Madagascar is an island country that is not bordered by any countries. It is located off the southeast coast of Africa and is only bordered by the Indian Ocean. The closest country to Madagascar is Mozambique.
At 226,658 square miles, Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world behind Greenland. New Guinea and Borneo. Because of its remote location, Madagascar is home to many plants and animals that are not found anywhere else in the world. The island features a central mountainous plateau that is surrounded by lower-lying coastal regions.
As a result of being situated in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is often affected by tropical cyclones and flooding. Frequent extreme weather patterns have resulted in widespread poverty and an epidemic of homelessness. The country is also impacted economically by the limited supply of agricultural lands and the degradation of forest lands, which has negatively affected the tourist industry. However, Madagascar is the world's leading producer of vanilla, and other major exports include coffee, sugar and petroleum products.
The people of Madagascar, known as the Malagasy, are predominantly descendants of Africans and Indonesians. The first inhabitants of the island are thought to have arrived around 2,000 years ago. Madagascar came under French colonial rule in 1896. After an unsuccessful uprising in 1947, Madagascar gained independence in 1960. The French cultural influence has remained to the present day, and French is still a commonly used language on the island.