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Madagascar Travel Guide: Country & Destination Information for Visiting


Madagascar travel guide and destination overview of the country. Key information, general overview, and more for travelers to Madagascar.

Republic of Madagascar

Madagascar, officially called the Republic of Madagascar, is an island and African country located close to the coast of mainland eastern Africa in the Indian Ocean. It is the world’s 2nd largest island country and the 4th largest island overall.

The demonym for Madagascar is Malagasy, and the country was previously known as the Malagasy Republic. The country gained independence from France in 1960, but until now, the two official languages of the country are Malagasy and French.

The capital and the largest city of Madagascar is Antananarivo, which is also sometimes shortened to Tana, with a population of more than 2.5 million inhabitants. Being sometimes overlooked by visitors, it is as interesting and unique as the country itself.

Being undiscovered by humans for many centuries, and at the same time developing in isolation, Madagascar boasts one of the most exclusive varieties of flora and fauna with a couple of hundred unique species. Many of the most famous places to see in Madagascar are those where you can observe exuberant nature, such as Analamazaotra Special Reserve, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, and Ankarana National Park. Check out more places to visit in our article on things to do in Madagascar.

Madagascar is a member of the African Union, Southern African Development Community, and a number of other distinguished organizations.

Oh, and they have baobabs!

Related Read: 7+ Madagascar Facts: Fun Trivia On the Food, Culture, History & More

flag of Madagascar

Madagascar Travel Information & Key Points

General points to know about the country of Madagascar – demographics, important ages, phone numbers, key statistics, and more, whether you’re traveling there or not.

Capital: Antananarivo (and largest city)

Population: 26.3 million (2020 estimate)

Language(s): Malagasy, French

President: Andry Rajoelina

Prime Minister: Christian Ntsay

Currency: Malagasy Ariary (MGA)

Area: 587,041 km2 (226,658 mi2)

Dialing Code: +261

Time Zone: East Africa Time UTC+3 (EAT)

Electricity & Adapter: 220 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C / E (define)

Demonym: Malagasy (what is a demonym?)

Endonym: Madagasikara, Madagascar (their name for their country)

Emergency Numbers: 117 for police, 124 for medical, and 118 for fire

Drinking Age: 18 to purchase

Smoking Age: 18 to purchase

Age of Consent: 14, but 21 between relatives and homosexual partners

Drives on the: right

ISO Country Code: MG

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