Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa and is the world’s fourth-largest island. The history of its animals, flora and peoples is dominated by its historical geography of being isolated from the rest of the world for 80 million years, leading to the evolution of unique species found nowhere else in the world. An estimated 80% of species are not found anywhere else on earth, due to its historical isolation.

MapLocationMadagascar

Between 200 million and 80 million years ago Madagascar was part of the joined world land mass of Gwondana and Pangea and as India split off from Africa it became it’s own island and developed its own special environment. You can see the movement and separation of Madagascar from its neighbours in the following video with Madagascar starting 1/3 of the way up the land mass, slightly on the right)

   Gwondana and Pangea Madagascar

People only arrived in Madagascar around 2000 years ago so the environment was allowed to adapt by itself without human influence over nearly all of history with the result being over 70% of the animals and 90% of the  plants being endemic and unique so you won’t have seen them all in your home country or visits to other countries. Indeed, Madagascar hosts around 5% of all known animal and plant species so if you want to see new things come and join us and we’ll help show you around for an amazing vacation.

Madagascar’s 50 species of lemurs are found nowhere else on earth so if you want to see them in their natural environment then there’s only one place to go. Madagascar’s has the highest proportion of endemic birds of any country in the world so if you’re a birdwatcher then you’ll be in paradise to see the unique mesites, ground-rollers, vangas and other species. While there are over 300 species of reptile here, including the most of the world’s chameleons you won’t find a single snake deadly to humans. Or how about seeing the 100,000 types of insect too. Botanists dream of coming to Madagascar for the 6000+ species of plant including orchids, baobabs and primary rain forests.

Madagascar’s was first settled by people from Southeast Asia then Africa and the Arabian Peninsula around 1500 to 2000 years ago and is a  mixture of Malayo-Indonesian and African-Arab ancestry with a mixed and unique culture formed by the mixing of them.

malagasymigrationroutes

Nearly all the population is Malagasy, which is divided into around 18 ethnic groups/tribes with the largest being the Merina tribe. After a long period of tribal conflict King Andrianampoinimerina (1787–1810) created a kingdom covering much of the island before his son, Radama I (1810–1828), unified much of the island to start the process that has formed modern Madagascar.

In 1946 Madagascar became an Overseas Territory of France after a brief period as a British and then French colony before gaining independence in 1960 and finally creating a new constitution in 1992 and 2010 to create the current political system of democratic government.

MapMadagascar