Madagascar

Driving Directions Madagascar

MADAGASCAR is an island state in the Indian Ocean. It lies off the southeast coast of Africa and is separated from the mainland by the Mozambique Channel. There are several smaller islands. The main island is the fourth-largest island in the world.

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The center of Madagascar is made up of high, savannah-covered plateaux. A chain of forested mountains falls steeply to the east coast, while the land in the southwest falls gradually through dry grassland and scrub. Antananarivo is situated at over 2,500 meters or 8,202 feet in the center of the island.

The climate becomes wetter moving north, and the southern tip is semidesert.

Madagascar is a relatively developing country, and most of the population work in agriculture, although only a small proportion of the land is suitable for cultivation. The staple food crop is rice, but cassava, potatoes, maize, beans, and bananas are also grown. Some coffee, vanilla, and sugar cane are grown for export. The hardwood forests have only been used thus far for local needs.

Fishing is also a potential source of higher revenue, while significant mineral deposits are mostly unexploited. These include offshore oil, chromite, salt, and uranium.

Due to Madagascar’s isolation from mainland Africa, several species of plants and animals are quite different from mainland species, such as the lemur. As a result, many tourists come to Madagascar to explore this aspect of their fauna and flora.

Google maps™ Madagascar

The island can be broadly divided into three major regions: 1) a narrow coastal plain to the east; 2) a large central plateau that extends the entire length of the country, and 3) a hillier and less clearly defined coastal area the west.

Madagascar is located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean, opposite Mozambique. Madagascar is separated from the African continent by the Mozambique Channel, 400 kilometers (250 miles) wide. Madagascar’s deepest coastal indentation is Antongila Bay, at the northeastern part of the island.

Did you know about Madagascar?

The lemur, Madagascar’s most distinctive wildlife species, descended from primates thought to have reached the island by floating on logs millions of years ago. Lemurs on Madagascar evolved independently of monkeys and other primate species.

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