A true garden of Eden
Madagascar is the fifth largest island in the world with a surface of 587,040 km2, situated off the coast of East Africa and separated from the African continent by 415km of the Mozambique Channel.
Situated on the tropic of Capricorn and with scattered lakes lying within dormant volcanoes, the island has developed particularly rich fauna and flora, some of which is zone specific, due to its geographic isolation and particular topography.
In the Northern region of the island, for example, we find lemurs (brown mouse lemurs, crowned lemurs and Sanford's lemur), ring-tailed mongooses, the Fossa (cryptoprocta ferox), chameleons, frogs, birds, arborescent ferns, orchids...
In the case of a land based extension, visits to the Sebastian National Park, situated 100km from Diego Suarez, provide us the opportunity to appreciate a lunar landscape named "tsinguy" as well as caves and underground galleries such as the "Sebastian Grotte", which is 11km long and is home to crocodiles in the wet season.
A little history
The first wave of immigration on the island seems to have been the Vazimbas, founders of the Malagasy language. However, from 1200, the Persians landed on Madagascar, followed by other populations such as Malaysians, Javanese people, Indians, Arabs and Europeans.
During one and a half centuries and until the French Revolution, France had a certain colonial administration influence on the island.
In the XIXth century, at the time of the African Division at the conference in Berlin, France was attributed the Kingdom of Madagascar.
The island was part of the French Overseas Territories from 1946 to 1958 and obtained its independence in 1960.
Although French remains the official language with English, Malagasy is the language used by most of the inhabitants.