general Islands Travel

Madagascar

Written by Ales Maticic

Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean and is the fifth largest island in the world, but is also the country with an area of 587,041 square kilometers and on Madagascar lives a little less than 15 million people.

To Madagascar also belongs two of nearby islands, named Nosy Be and Nosy Borah. From the Africa
coast separates him a Mozambique Channel, which is situated about 40 kilometer from Madagascar coast.

Visitors are mainly attracted by the unusual flora and fauna, which in the last 180 million years – this is the time since the island was separated from the mainland – was developing in a quite unique way, so here we can also find many endemic species.

From a 7,400 plant species that we could find them on the island, there are about 5800 sort of species, which do not naturally grow anywhere else in the world.
The island has a very diverse landscape. It is divided into three units. The central high plateau consists of old massif of granite.  It is situated at an altitude of 750 to 1400 meters and occupies two thirds of the island. Above this high plateau rise three mountain wreaths: Tsaratanana in the north (it is the highest in the country, 2,876 meters high Maromokotro) Ankaratra in the middle and Andringitra in the south.

The plateau is densely populated, since there is the most favorable climate for living. Temperatures are slightly lower in winter, where the average temperature is between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius and in summer there is about 20 and 25 degrees Celsius.  Annual rain drop report is from 1,000 to 1,500 millimeters of rainfall. Western and northwestern zone sediments are for about 100 to 200 kilometers covered with wide lowlands. Lowlands has the hot climate with temperatures ranging between 25 to 30 degrees. Rainfall decreases from 1500 mm in the northwest to 300 mm in the south.

The poorest is the south part of island
South of the island is the poorest area, where there are frequently severe droughts and famines.  Eastern coastal land is wide only up to 30 kilometers and with a massive relief stage separates it from the central high plateau. Here is hot and humid tropical climate with temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees, annual rainfall exceeds 1800 mm.

Two thousand years old footprints
The first people settled in Madagascar only about 2000 years ago, and they started to change the original image of the island. Therefore, about 90 percent of the forest is gone today, it had been cut out.  Due to deforestation, soil erosion and drought, ecological problems are encountered, many animal and plant species are threatened and some have even become extinct.

Traveling through the island is slow and uncomfortable
Travelling in Madagascar, also known as one of the least developed countries in the world, where still for about three quarters of the population earn a living with subsistence farming, is slow and uncomfortable. Most of the roads are in a bad condition. Madagascar is island wish is 1600 miles long and up to 600 km wide, and it only has around 2,000 kilometers of asphalted roads and 900 kilometers of railways.

If you don’t mind that you are uncomfortable…
Due to remoteness and poor infrastructure Madagascar visits a small numbers of tourist people each year.

It’s not an island, which would be named as one of best destinations to travel.
It is interesting for tourist and travelers, which do not mind a lack of western luxuries.

It is for people, who find pleasure in visiting and exploring places with common, simple people in not yet fully explored land.

Here we can still find many places which still have untouched nature, which you can admire and learn about it. But, once you visit Madagascar, you will never be sorry. From my point of view this is one of best places to visit.

About the author

Ales Maticic

Leave a Comment