The island of Madagascar broke away from Africa about 160 million years ago and is now located some 250 miles off the Eastern coast. This isolation gave rise to an amazing assortment of plants and animals found only in Madagascar. However, humans arrived on the island only 1,500-2000 years ago.
IN DEPTH: Learn more about CI projects to improve human health in Madagascar.
No one is exactly sure about the true origins of the Malagasy people. Their customs, traditions, and appearance suggest that the first inhabitants came from Africa, Southeast Asia, India, and even Arab-speaking lands. Given Madagascar's location along early shipping routes, Europeans also contribute to the unique blend of cultures and ethnicities that comprise this diverse island nation.
Learn more about the social history of this amazing island and the politics of today.
Try out some Malagasy phrases using our pronunciation guide.
Discover the artists, songs, and traditional dance of the Malagasy people.
Get cooking with some authentic Malagasy recipes while learning about the diet of the island.
Read excerpts of poems by Malagasy writers.