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Exploring Africa's biggest island nation, Madagascar [Travel]

Exploring Africa's biggest island nation, Madagascar [Travel]

The Morning Call

It is an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa; officially the 4th largest island in the world.

Madagascar is internationally renowned as a wildlife tourist attraction and ecotourism destination for its biologically diverse areas which is distinct in the world.

Over time the Arabs, Indians, and Chinese continued to settle on Madagascar , all together enriching the Malagasy cultural life.

It’s simply a paradise for wildlife lovers.
Ecologists refer to Madagascar as the “eighth continent this is mainly due to the fact that the island had been isolated from the neighbouring continents which gave way to unique mix of plants and animals.

It is said that 90% of the native plants of Madagascar are found nowhere else in the world.

The world’s fourth biggest island celebrated its independence day last week. On this occasion the country put up a vibrant and colourful show of its tourism.

Tourism is a key source of foreign exchange for Madagascar, The sector saw an upsurge in 2016 generating an estimated $702 million within the year.The country received close to 300,000 travelers over the period.

Just 17 countries are considered “megadiverse” by Conservation International group. Each possesses a vast number of different species – many found nowhere else. And Madagascar is one.

Contrary to the film “Madagascar”, you won’t see any hippos, giraffes, monkeys, zebras, or lions, that you might find on mainland Africa.

But you will find more than half the world’s chameleons and dozens of species of lemur.

Talking about lemur, the king Julien from the movie “Madagascar” is an animal particularly fascinating for its looks, resembling something like a cat crossed with a squirrel and a dog.

Now these animals are unique to this island ,they display a range of interesting behaviors from singing like a whale ,gliding across the sand like a ballet dancer . It is said that the only reason these primates still exist today is because of Madagascar’s isolation — the island is isolated from evolutionary changes of the world.

In terms of Historical sites, there are few Unesco world heritage listed sites. The Royal Palace or Rova in the capital,Antananarivo or the sacred hill of Ambohimanga a 500-year-old burial site.

There is also the rainforests of the Atsinanana, which are home to many rare species of primate and lemur, and the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve , known for its sea of limestone needles and sheer cliffs.

Concerning what’s making news on UNESCO world heritage,Simien National Park in Ethiopia and Comoé national park in ivory coast have been removed from the List of WorldHeritage in Danger .You can get more details on that from our website, africanews.com.

Back to Madagascar, other sites could be found throughout the country but mainly in the capital.

A popular route from Antananrivo to Tulear in the south passes through several towns.

These towns are noted for their handicraft: aluminium foundry, gemstones, embroidery, toys and marquetry.

Explore the beaches blue beaches; waterfall!

For tourists, during your stay ,If you’ve got the time , take a tour to see the avenue of the Baobab “ a dirt road lined by massive centuries old trees.

But How do you stay safe in Madagascar?

If it is your first trip to Madagascar it will be important for you to know that the overall crime situation is relatively lower compared to other African countries. However never a perfect place on earth as political turmoil causing unemployment has led to an increase in crime in the central town as well as in touristic sites.

Raising the topic about how to stay safe does not in any way discourage people from traveling to Madagascar.

Generally Malagasy people are are very friendly easy to approach and curious.
However traveling with an experienced tour guide could be more interesting. Enjoy your trip if you find yourself in that part of our beautifully diverse continent.

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The Morning Call is about you. We want to share your opinions on our programme. If you want to contribute to The Morning Call, here are the best ways to get in touch : For more details on how to contribute, click here.