Madagascar interesting facts

February 8, 2010 | In: Countries facts

Diego Dias, the Portuguese explorer, first sighted Madagascar at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

Madagascar, also known as the Malagasy Republic, lies some 400 kilometres off the East coast of Africa.

The country is also referred to as the Red Island, due to the red color of its soil.

It is the world’s fourth largest island, with 4,828 km of coastline . Scientists think it broke off
from the African continent about 160 million years ago.

There are two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April, and a cooler, dry season from May to October.

Nearly half of the land of Madagascar is covered with forest.

Just over 18.5 million people live in Madagascar. The fertility rate is at about 5 children per woman.

Malagasy is the official language, but French is used in business and government.

Ninety percent of the plants and animals found on the island of Madagascar evolved there and nowhere else.

The highest mountain is Maromokotro at 2,876m.

There are 3,000 endemic species of butterfly in Madagascar.

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