Madagascar Travel Overview
At a glance
Official language: French, Malagasy
Continent: East Africa
Land of the Lemurs
Few other places in the world are home to such a large density of their own animal and plant species as Madagascar.
According to Countryaah, Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean off the African coast, roughly at the level of Mozambique. However, the closest people to the island are the Comoros, which are halfway between the island and the mainland. Over the centuries, the country has been populated by Africans and Asians, especially people from today’s India. This flair contributes to the island’s reputation for being neither completely African nor properly Asian.
Madagascar is the largest island in Africa and with a size roughly the same as that of France, it is also one of the largest in the world. The country has long been separated from the mainland and so there are many animal and plant species on the island that are only found there. Above all, the many different species of lemurs (half-apes) are typical of the country. A special experience is the last strip of remaining jungle on the island, which today only comprises 3% of its former size. The special thing about the jungle of Madagascar is that no poisonous strikes live there – otherwise a reason for many to avoid the rainforest.
The coastal city is a popular destination for excursionsMorondava. The city is well developed for tourism, one reason to choose it as your first stop. Another reason is that it is 1-2 day trips away from many of Madagascar’s cultural highlights and attractions. For example, there is the dry forest of Kirindy and the popular diving spot Belo sur mer.
The clocks in Madagascar tick a little slower, as on most islands in the world, hectic is a foreign word here too. The best way to travel Madagascar is on your own. The best thing to do is to take a rental vehicle, even better a rental car with a driver, maybe even a Malagasy interpreter, if you don’t have any knowledge of French. With a little luck and a lot of patience, you might see a few chameleons.
Official language: French, Malagasy
Ariary (5 Iraimbilanja)
ISO 4217 code
MGA / 969
Geo coordinates: S -18 ° -46 ‘-1 ” E 46 ° 52’ 8.8″
Highest mountain: Maromokotro (2,876 m)
Total area: 587,040 km²
Mainland: 581,540 km²
Coastline: 4,828 km
Dependency: France until 1960
UN member since: 1960
Other political affiliation: African Union
Form of government: Socialist republic
Export goods: Coffee, vanilla, rice
BSP: $ 7,234,000,000
GDP: $ 7.985 billion
GDP purchasing power parity: $ 18.410 billion
Economic growth: 5.5%
GDP share of agriculture: 24.4%
GDP share of industry: 17.1%
GDP share of services: 58.5%
Inflation rate: 13%
State budget revenue: $ 757 billion
State budget expenditure: $ 866000000
Export: $ 1,083,000,000
Import: $ 1,687,000,000
Gold and currency reserves: $ 637,000,000
Electricity consumption: 918 million KWh
Oil consumption: 18,600 million m³
Cultivation area: 6.03%
Bovine: 1,066,000 pieces
Pigs: 1,662,000 pieces
Fishing: 147,000 t
Residents in cities: 5,482,000
Average age: 17.5 years
0-14 years: 44.8%
15-64 years: 52.2%
> 65 years: 3%
Population growth: 3.03%
Birth rate: 41.41 / 1,000 residents
Death rate: 11/11 / 1,000 residents
Ratio men / women: 0.99
Fertility: 5.62 children / woman
Infant mortality: 75.21 ‰
Life expectancy men: 54.93 years
Life expectancy women: 59.82 years
Country codes and abbreviations
ISO 3166 Alpha 2: MG
ISO 3166 Alpha 3: MDG
ISO 3166 numeric: 450
Top Level Domain: mg
IOC country code: MAD
UN / LOCODE: MG
Telephone connections: 72,000
Cell Phones: 680,000
Internet users: 170,000
Railway lines: 883 km
Paved roads: 6,690 km
Merchant fleet (ships over 1,000 GRT): 9
Number of doctors: 1,730
Daily food intake: 2.120 kcal / resident
HIV- infected people: 170,000
Last sovereign since: 1960
Main religious group: Natural religions
Prison inmates: 21,300
Armed forces (troop strength): 14,000
Defense Spending: $ 289.7 million
Arriving by plane
Madagascar’s national airline Air Madagascar (MD) (Internet: www.airmadagascar.com) offers flight connections to destinations in the region (including Réunion, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, the Comoros and the Seychelles) and Europe (Paris). Air Madagascar (MD) flies to Antananarivo from Paris. Air France (AF) offers feeders to Paris from Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Berlin as well as from Vienna and Zurich (Internet: www.airfrance.com). Lufthansa (LH) (Internet: www.lufthansa.com) flies from Germany, Swiss International (LX) (Internet: www.swiss.com) from Switzerland,Austrian Airlines (OS) (Internet. Www.aua.com) from Austria in cooperation with other airlines.
Frankfurt – Antananarivo: 13 hours 30; Zurich – Antananarivo: 13 hours 20; Vienna – Antananarivo: 13 hours 40;
Arrival by ship
The island’s main port is Toamasina. Passenger ships call at Madagascar as part of cruises through the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
ON THE GO
Traveling by plane
Most of Madagascar, with the exception of a few cities in the central highlands, can be reached by plane, there are over 200 airstrips. Air Madagascar (MD) flies to numerous cities and towns on the island.
On the way by car / bus
3500 km of the road network are tarred. Many roads are in need of repair. Asphalt roads connect the cities of the central highlands and continue to the east and north-west coast. The three main roads lead from Antananarivo to Mahajanga (RN4), to Toamasina (RN2) and to Fianarantsoa (RN7). Other parts of the country have some paved roads, but the majority are unpaved roads, many of which are impassable during the rainy season (November to April).
Long-distance buses are often overcrowded and rather unreliable. Unit fares. Madabus buses (Internet: www.madabus.com) are more comfortable and run from Toliara via Antananarivo to Soanierana Ivongo and from Morondava to Antsirabe.
Taxi:Standard fares apply except in Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa. In these two cities, prices are calculated according to whether you want to go to the upper or lower town. Taxis come in two types: taxi-bes are faster and more convenient; Taxi brousses (bush taxis) are cheaper, but slower, as they stop more often and also drive to rural areas. Prices should be agreed in advance.
Rickshaws: Pousse-Pousses carry passengers everywhere. The fare should be negotiated in advance. Carriages: There are still some passenger carriages in operation in Antananarivo.
Rental car only found in the larger tourist towns; Inquire about insurance conditions in advance. Motorcycles can also be rented.
Documentation: International driver’s license is recommended.
Note on traveling by road
The Ministère du Tourisme de Madagascar (see addresses) offers a wide range of tours that can last up to a month. If you want to travel on your own, you should keep in mind that there are bandits in certain mountain regions. The climate and rough terrain also make overland travel difficult in many regions almost all year round.
On the go by train
All four railway lines in Madagascar are currently not regularly served. There are passenger trains from Toamasina (east coast) via Antananarivo to Antsirabe (a branch line leads to Lake Alaotra), from Manakara (also on the east coast) to Fianarantsoa and from Moramanga to Ambatondrazaja. (Internet: www.fce-madagascar.com). The northern route is to be expanded, the southern route leads through dense rainforest. 1st class wagons are air-conditioned.
Out and about by ship
The most important port is Toamasina. Rapids make many rivers impassable. The Ministère du Tourisme de Madagascar (see addresses) offers photo safaris in small boats on the Betsiboka and Tsiribihina rivers as well as sailing trips. The Pangalanes Canal runs parallel to the east coast for 600 km.