Area: 587,041 km ²
Climate: hot rainy season from November to April and cool dry season from May to October
Population: 20,653,556 (est. 2009)
Languages: Malagasy, French
Government Type: Caretaker governmentNational Holiday: June 26 GDP: $19.285billion (est. 2010)GDP – per capita (PPP): $ 905 (est. 2010)
Information for Foreign Students in MadagascarGetting There From Europe, the best connections are with Air Madagascar ('AirMad'), Air France or Corsair from Paris to Antananarivo. AirMad also flies from Milan to Antananarivo and Nosy Be (a small island off the North of Madagascar).
Obtaining a Visa From April 2009 any tourist from any nationality can enter Madagascar without purchasing a visa if staying less than a month.
Bring bug spray and a net because there are a lot of bugs. Sleep in a sleeping bag even at the Hilton there, since you cannot trust the hotel staff.
Currency used in Madagascar is the ariary. You can withdraw money from ATMs in the cities.
Areas inhabited by humans will invariably have large populations of stray dogs. Never provoke a stray dog, and although bites are rare, if bitten seek medical assistance promptly as rabies is not unheard of. Remember that Madagascar is in the tropics and take precautions against sunburn and heat exhaustion seriously. Wear lots of sunscreen and keep hydrated. Remember that a cloudy day does not mean you won't get burnt.
Keep an eye on your belongings when using public transportation or visiting markets where numerous pickpockets swarm.
Travel by Taxi-Brousse is guaranteed to test one's patience and sanity, but there is quite possibly no better way to meet and interact with the locals and experience Madagascar as the Malagasy do. Taxi-brousses are by far the cheapest way to travel, but do not expect to leave or arrive on time. Indeed, the drivers wait for their 15 seats small buses to get full before leaving, therefore a few hours delay is not uncommon! However, during the trip it allows you to admire the breathtaking landscapes of Madagascar.