Alternate titles: great Red Island, Isle the Saint Lawrence, Madagasikara, Malagasy Republic, République de Madagascar, Repoblikan’i Madagasikara, Republic of Madagascar
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Although located some 250 mile (400 km) native the african continent, Madagascar’s populace is mostly related no to african peoples but rather come those that Indonesia, more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) come the east. The Malagasy peoples, moreover, perform not take into consideration themselves to it is in Africans, but, since of the continuing bond v France the resulted native former colonial rule, the island developed political, economic, and social links v the French-speaking countries of west Africa. The pet life and also vegetation that the island are equally anomalous, differing considerably from the of nearby Africa and also being in countless respects unique. Back the coastlands have been recognized to europe for much more than 400 years and to Arabs for much longer, current historical advancement has been much more intense and also concentrated in the main plateau, which contains the funding city the Antananarivo (formerly Tananarive).

* Quiz
Islands and Archipelagos
What space the archipelago of the Maldives make of? What is the world’s biggest archipelago? sort out the facts around islands throughout the globe.
Aidan william Southall


Madagascar is situated in the southwestern Indian Ocean and is separated from the African coastline by the 250-mile- (400-km-) large Mozambique Channel.


Madagascar consists of three parallel longitudinal zones—the main plateau, the coastal strip in the east, and also the region of low plateaus and plains in the west.

Situated between 2,500 and also 4,500 feet (800 and 1,400 metres) over sea level, the plateau has been uplifted and also worn down several times and is tilted to the west. 3 massifs are more than 8,500 feet (2,600 metres) high. The Tsaratanana region in the phibìc is separated native the remainder of the plateau through the Tsaratanana Massif, whose summit, Maromokotro, will 9,436 feet (2,876 metres) and is the highest allude on the island. Ankaratra Massif in the centre is an substantial volcanic mass whose summit, Tsiafajavona, is 8,671 feet (2,643 metres) high. Ankaratra is a significant watershed division separating three key river basins. Aside from that south, Andringitra is a large granite massif phibìc of Tôlan̈aro (Faradofay); the rises to 8,720 feet (2,658 metres) at Boby Peak.

The plateau slopes with some regularity toward the too much southern plain, but its borders to the east and west are an ext abrupt. Come the eastern it descends in a sharp fault, by vertical actions of 1,000 come 2,000 feet (300 come 600 metres). This cliff, i beg your pardon is called the great Cliff or the Cliff that Angavo, is often impassable and is chin bordered through the Betsimisaraka Escarpment, a second and reduced cliff come the east, i beg your pardon overhangs the seaside plain. Behind the scarp confront are the stays of old lakes, including one called Alaotra. Come the southern the 2 steep gradients satisfy and form the Mahafaly and the Androy plateaus, which overhang the sea in precipitous cliffs. Towards the west the descent is make in a series of steps. However, in areas the main plateau is bordered by an impassable escarpment, such as the Cliff the Bongolava in the west-central part of the island. Come the excessive north the plateau is bordered through the short belt the the Ambohitra Mountains, which include a series of volcanic craters.

The coastal strip has an typical width of around 30 mile (50 km). It is a small alluvial level that terminates in a low shore bordered through lagoons connected together by the Pangalanes (Ampangalana) Canal, which is much more than 370 miles (600 km) long. To the south of Farafangana the shore becomes rocky, and in the south-east there occur many small bays. To the northeast is the deep bay of Antongil (Antongila).

The western zone is in between 60 and 125 mile (100 and 200 km) wide. Its sedimentary great slope towards the Mozambique Channel and also produce a sequence of hills. The inland (eastern) next of this steep hills dominates the hollows created in the soft sediments of the interior, if the various other side descends come the sea in rocky slopes. The shore is straight, bordered by little dunes and fringed v mangroves. The currents in the Mozambique Channel have actually favoured the offshore deposit the alluvium and also the development of river deltas. ~ above the northwestern coast there are a variety of estuaries and also bays. This coastline is bordered by coral reefs and also volcanic islands, such together Nosy be (Nossi-Bé), i m sorry protects Ampasindava Bay.

Nosy Be
Beach on Nosy Be, Madagascar
Gerald Cubitt
Jean Dresch


The steep eastern challenge of the plateau is drained by countless short, torrential rivers, such as the Mandrare, the Mananara, the Faraony, the Ivondro, and the Maningory, which discharge either right into the seaside lagoons or directly into the sea end waterfalls and also rapids. The an ext gently sloping western side of the plateau is crossed by longer and larger rivers, including the Onilahy, the Mangoky, the Tsiribihina, and also the Betsiboka, i beg your pardon bring substantial deposits of abundant alluvium down right into the substantial plains and also many-channeled estuaries; the flow mouths, when not fully blocked by this sediment, room studded with many sandbanks.

There are numerous lakes that volcanic origin on the island, such as Lake Itasy. Alaotra is the last surviving lake of the east slope. Lake Tsimanampetsotsa, near the coastline south the Toliara (formerly Tuléar), is a big body that saline water that has actually no outlet.

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The main plateau and also the eastern shore are largely composed the gneiss, granite, quartz, and other crystalline rock formations. The gneiss decomposes into red murrum, laterite, and deeper and an ext fertile red earths, giving Madagascar that colloquial surname the great Red Island. Productive alluvial soils in the valleys support intensive cultivation. There additionally are scattered volcanic intrusions that produce fertile but easily erodible soils. Lake Alaotra is a huge sedimentary pocket in the central plateau containing few of the island’s most fertile farmland. The western third of the island is composed entirely of shop of sedimentary rock, giving rise come soils of medium to low fertility.