Madagascar – the lesser known Island of Indian Ocean

Madagascar – [mædəˈɡæskər] • A less known island country which also happens to be the 4th largest island.

Beginning from its name, everything is unique and exotic about Madagascar.

When I first heard of this country – I didn’t know where it was on the World Map. People who are reading this and still don’t know where it exactly is – click here.

I always wanted to travel and explore as much as I can. That was the reason I willingly chose to move down to Africa early on in my career. This dark continent has a lot to offer to one who is open to learning. I consider myself lucky to have gone through the Africa experience in my formative years in the trade.Many people know the name Madagascar because of the famous Animation movie by the same name.

However, it is ironic that local people in Madagascar don’t even know that such a movie exists. And likely so as there are no multiplexes here. No movies. People hardly watch TV. They are more social and like to enjoy their weekends in discotheque or pavement get-together.

Language

Everyone here speaks Malagasy which is their local language. Being a francophone country, many people also speak French.

Ethnicity

Malagasy are of mixed ethnicity.  People migrated from Mozambique, Indonesia, India, France and settled hundreds of years back. A lot of Gujarati business men who migrated decades back settled in this Island country.  Most of the big businesses in Madagascar are also run by immigrants from India.

Uniqueness of Madagascar

During most part of my stint, I lived in Tamatave – the port city and a few months in Majunga (derived from MAHAJUNGA). But the beauty of this country is not in its towns or cities but is hidden in its up country locations – in the interiors where the lush green vegetation is spectacular.

  • Madagascar is the most unique island with unique Flora and Fauna.
  • 0.4 % of the Landmass of Earth
  • Madagascar is a home to 5% of all species
  • Most of the species found in Mada aren’t found anywhere else in the World

With such kind of biodiversity, it is a famous destination for animal and plant researchers. However, as a tourist destination, Madagascar is yet to make a name for itself. Like many poverty stricken African countries, this island country is plagued with inequality, bad Governance and security issues.

Even though I would rank Madagascar as one of the safest African country ( compared to West Africa) it is a place to tread with caution. Nevertheless, I like this country. I called this country my home for almost two years and it has a special place in my heart.

More about Madagascar in my next post.

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