The Country

Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of southern Africa, east of Mozambique. The highest point is Maromokotro, in the Tsaratanana Massif region in the north of the island, at 2,876 m (9,436 ft). The capital, Antananarivo, is in the Hauts Plateaux near the centre of the island. It has a total area of 587,040 km² with 581,540 km² of land, and 5,500 km² of water. It is the home of five percent of the world’s plant and animal species, 80 percent of them unique to Madagascar. Among its most notable examples of biodiversity are the lemur family of primates and its baobab trees.

Capital : Antananarivo
Official languages : Malagasy, French, English
Government : Republic
Independence : 26 June 1960
Area : 587,040 km²
Population : 17,501,871 (est 2004)
Density : 31/km²
GDP Total : $16,323 million (est 2005)
HDI : 0.499 (2003)
Currency : Malagasy Ariary (MGA)
Time zone : UTC+3
Internet TLD : .mg
Calling code : + 261
Malagasy motto : Fitiavana-Tanindrazana,Fandrosoana
(Fatherland, Liberty, Progress)
Anthem : Ry Tanindraza nay malala ô (Oh, Our Beloved Fatherland)