You may have heard before the name of Madagascar Island but might not really know about it; geographically, size, weather, history, cultural, value in fauna and flora, and the more important is its standing in tourism activity.
Madagascar is located in the south part of the earth globe, in the middle of the Indian Ocean and in vicinity of the African continent, 400Km is the distance which separates Madagascar and Africa by the Mozambique Channel. 6000km is the Distance which separates Madagascar with Europe and 5500Km from Australia.
It has 1600KM length and 580KM width and its surface is 590.000Km2. Madagascar belongs to the biggest islands in the world. It is the fourth biggest Island after these following Islands: Greenland (2.186.000Km2) New Guinea (785.000Km2) and Borneo (743.000Km2).
Madagascar contains four mains aspects of Geographical and variety of beautiful landscapes.
It has very high mountains such Tsaratanana in the north-west part (2.880m high), Ankaratra in the highland (2.660 m high) and Andringitra in the south part (2.630m high).
It has also a very large plain such Alaotra in The Middle East part, Antsirabe in the highland and Ambalavao in the south part.
It has also those following plateau: Plateau of Bemaraha in the west part, Plateau of Horombe, in the middle south part and plateau of Mahafaly in the deep south of the island.
It has a littoral which measures up to 5000Km. There are many rivers and Mangoky river is the longest which measures 870Km length. Tsiribihina river is the most attractive for the boat ride in the west coast. Its length is 150Km.
There are also many lakes and 5 lakes are the very known as the biggest lakes in Madagascar such: Lake Alaotra and Lake Itasy in the Highland, Lake Kinkony in the middle south part near the city of Ihosy and Lake Tsimanampesotse in the south-west part of the Island.
CLIMATE AND BIODIVERSTY:
Madagascar is known as warm country in General. It is also called a tropical country and divides in two mains seasons: Rainy season (From November to April) and dry season (From May to October). During rainy season temperature varies between 20°C and 35°C and during dry season, temperature varies between 10°C and 20°C.
However in the area of Antsirabe, Ambatolampy, Fianarantsoa and Antananarivo, Temperature could drop down to 2 or 3°C between June and August.
The west coast and south coast of Madagascar are the hottest areas in Madagascar such Toliara in the south, Miandrivazo and Morondava in the west, Majunga in the North west. Maevatanana is the hottest area in Madagascar; It is located in the middle north part of the island, between Antananarivo and Majunga.
The highland area is quite cold in general in Madagascar, ranking from Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Fiananarantsoa. Ambatolampy is the coldest area in Madagascar.
The east coast of Madagascar rains a lot along the year. It is known as humid area in Madagascar. East coast rains almost 10months a year, so the landscape is covered by the beautiful rainforest.
The forest in East coast of Madagascar hosts many animals mainly the lemurs (Indri indri, Sifaka or propitecus verauxi verauxi, aye aye, bamboo lemurs and many other species). Those following sites are the most vested in the east coast: Andasibe the Pyrenné Park near Moramanga, Ivoloina Park near Tamatave, The Pangalana channel for a boat ride, This channel links several towns located in the east coast of Madagascar, and It starts from Tamatave, passing by Mananjary, Manakara and until Vangaindrano. The famous visited park also is the Ranomafana Park near Fianarantsoa.
In the south of Madagascar, the climate is very dry. It rains approximately 3 months a year only. The landscape is very different from what you see in the east coast. However many Parks are created in this area such : Anja Park in Ambalavao , Isalo National Park in Ranohira, Zombitse vohibasia park in Sakaraha, Renala or Baobaba Park in Ifaty, Lake Tsimanampesotse Park in Ambola, Park in cape sainte Marie in the extremity south of Madagascar and Berenty Park near Fort Dauphin.
The west coast of Madagascar has similar climate and landscape as you see in the south but the west has more forest and most of them are now becoming as a protected area. In the west coast of Madagascar you can enjoy and experience the following tour: The boat ride on Tsiribihina river starting from Miandrivazo town to Belo/Tsiribihina, the famous baobab avenue and the reserve kirindy forest in Morondava, and the very famous stone forest known by its name Tsingy of Bemaraha Park and Anjajavy forest near Majunga.
In the north part of Madagascar, it has a medium temperature ranging from 15° to 25°C along the year. The north of Madagascar is very advanced in tourism activity in Madagascar. Nosy be Island located in north-west of Diego is one of the famous towns visited by tourists in Madagascar thanks to different tourists’ sites and small islands around the area. You will not miss to visit the ylang ylang plantation in Nosy be and sightseeing in Nosy be city is also something you cannot miss.
In the north of Madagascar you can visit Mountain d’Ambre in Diego suarez, the first created Park in Madagascar. It is created in 1952, 8 years before Madagascar has its independent from the period of colonialism. The red Tsingy or the red stone forest is also very attractive in this area.
In the center of Madagscar, Antananarivo, Antsirabe and Ambositra, cities tours are recommended for the tourists who visit these towns. Each Town has its specificity in activity touristic. In Antananrivo, apart from the city sightseeing you can do there, you can also visit the lemurs park, Zoological and botanical Park of Tsimbazaza and the croc farm Park.
In Antsirabe apart from the city sightseeing you can do there, you can visit as many as local crafts workshops, lakes, lapidary and the industries building such La cotonniere, Cigarette manufacturer, The Socolait Milk products manufacturer, THB or Three Horses Beer industry; the famous beer in Madagascar. Antsirabe is the first industrial city in Madagascar.
In Fiananrantsoa, Around of this province you can visit the Ranomafana Park and in Ambositra you can visit the first town which products the wooden crafts in Madagascar. I recommend you to do your souvenirs hopping there.
I cannot put in this article what are all interesting things you can see and have in Madagascar but I am quite aware that people have different interests and needs . What I can say more is just feel free to contact me whenever you request a customized tour with me.
Thank you very much to have spent a lot of time to read my article about Madagascar.
Jean Claude Tour Guide in Madagascar.