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Madagascar, which is located in the southern hemisphere, doesn’t have any neighbor because it is an island country and the nearest mainland country is Mozambique in the west of the island. The neighboring island countries are the islands of the Comoros and France overseas in the northwest, the Mauritius in the east and the Réunion islands in the French overseas region.
Where is Madagascar?
Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, is 1,570 km long from north to south and has a maximum width of 575 kilometers. The coastline with more than about 4,800 km, the change of its geographical structure with the mountain chain extending along its entire length is remarkable. The island is divided into three natural areas of the geography: the mountainous inner region, the east coast and the west coast.
The mountainous inner region, named after the high plateaus, has an altitude of 900 to 1,500 m above sea level and contains three mountain ranges with a height exceeding 1,830 m. The highest peak is Maromokotro (2,876 m), on the northern Tsratanna mountain range. The surfaces of the plateaus have different characteristics. All directions include cross valleys and deep streams. In the high parts of the mountainous region, there are large low pressure areas and marshy plains.
The east coast, which has an average of 50 km, is located between the high plateaus and the Indian Ocean. It is characterized by erosion hills and marshes. As the only indentation, the coastline including the Antongil Bay is parallel to the main axis of the mountains. The rivers pouring from this shore into the Indian Ocean are short but suitable for short distances.
The western coast, which has reached 190 km in some places, has a more variable, more indented appearance than the east coast with its plains depressions and plateaus. This is the most important geographical feature of Madagascar. The rivers poured into the Mozambique Channel are longer and have large sections.
In the Democratic Republic of Madagascar announced on 30 December 1975, the President is elected for seven years. The President presides over the 12-member Council of the Revolution. The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President. There is only one party in the country where the National People’s Assembly has been in office for six years. Madagascar is a member of the United Nations and the African Union.
On the island, climate changes depend on altitude differences rather than latitude differences. The climate is generally hot and humid. The mountainous interior is mild.
There are two seasons in Madagascar: Hot (rainy) season and cold (dry) season. Hot season is the period of daily rains and storms. This season continues in the high plateaus from the end of November until the end of April. The east coast lasts longer, is shorter on the west coast. It takes only two months to the south (range and quarry). The cold season continues from April to November. In this season, the east coast and north west are rainy and high plateaus are humid.
The west coast is arid, the southern coast is even more dry. Annual average precipitation varies by region. The rainfall on the coast of Antongil, which is 3,700 mm, is 2,100 millimeters on the northwest coast, 940 millimeters in the west and 355 kilometers in the southwest. This amount varies between 1,200-1,325 mm in the inner plateau. The average annual temperature is 21 ° C-27 ° C on the coast and 13 ° -19 ° C on the inner plateau. The coldest month is July.
About one third of the population of Madagascar is Christian. Christianity has spread throughout the country by the missionaries in the nineteenth century. There are several hundred thousand Muslims in Madagascar, especially in the northwest. Most of the people in the countryside continue their old religions.
Industry and Tourism
Until recently, the economy of Madagascar was under the control of French economic organizations. Today, with an accelerated nationalization policy, the government has nationalized 35% of the industry, 78% of exports, 60% of imports, and banking and insurance as a whole.
Priority in the economy is given to agriculture where more than 80% of the population is engaged. Agricultural products such as tobacco, vanilla, tea, cloves, peppers and coffee grown in the country are exported. Rice, the main foodstuff of the people, is grown, but for the people of the city, more than 100 thousand tons of rice is imported annually. 10 million cattle raised in Madagascar allow the country to export frozen meat. Agricultural products provide 30% of export revenues. Chromium, mica, graphite and second grade precious stones are exported.
Madagascar is expected to become an oil exporting country thanks to large oil reserves discovered in recent years. Most of the products are imported, but due to a strict import policy, the trade balance is shifting in favor of the country. Inflation is around 8%.
Different ethnic groups living in Madagascar live according to their beliefs. The core cultural traits that are common across the island are the identity of a powerful and unified Madagascar culture. There is a common language. The values that emphasize the traditional Madagascar worldview are called fihavanana (solidarity), vintana (destiny), tody (karma) and hasina (sacred life force). Music is one of the most important cultural ways of expressing itself throughout the country. The music range in Madagascar ranges from traditional folk music to the so-called halk salegi elp in coastal areas.
Population Density: 46 per Km2
Land Area: 581,795 Km ²