Little-known things about Madagascar

Every 7 years, people organize a "bone-changing ceremony" with dancing, eating and chatting with corpses.

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Madagascar is an island nation rich in culture and rich in flora and fauna. Here, visitors can explore the diverse nature, dance with lemurs or learn history with stories about pirates.

People are native to Asia

The island nation is separated from Africa by the Mozambique Strait and far from Asia. However, people here are native to Southeast Asia. More than 2,000 years ago, Malaysian-Indian seafarers came here. Today, Malagasy culture has many similarities with Southeast Asians. Their food is mostly rice and the language also originated from here. In particular, people prefer to be called Malagasy instead of Africans.

Customs of dancing with the dead

Many Malagasy believe in animism, they still maintain the custom of dancing with the dead or "return of skeletons". In the island nation, death is not an end and a negative, but just another form of life. Therefore, they often unearth the tombs and dance with skeletons as a form of respect for the deceased.
Every 7 years, people excavate the grave and dance with the dead. Photo: News Week.

Traditional costumes for men and women are alike

Most countries have traditional costumes for both sexes. However, both men and women in the island nation share a long fabric to wear or wrap around their bodies. On special occasions, people will choose different designs and colors. It could be red, white, black and blue, brown stripes. This traditional costume also works to tie children behind their backs.

4th largest island in the world

With an area of over 592,000 km2, the country is the 4th largest island in the world, after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo. It has diverse terrain and habitats, from volcanoes, plateaus to rainforest and sandstone cliffs.
The National Parks Organization was founded in 1990 to conserve natural resources. Photo: Natural World Safari.

Hundreds of species are not available anywhere

Nearly 90% of wildlife species only occur in this island nation. Remarkably more than 70 species of lemurs, 16 of which have disappeared since the arrival of humans. In addition, you can explore up to 346 reptiles, over 6,000 species of endemic plants and some predators like the Fossa civet. Today, besides human production, deforestation, fire, erosion or alien species pose a threat to the island's biodiversity.

Many beautiful baobab trees

When talking about Baobab trees, tourists often think of the African black continent. However, Madagascar has 75% of the most beautiful trees in the world. The country is also proud to be home to 6 of the 9 species of baobab in the world. Several other species are found in Australia, the Arabian Peninsula and the African continent.

To admire the Baobab trees, visitors can go to the Menabe area, where trees stand upright on both sides of the avenue. The ancient here used to be part of the rainforest, but they were gradually wiped out to get land for agriculture.
The baobab tree is considered a national symbol.
The baobab tree is considered a national symbol. Photo: Travel Triangle.
The "old paradise" of pirates
Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the island nation was a pirate sanctuary by its fjords, secluded bays. They often come here to repair ships and prepare food, before launching an attack in the Indian Ocean. In the 1690s, pirates had a prosperous life on the island. Today, visitors can visit the pirate cemetery when coming here.

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