Madagascar is an island (the largest in Africa and the fourth largest in the world) that is entirely surrounded by the Indian Ocean. It is separated from the rest of the continent by the Mozambique Channel. Here are 12 Interesting facts about Madagascar.
Interesting facts about Madagascar
- Diego Dias, the Portuguese explorer, was the first to see Madagascar at the beginning of the 16th century.
- Madagascar, also known as the Republic of Madagascar, is located about 400 kilometers off the east coast of Africa.
- The gentilicio of Madagascar is Malagasy (not madagascarense), and the national language is Malagasy.
- The country is also known as the Red Island, due to the color of its soil.
- It is the fourth largest island in the world, with 4,828 kilometers of coastline. Scientists believe that it separated from the African continent about 160 million years ago.
- There are two seasons in Madagascar: a hot and rainy season, from November to April, and a cold and dry season from May to October.
- Almost half of Madagascar’s territory is covered in forests.
- A little more than 18.5 million people live in Madagascar. The fertility rate is around 5 children per woman.
- While Malagasy is the official language, French is also used in business and government.
- The highest mountain is the Maromokotro with 2,876 m.
- There are 3,000 species of endemic butterflies of Madagascar.
- The island hosts 58% of the world’s animal and plant species (of which more than 80% are endemic to Madagascar). Of the most notable are the lemurs that are an infraorder of primates, the carnivorous fossa, three endemic families of birds and six endemic species of baobabs.