Madagascar, the fourth greatest island of the world (595,000 km² with 5,000+ km of coasts), is located in the south east of Africa (400 km). It’s not Asia nor Africa. It is home of 5% of world's plant and animal species; 90% are endemics.
The official hour in Madagascar is GMT + 3. Peace and stability are there until last political crisis.
Malagasy people, with youth predominance, are approximately 18+ millions. They use Malagasy language and are really welcoming. French is spoken by many people. English as official language is used in many hotels and by our guides.
Malagasy langage is linked to the austraunesian group.
Economy is based on agriculture, cattle raising and fishing. Madagascar is well known by its endemic fauna and flora. The recent discoveries of precious stone mines emphazes its reputation (sapphire, ruby).
The diversity of the handicraft is also another richness of the country.
Foreigners are called Vahiny in Malagasy, the unique and national language, which means guests, to welcome them. Aside some sporadic news items, the country is calm and stable in general.
Use of seatbelt is mandatory and cell phone use when driving is prohibited. A political crisis occured last january in the capital city, but generally all the country is quiet calm and tourism is not disturb.
There are two different seasons : the summer (rainy and hot, from October to March, cyclones may occur during this period) and the winter (dry and fresh, from April to September).
Madagascar is a tropical country but with very varied climates due to altitude and wind. The major climatic regions are the East coast (humid tropical climate, average temperature 24º C), the Highlands (tropical high altitude climate, temperature may be 4°C to 25°C according to the season, average altitude of 1200 m to 1500 m), the North west zone (dry and temperate tropical climate, average temperature 26º C), the South west zone (semi-arid tropical climate, average temperature: 24ºC) and the Midwest (dry tropical climate, average temperature: 27º C). Annually, the country used to be hit cyclones (regional name of hurricanes) which may cause many material damages.