Interesting facts about Madagascar

15 Magical Facts About Madagascar

Looking to boost your knowledge of the countries of Africa and increase your chance of being crowned the next pub quiz champion? Make a start by learning these fun facts about Madagascar:

1. Madagascar is off the beaten track.

Madagascar is a large island nation off the southeast coast of Africa. Its nearest countries are Comoros and Mayotte to the northwest, Seychelles to the northeast, Reunion and Mauritius to the east and Mozambique to the west.

The coordinates for Madagascar are 20.0000° S, 47.0000°.

2. It’s easy to call the island.

To call your friends or family in Madagascar, you’ll need the international dialing code which is +261.

3. The topography is very varied.

The terrain here is a wonderful mix of narrow coastal plains and high plateaus and mountains in the center.

Flag of Madagascar
Flag of Madagascar

4. Madagascar actually split away!

165 million years ago Madagascar was connected to mainland Africa!

5. It’s bigger than you might think.

The total land area of Madagascar is 226,658 square miles (587,041 square kilometers).  This makes Madagascar the 4th largest island in the world, behind Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo! (Note: Australia is not included as it is defined as a continent, not an island).

6. How many people live here?

Madagascar’s population was 29.61 million in 2022.

7. What’s the capital of Madagascar?

The capital is Antananarivo – it covers an area of 34 square miles (88 square kilometers) and has a population of 1.3 million (2019).

8. The life span isn’t as long as it could be.

The average life span here is 64.48 years (2021).

9. The Madagascar ecosystem is pretty unique.

Amazingly, the majority of the reptiles (95%), mammals (92%) and plants (89%) found in Madagascar are not found anywhere else on Earth!

Baobab trees, Madagascar
Baobab trees, Madagascar

10. It’s lemur country!

There are more than 100 species and sub-species of lemur found in Madagascar! They are considered sacred and there are also many myths surrounding the relationship between humans and lemurs.

11. It’s very warm down here.

The climate is tropical along the coast, temperate inland and arid in the south.

12. What do people speak in Madagascar?

The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French.

Antananarivo, Madagascar
Antananarivo, Madagascar

13. The soil here is fascinating.

Madagascar is often referred to as the ‘Red island’ due to the unique color of its soil.
Amazingly, only 11% of the roads in Madagascar are paved! The rest are mainly dusty tracks.

14. Time to get those pennies changed!

Malagasy Ariary is the official currency here.

15. Madagascar’s industries are varied.

Madagascar grows coffee, vanilla, cloves and sugarcane, rears livestock, catches fish and produces livestock products. Its industry consists of soap, breweries, meat processing and tanneries.

Madagascar also exports coffee, vanilla, sugar, shellfish, cotton cloth, petroleum products and chromite.

Beach life, Madagascar

FAQs about Madagascar

What religion is most commonplace in Madagascar?

Around 50% of people in Madagascar are Christians - making up the majority.

Who settled Madagascar first?

Believe it or not, settlers arrived from Asia into Madagascar before Africans!

Is Madagascar a poor country?

Sadly, Madagascar is known for having a high poverty rate.

Do you know any fun facts about Madagascar?  Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on June 5, 2024. Suggest an edit

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