The island of Madagascar displays the typical red soils of Africa and rice plantations similar to the Asian ones. The Malagasy environment is full of wonders to discover; white sand beaches, big rocks and tropical forests. The Madagascans fauna and the flora represent one of the principal points of interests of the country. Around the capital, you will be able to see reptiles, lemurs and Amphibians. A bit more south, you will see humpback whales, and towards the west of the country, water birds. The flora is also amazing; the country counts more than 12,000 species of plant and 12% of the uninhabited surface of the island consists of national parks and reserves.
Madagascar is on the Western coast of the Indian Ocean and nearly 9,000 kilometres away from Paris. Not far from the Comoros, Mayotte, Mauritius, Seychelles or the Reunion Island, Madagascar is approximately 400 kilometres away from the African coasts. Its 592,000 km2 are home to 18 different ethnic groups and a stunning biodiversity. The island is often called “the Red island” because of its soils gorged in laterite.
This land is a result of a mix of African and Asian cultures. The island of Madagascar is the only gland in the world which one can define as “Afro-Asian”. The first inhabitants of Madagascar arrived here only 1,500 or 2,000 years ago and came from Indonesia and Malaysia. The Afro-Asian heritage has never been completely explained, however, it is thought to have originated from a crossing of the indo-Malayan people towards the coast of Africa then towards the island. This journey would partly explain the African origins of the population which, as centuries went by, got mixed with the Asian culture.
The fadys are taboos, they are banned place intended to alleviate the ancestors. To infringe a fady is like offending the ancestors and can result in some disease. There are different types of fadys, and one should not point to a fady or go past such a stone... and they can change according to the places.
Famadihana takes place between June and August and lasts 3 days. The Madagascans sacrifice animals to give as an offering to the deceased and the traditional musicians sing and dance during three days. The first day, all the villagers gather around a great meal. The second day is devoted to the traditional songs. The exhumation takes place the third day.
Madagascar life is paced by the two rice seasons. Like in Asia, the Red Island owns a large amount of rice plantations and rice is the staple food. The techniques used in the rice plantation testify to the Asian influence as a result of the waves of migration. Furthermore, the rice has, on the island, a sacred value and rice paddies are protected by many fady.
The five families of lemurs exist only in Madagascar. We think that they arrived on the island while floating from the African coast on tree trunks. Mammal and fruit eaters, they mainly eat fruits and leaves.
Form your trip
A trip to Madagascar, also known under the name of “Red Island”, offers a true mosaic of landscapes and cultures, inherited from African and Asian influences. You will also discover there a large floristic and faunistic variety, including many animals and plants endemic to the country, such as the lemurs, certain species of chameleons or certain varieties of orchids. In Madagascar, one takes the time to live and to get out and about, and you will then be able to discover - at your own pace - the multiple surprises which the continent island holds for you…