20 Interesting And Fun Facts About Madagascar [Explained]

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Most people know about Madagascar through the movie that made this place and the animals from it famous. However, there is a lot more to this place than a few movies. That is why you need to know the various facts about Madagascar that make this hidden paradise a gem to discover. 

You can go there for a honeymoon, an adventure, or just to relax. If you want to know more about this incredible island, you are in the right place. Here are some interesting and fun Madagascar facts.

Several countries in Africa are prone to armed conflicts and civil/social unrest. Always double check the latest situations from both your government and the local government advisories.

Common Facts About Madagascar 

Here are some general Madagascar facts that give an insight into the country. They are what make this place perhaps the most unique in the world.

It Is The 4th Largest Island Worldwide


Yes, Madagascar is one of the largest islands in the world. The coastline stretches for more than 5,000 kilometers, and there are endless coral reefs and beaches here. The terrain and landscape are also incredibly diverse. 

You will find rainforests, volcanic mountains, highlands, cliffs, and much more. Be sure to explore all these different ecosystems and terrains Madagascar has to offer.

Madagascar Is Facing A Severe Deforestation Issue 


Many people are unfamiliar with the Madagascar rainforest facts and the deforestation problem they are facing. Activities such as grazing, logging, and other things have decreased plant life throughout the country. 

On the other hand, one of the top reasons for this deforestation today is burning the land for agriculture. Such practices are not sustainable and prove to be a threat to the flora and fauna of the country. 

It Used To Be A French Colony

Marco Polo was the one that named this place Madagascar, and he was the first European to report the existence of this land.

The French colonized the land in the early days, and the official language was French at the time. The country gained independence in 1960, and you can still witness some hints of French influence. 

It Is One Of The Poorest Countries Worldwide


While Madagascar has a rich biodiversity and ecosystem, it is one of the poorest countries, with a €652 GDP per capita. The country has experienced a lot of political instability and chaos throughout the years.

This is one of the unfortunate facts about Madagascar. The government lacks competence and because of this, Madagascar has remained economically poor throughout its independence. 

Fun Facts About Madagascar That Will Wow You 

There are many fascinating facts about Madagascar that will shock you. These are all about what the country has to offer.

There Are More Than Ten-Thousand Endemic Plant Species 


Everyone is familiar with the fact that Madagascar is one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. You will actually find more than 10,000 endemic plant species here. However, many of these species are endangered. 

A unique specie you will only find here is known as the baobab tree. These trees have grown for hundreds of years, and the locals consider them to be sacred. You will find many of these throughout the country. 

The People In Taboo, Ancestors, And Magic 

You will find people here that strongly believe in magic, ancestors, and taboo. These traditional beliefs form some of the most interesting cultural facts of Madagascar.

Even modern people think of their deceased relatives as still part of their family. The people also bury their dead high on cliffs and caves to ensure that they are as close to heaven as possible. 

The Country Does Not Have A Tropical Climate 

Don’t be fooled by the rainforest and the beautiful natural landscapes, as most of the country doesn’t enjoy a tropical climate. There are different climates that Madagascar experiences in different parts. However, it is mostly sunny and hot throughout the year. 

This is one of the commonly mistaken facts about Madagascar, as people associate the beautiful landscape with tropical, rainy weather. 

The Infrastructure Is Poor 

The infrastructure in the country is poor, which is why it will take time for you to reach wherever you want to go. Only 11% of the roads are paved here, which means you must brace yourself for bumpy rides. Most of the roads have mud, potholes, bumps, and more. 

On the other hand, when it rains, most of these roads are not even useful. So, be sure to keep this in mind before you decide to travel. Factor in lots of buffer time.

Interesting Facts About Madagascar For Tourists 

There are many fun facts about Madagascar that can make your trip better. Here are some of them to know if you are traveling for the first time.

There Are Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites Here 


There are two natural and one cultural site here that you must visit. These include the Tsingy of Bemaraha, the Rainforest of Antsinanana, and the Royal Hill of Antananarivo. Be sure to visit them to learn more about the country. 

The Largest Protected Area Is The Masoala National Park 

Your trip will be incomplete without visiting Masoala National Park. This is one of the famous landmarks in Madagascar.

