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Country Madagascar – The Island of Wildlife and Flora

Republic of Madagascar which was earlier known as Malagasy Republic is an island in the Indian Ocean. Located off the southeastern coast of Africa, country Madagascar is the fourth largest island of the world. At the same time it houses nearly 5% of the plant and animal species on the planet. A poor country nearly two thirds of the people in Madagascar lives below poverty line.

Accommodation
Being a favored tourist destination, country Madagascar has a host of luxury and budget hotels. In addition there is bread and breakfast, resorts, well maintained guest house, and youth hostels. Villas on the sea beaches, and resorts in beautiful surroundings make ideal choice for the visitors. Most of them provide facilities for water surfing, water ski, deep sea fishing, and spa. Luxury and price hotels also have shopping malls attached to them with restaurants, pools, and gyms as common facilities. Online reservation of accommodation is available.

Wildlife and Flora Species
Of the wildlife and plant species found in Madagascar, nearly 80% are endemic to it. Lemur infrorder or the primates, bird families, baobab species, and the carnivorous fossa are some of the examples of such wildlife on the island.

Brief History and Political Features
Beginning with the 7th century when the Muslims established trade on the northwest coast of the island, country Madagascar became a major trading center in following years. Its recent history took a turn during 1883 when France invaded the island and at the end of the war Antsiranana also known as Diego Suarez to France and paid 560,000 francs as compensation.

By 1890, with the acceptance by Britain, full French protectorate status was bestowed on Madagascar. France finally annexed Madagascar in 1896. After World War II when France was defeated by Germany, Britain occupied the island in 1942. Subsequently the island was seized by Japanese and finally taken over by Free France. Madagascar attained its independence on June 26, 1960. Usually a semi-presidential democratic republic with Prime Minister as the head of government and with multi party system, political situation in Madagascar has been constantly marked by struggle for control. Assassinations, coups, and dispute elections are common features of the country.

Geography and Climate
With steep escarpment on the eastern side to the rain forests in the narrow coastal east, the country has a chain of natural as well as manmade lakes. Most of them are connected with canals and cover nearly two third areas of the island. Slope from central highlands to west is gradual. On this side the land is characterized by savanna like forests and desert lands. Many protected harbors are located on this side of the island though silting and erosion are problems.

Central highlands are characterized by terraced and rice growing plateaus. Hot and rainy season from November through April and cool and dry season from May through October marks the climate. While south west trade winds are dominant, occasional cyclones are experienced as well. 

Getting Around
A great place for tourism, getting around Madagascar is easy with abundant transport options. Madagascar travel guide is available on the Internet and in most of the transport stations in the country. Air travel is quickest and most efficient for getting around the island with a large number of domestic flights provided by Air Madagascar. While extensive train routes are available, roads are well maintained as well as well planned that makes both bus and taxi travels good options. One can even use the water routes with boat rides. Car hire is a preferred option for long term stay as they are affordable and service is efficient.

Currency
Madagascar Ariary or MGA is the currency of the country. Presently the exchange ration for one Euro and one USD comes to 3.020 and 2.223 MGA respectively. Regular information on the existing exchange rates can be found in the financial news both in print as well as Internet.

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ANTANANARIVO  in 1 hostels
ANTSIRABE  in 0 hostels
FIANARANTSOA  in 0 hostels
TOAMASINA  in 0 hostels

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