Important information about this island country
Name: Republic of Madagascar; Malagasy: Repoblikan'i madagasikara; French: République de Madagascar
MottoFitiavana - Tanindrazana - Fandrosoana
Official language(s): Malagasy, French
Area: 587,041 km²
Form of government: Presidential Republic
Head of State: President Hery Rajaonarimampianina
Government leader: Prime Minister Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana
Management breakdown: The country is divided into 6 provinces: Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga (Majunga), Toliara (Tuléar), Toamasina (Tamatave), Antsiranana (Diego-Suarez).
Population: 23.6 million
Population growth: 2.8% p.A.
Gross Domestic Product GDP (2012): 21.26 billion US dollars; this corresponds to 949 US dollars per inhabitant. With its strong population growth and low economic growth, Madagascar has the typical characteristics of a developing country. It is therefore still one of the poorest countries in the world.
Main export products: Vanilla, Cloves, lychee, Coffeetea, fishery products, sisal and cosmetics. The main mineral resources exported are precious and semi-precious stones, graphite (80% of the world demand), chrome ore, gold, titanium.
Currency: Ariary (MGA) replaced the previously valid Franc Malgache (FMG) in 2004.
Attention: Since some banknotes still have both currencies printed on them and the old FMG was higher by a factor of 5 - 5000 old Francs correspond to 1000 Ariary - many traders try to pocket a higher profit by quoting the "old" numerical value, but forgetting to mention that the sum quoted is old Francs and not new Ariary. The uninitiated traveler thus often pays five times the price.
Population: 98% Malagasy, composed of 18 different tribes, 2% Comoran, French, Indian and increasingly Chinese.
Religion: 52% animist, 41% Christian (18% Roman Catholic, 23% Protestant), 7% Muslim Number of foreign visitors: 330,000 (2008), of which approx. 8,000 are German-speaking
Climate: Variable due to the location in the ocean and the very different landscapes: tropical/humid on the east coast, dry and partly very hot on the west coast, temperate in the highlands, hot in the south. The northern tip is also warm. Partially dry areas alternate climatically with distinctly humid regions.
The best time for your vacation in Madagascar
Since Madagascar is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to ours: The Southern winter (April to October) is the dry season, so the vegetation is not so lush at this time. The Southern summer (November to May) is the time with the most rain. Although some areas and some sights are not accessible or very difficult to access in the southern summer, it remains a very interesting season for Travel for nature lovers, Travel for botanists, but also vacationers who want to observe animals or simply for those who want to enjoy a few weeks of summer in the middle of winter! Best time to travel are generally the months from March till May and from August till December. However, it is best to consult individually which season is best suited for the purpose of your personal trip.