The area includes a coral reef, marshland, mangroves, tropical rainforests, and much more. Learn and explore the ecological facts of Madagascar’s biodiversity here. Be sure to spot the rare and unique rosewood trees and take in the natural beauty all around.  

The Toliara Reef Is In Madagascar 


One of the largest coral reefs worldwide is the Toliara reef, and you will find it here. It is an endangered coral reef system, as coral bleaching has led to half of the corals dying. However, it is perhaps the most beautiful coral reef system you will get to experience when you visit the country. 

You Will Find Endless Delicacies Here 


The cuisine in Madagascar is a mix of many influences that include Indian, Asian, Arab, Creole, Colonial, and many others. Because of this, you will find delicious food no matter where you go.

There are some dishes that you should try when you are in the country. These include Mofo gasy, Foza sy hena-kisoa, Koba akondro, and much more. All of these are staples in the country that make up an integral part of the Madagascan or Malagasy cuisine

Facts About Madagascar For Kids 

Kids watch the movie Madagascar, and they think they know all about the country. However, there are many Madagascar facts for kids that will help them learn more about this place. Here are some top facts you can teach in your class or let your child know.

In The National Language, Madagascar Is Called Madagasikara

The Malagasy language is the official language, and Madagascar is called Mada or Madagasikara in it. If you hear any of these words, it means that the locals are talking about their country. So, keep this fact in mind when visiting. 

The Capital City Is Antananarivo


Antananarivo is the capital city of the country, but many people also just call it Tana. It is the largest city in the country, and it has a population of close to four million people. You can begin your journey here and then make your way toward the more remote parts of the country. 

The Most Famous King Was Andrianampoinimerina

One of the historical facts about Madagascar is that country used to have a history of kings and queens. And the most famous king was Andrianampoinimerina.

The name is not just long but also carries an extensive meaning. That name means “The one that will always stay in Merinas’ heart.” 

Houses Used To Be Built With Reeds Or Wood Before 1860

Before 1860, most of the houses in the country were made from reed or wood. People believed that stone was a non-living material, which is why it was suitable for statues and tombs. However, a royal decree was signed, and then the stone was allowed to be used for houses and other such places. 

Facts About Animals In Madagascar

Madagascar is known for its wildlife, and therefore we cannot miss out on the best facts about Madagascar animals. Here are some incredible facts about the diverse and unique animals that call Madagascar home.

There Are 70 Species Of Lemurs You Will Not Find Anywhere Else


There are over seventy species of lemurs in Madagascar you will not find anywhere else on Earth. Some of the most popular and known species of lemurs include the ring-tailed lemur, grey mouse lemur, Verreaux sifaka, and many others. 

The ring-tailed lemurs are the most common, and they are also thought to be the most intelligent lemurs out of all. Try to spot some of them while you are on your trip. 

Over 50% Of World’s Chameleon Are Found Here


Most of the chameleon population of the world lives in Madagascar, along with more than 300 species of reptiles. The world’s biggest chameleon, known as Parson’s, and smallest, known as a dwarf chameleon, can be found here.

Almost sixty of these species are endemic to the country, as you will not find them anywhere else. 

The National Animal Is Zebu


Zebu is the national animal of the country, and these are cattle with a fat hump on their horns and shoulders. One of the most impressive facts about these Madagascan animals is that they can survive intense heat and droughts. Because of this, the locals use these animals for transport. 

Besides that, they also raise these animals for their horns and meat. For example, the horns are utilized for decoration and tool purposes. 

Giraffe Weevils Live Here 

You will not find any giraffes in Madagascar, but you will find Giraffe Weevils. These are small insects that live in the rainforest. These insects use their necks to fight for the females and court them over. 

Even ordinary giraffes do this, which is why these insects have been given such a name. The insects are small, and you will not find them unless you are specifically looking for them in the rainforest. 

Discovering More Fun Facts About Madagascar 

These are just some of the interesting facts about Madagascar to know. But there is so much more to explore and discover. Nothing comes close to witnessing the beauty of this place when you visit.

From the history of its kings and queens to its unique wildlife and culture, the country is full of surprises. By now, you should have an idea of all the incredible facts about Madagascar.

As you continue your journey, keep an eye out for the interesting histories and stories about this beautiful country. You will be sure to learn something new each day!  

be sure to visit. 

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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