Africa Guide
Guide to Africa

Madagascar Travel Guide

Introduction

Situated off the southeast coast of Africa, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, covering an area of 590, 000 km². The climate varies greatly from a region to another: warm and rainy in the eastern parts temperate in the Highlands warm and dry in the West very hot in the South. It is separated from the coast of Africa by the Mozambique Channel, the shortest distance between the island and the mainland is 400 km.

Madagascar consists mainly of a block of crystalline rocks. It is generally described as a plateau, rising sharply from the narrow plain of the east coast and descending in a series of steps to the strip of sedimentary rocks along the west coast. The high plateau is much indented and, on the eastern edge, cut by deep gorges and waterfalls. There are numerous volcanic outcrops that produce heights over 6,000 ft (the highest point being Tsaratanan, at 9,450 ft) and two former volcanic areas, Ankaratra and Andringingtra, which are over 8,500 ft.

The eastern coast is almost straight and has very few anchorages. Behind its coral beaches there is an almost continuous line of lagoons from Foulpointe to Farafrandana. These are linked by man-made channels to form an inland waterway called the Pangalanes Canal. The island's major rivers flow westward. In recent years,

Madagascar has become one of the most sought after destinations and yet, mass tourism has not reached the island and its charm has been preserved. The island offers uniqueness and diversity - a holiday here will be like no other... beaches, sun, sea and coconut trees are all present all along the coast. Into the mainland the beautiful scenery changes marvellously: tropical forests, dry forests, steppes and savannahs, large valleys both green and red are lined up offering you scenic beauty of the nature.

The island also has a staggering diversity of plant and animal species, some 80% of which are found nowhere else on the planet. On top of that you will encounter friendly and smiling faces wherever you go reminding you of the friendly nature of the land and its inhabitants

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