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Madagascar Facts & Figures

Flag of Madagascar
Total area: 587,040 sq km (226,656 sq mi)
Population (2010 est.): 21,281,844
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Antananarivo - 1,390,800
Currency: Malagasy franc
Languages: Malagasy and French (both official)
Ethnicity: Malayo-Indonesian, Côtiers, French, Indian, Creole, Comoran
Religions: indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Islam 7%
Time zone: GMT+3; Daylight Savings Time is not observed
Electricity: AC 220V/50Hz; European plugs with 2 round pins are used

Madagascar, officially Republic of Madagascar, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean located approximately 300 km (300 miles) off the coast of Mozambique (southeastern Africa). The main island, Madagascar, is the fourth largest island in the world

Madagascar's terrain is characterized by mountainous central plateau, called Hauts Plateaux, and coastal plains. The plateau occupies more than half of the main island and it essentially divides the island into east and west parts that differ from each other geographically, ethnically and climatically. Most of the western and southern sides of the plateau are dominated by tropical dry forests, thorn forests and deserts. The east side, on the other hand, is home to tropical rainforests. There are several mountain ranges on the island; the highest one is the Tsaratanana Massif, located in the far north with its highest peak Maromokotro, at 2,876 m (9,436 ft).

Madagascar is famous for its unique mix of plants and animals, many found nowhere else in the world. The reason for islands' many endemic species is its long isolation from the neighboring continents, estimated to last around 165 million years.

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