Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and the population ethnic makeup here is also very diverse. Hook up with Malayo-Indonesian, Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry – Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran escorts on Exotic Africa.More Less
Madagascar is an Island country in Southern Africa east of Mozambique in the Indian Ocean,
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo. The country is almost four times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of Arizona.
Much of the island was once covered with evergreen and deciduous forest, but little now remains except on the eastern escarpment and in scattered pockets in the west.
The capital city of Madagascar is Antananarivo (formerly Tananarive).
Madagascar’s population consists of 18 main ethnic groups, all of whom speak the same Malagasy language. Most Malagasy are multi-ethnic. Madagascar’s population is made up of Malayo-Indonesian (Merina and related Betsileo), Cotiers (mixed African, Malayo-Indonesian, and Arab ancestry – Betsimisaraka, Tsimihety, Antaisaka, Sakalava), French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
French and Malagasy are the two official languages but English is also spoken.
How to get to Madagascar
Ivato International Airport is the main international airport serving Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, located 16 km northwest of the city centre. Ivato Airport is the main hub for Air Madagascar.
Life in Madagascar
Although located some 250 miles (400 km) from the African continent, Madagascar’s population is primarily related not to African peoples but rather to those of Indonesia, more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) to the east. The Malagasy peoples, moreover, do not consider themselves to be Africans
Most of the population lives on the eastern half of the island; significant clustering is found in the central highlands and eastern coastline.
Madagascar is a youthful country – just over 60% are under the age of 25 – and the high total fertility rate of more than 4 children per woman ensures that the Malagasy population will continue its rapid growth trajectory for the foreseeable future.
The population is predominantly rural and poor; chronic malnutrition is prevalent, and large families are the norm.
Things to do in Antananarivo
Tana, as the capital is universally known, is all about eating, shopping, history and day trips.
There’s plenty to see in Antananarivo. Tana’s rova (fortified palace), known as Manjakamiadana (A Fine Place to Rule), is the imposing structure that crowns the city’s highest hill. Gutted in a fire in 1995, it remains under endless restoration but the compound can be visited. The palace was designed for Queen Ranavalona I by Scottish missionary James Cameron. The outer stone structure was added in 1867 for Queen Ranavalona II, although the roof and interior remained wooden, much to everyone’s regret in 1995.
Antananarivo’s main market is a shadow of the former zoma (market), for which the capital was legendary. It’s still a packed, teeming place, selling clothes, household items, dodgy DVDs and every food product you could imagine.
Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie is a small, dusty museum in Isoraka that gives an overview of archaeological digs around the island, including displays of grave decorations from the south (known as aloalo), rotating exhibits on Malagasy life (cooking, music etc), and a few talismans and objects used in traditional ceremonies.
If you are a foodie then La Varangue will excite you to no ends. This is one of the best addresses in the city for real gourmet cuisine. Meals are served either in the beautiful dining room, with its low lighting and fabulous antique collection, or on the terrace, which overlooks a charming garden. Booking in advance is advised.