Madagascar is referred to as: 'the big red island'. Madagascar is the largest African island situated in the Indian Ocean, about 450 km (280 mi) east of the coast of Mozambique. It is also fourth largest island in the World has been isolated for about 88 million years and many of its plants and animals are unique to the Island. The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, separated the Madagascar-Antarctica-India landmass from the Africa-South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar later split from India about 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation. It has an area of 587,041 km², the island is slightly larger than France, or almost twice the size of the US state of Arizona. Madagascar is geographically, relative close to: the Comoros, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, and South Africa.
Madagascar has a population of more than 22 million inhabitants. Capital and largest city is Antananarivo. Spoken languages are Malagasy and French. The Malagasy peoples, moreover, do not consider themselves to be Africans, but, because of the continuing bond with France that resulted from former colonial rule, the island developed political, economic, and cultural links with the French-speaking countries of western Africa. There are numerous activities to do there, for everyone of different tastes. Whether you prefer historical culture, fauna and flora, or adventure, the capital of Madagascar will meet all of your expectations. The animal life and vegetation of the island are equally anomalous, differing greatly from that of nearby Africa and being in many respects unique. Although the coastlands have been known to Europeans for more than 400 years and to Arabs for much longer, recent historical development has been more intense and concentrated in the central plateau, which contains this capital city of; Antananarivo (formerly Tananarive). To learn more about Malagasy culture and history, you can visit the royal palaces or historical sites of Antananarivo; such as the Upper Town of the Pavilion Market, filled with atypical architectures. Alongside an experienced guide, you will have the opportunity to quickly learn more about Malagasy people and their history. Customs are one aspect that makes the charm of the population, which will fill your outings with big smiles and greetings.
The Mozambique Channel is the channel of the western Indian Ocean, threading between the island nation of Madagascar on the east and Mozambique on the African mainland (west). About 1,600 km long, it varies in width from 400 to 950 km and reaches a maximum depth of 3,000m. Along the opposite coast are the mouth of the Zambezi River and the ports of Maputo (formerly Lorenzo Marques), Mozambique, and Beira. The Mozambique Current passes through the strait.