Madagascar, island country lying off the southeastern coast of Africa. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo. Madagascar is situated in the south western area of the Indian Ocean east of the coast of Africa about 400 km off the coast of Mozambique. The island is recognized as one of the world’s top ten hotspots for biodiversity.
Today the country is on a slow and steady economical and political growth path from an extremely low level. The majority of Madagascan flora and fauna are endemic to the island. There are sandstone canyons, limestone karsts, mountains, fertile hills cascading with terraced rice paddies, forests of every kind – rain, dry, spiny – and a laterite-rich soil that gave the country its nickname of ‘Red Island’. With 5000km of coastline, the sea is never very far.
Madagascar in Brief: