Madagascar’s forests are a shimmering, seething mass of a trillion stems and dripping leaves and slithering, jumping, quirky creatures out of nature’s bag of tricks: lemurs, periwinkles and baobabs, aloes, geckoes, sifakas and octopus trees.


Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique

Geography - note

World’s fourth-largest island; strategic location along Mozambique Channel

Map references




Total: 587,040 sq km
Land: 581,540 sq km
Water: 5,500 sq km


Tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in south


Narrow coastal plain, high plateau and mountains in the center

Elevation extremes

Point bas: Océan Indien 0 m
Point culminant: Maromokotro 2,876 m

Natural resources

Graphite, chromites, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish, hydropower