|Main languages:||Malagasy, French, English|
Malagasy ariary (MGA)|
€1 = MGA3450, $1 = MGA3092, £1 = MGA4112
(rates as of Sep 2016)
|Internet Domain:||.mg||International Dialling Code: 261|
For help planning your trip to Madagascar including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Madagascar trip planning page.
Further information on Madagascar
Discover more about Madagascar - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.
Geography & Natural Features
Total area: 587,040 sq km (5,500 sq km under water)
Coastline: 4,828 km (Indian Ocean, Mozambique Channel)
Neighbours (border lengths): No land borders
Climate: Hot, tropical climate along coast, more temperate inland. Rainy season from November to March.
Highest mountain: Maromokotro (2,876m)
Freedom & Rights
Summary status and rankings for Madagascar from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.
|Freedom in the World||Partly Free||-|
|Democracy Index||Hybrid regime||110/167|
|Economic Freedom||Moderately Free||79/179|
|Press Freedom||Noticeable problems||63/179|
|ILGA LGBT rights||Limited rights||-|
|Corruption Perceptions||High corruption||133/174|
Other Data & Links
Full name: Republic of Madagascar Status: Independent Country
Population: 23,201,926 (rank: 52/196) Density: 39.5 people/sq km (rank: 140/196)
Ethnic groups: Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry - Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Religions: indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%
GDP (PPP): $22.03 billion GDP per capita: $1,000 (rank: 187/195)