- Currency: Malagasy ariary, MGA
- Language: Malagasy and French
- Capital: Antananarivo
Geography. Madagascar covers an area of 587,040 km². The Republic of Madagascar is a state located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean on the island of Madagascar. It is separated from the east coast of South Africa by the Mozambique Channel. The highest point is the extinct volcano Marumukutru (2876 m), which is located in the Tsaratanana mountain range, in the northern part of the island. The central part of the island is occupied by the high-altitude Anjafi plateau, gently descending to the west and abruptly ending to the lowlands of the eastern coast.
Time. Time zone UTC+3. There is no time difference between Madagascar and Moscow.
Capital. The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo (more than 2.5 million people).
Population. about 24 million people
Climate. It is formed by the southeast trade wind and the South Indian High. There are three climatic zones on the island: tropical monsoon on the east coast, temperate maritime in the central highlands and arid in the desert on the southern tip of the island. The average monthly air temperatures in the lowlands range from +26 to +30 °С, in the highlands – from +13 to +22 °С. Precipitation rates: 350 cm for the east coast, 140 cm for the central highlands, 32 cm in the south of the island.
language. The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French.
Religion. Approximately half of the country’s population professes the cult of ancestors, traditional for Austronesian settlers. About 45% of the population professes Christianity, belonging to the Roman Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations (Assemblies of God, Lutherans, Anglicans, Adventists). Most believers are trying to combine the cult of ancestors with Christian traditions. Since the 90s of the XX century, Orthodoxy began to spread on the island.
The rest of the population (about 7%) practices Islam, brought to the island around the 10th century by Arab traders. Recently, there has been a trend towards an increase in the population professing Islam.
State siege. Presidential-parliamentary republic. The parliament is bicameral – the National Assembly of 127 deputies is elected by the population for a 4-year term, the Senate (100 seats) is filled by two-thirds of the representatives of the provincial assemblies, one-third is appointed by the president.
Visa. For persons traveling to Madagascar on a short trip, Malagasy consular offices abroad issue two types of visas – ordinary (single, double or triple entry for a total stay of up to 90 days) or permanent (multiple entry for 3 years with each stay up to 90 days). Ordinary visas can also be obtained directly from airports serving international flights. The price of a single entry visa for up to 30 days is approximately 23 euros; a visa for up to 90 days can also be issued at the airport, its cost is approximately 40 euros.
When crossing the border, you must have a return ticket with you, as well as an international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever (for persons who have been in a country that is disadvantaged in this regard for the last 6 days).
Medical requirements and safety. Despite the fact that no special vaccinations are required to visit the Republic of Madagascar, the Malagasy Pasteur Institute recommends that adults be vaccinated against typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B, tetanus and tuberculosis, and children additionally against Haemophilus influenzae, diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, rubella, mumps, pneumococci, poliomyelitis, rotavirus infection. When planning trips to the territory where there are foci of the spread of malaria, it is necessary to carry out appropriate chemoprophylaxis.
The use of repellents and wide-brimmed hats is strongly recommended, as well as the use of tall shoes with good ankle support.
It is recommended to use sunscreen (especially in the first 2-3 days of your stay in the country and in the mountains), as well as drink more water (preferably mineral water). It is not recommended to drink tap water, it is better to buy bottled water.
In addition, in order to avoid any reactions from the intestines, it is recommended to exclude from consumption:
– raw milk and unboiled water, ice;
– unwashed fresh fruits and vegetables;
– Uncooked meat, fish, seafood.
Electricity. The voltage in the city network is 220 V, however, during thunderstorms, significant overloads are possible, as well as power outages.
Money. The national currency of Madagascar is the Malagasy ariary. International designation – MGA. 1 USD = 3 126.73 MGA.
Shops and shopping. Large metropolitan supermarkets – Jumbo, Leader Price and Shoprite – work without a lunch break from Monday to Saturday from 09.00 to 19.00, on Sunday – from 09.00 to 13.00.
From Madagascar you can bring a variety of spices (pod vanilla, anise and cinnamon sticks, sets of spices), precious products, bright local fabrics, handmade soaps with aromatic herbs, local cosmetics with essential oils, coffee and teas with aromatic additives, various wooden products – masks and carved figurines of animals and people, cutlery, various wicker baskets and caskets.