Your guide to being an expatriate in Madagascar

Caffeinate Your Madagascar Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is bursting with natural splendor and cultural heritage. It boasts an array of exotic flora and fauna, making it a nature lover's paradise. The country's vibrant capital, Antananarivo, marries French, African, and Malagasy cultures, providing a fascinating insight into Madagascar's past and present. Despite occasional political instability, Madagascar is a popular choice for expats seeking an authentic African experience.


Expat destinations in Madagascar

Demographics of Madagascar:

Ethnic groups

Malagasy 90%, European 4%, Another 6%


Malagasy (official) 55.5%, French (official) 38.6%, Antandroy Malagasy 1.2%

Religion Overview

Madagascar's religions are predominantly Christian (Lutheran and Roman Catholic), with Christian denominations making up around 70% of the population. Animism, a traditional African religion, also has a sizable following.

Major Religions


Madagascar's tropical climate is characterized by high humidity and varied weather patterns. The northeast coast experiences rainy season between January and March, while the southwest coast is wettest from November to April. Winter months between May and September are generally dry.

Economy Overview

Madagascar's economy is heavily reliant on agriculture, with primary exports being sugar, vanilla, cloves, and cocoa. Mining, especially of iridium, also contributes to the country's exports. The tourism sector is growing, with the country's numerous national parks and unique wildlife attracting visitors. The average annual income is still relatively low, making Madagascar a worthy destination for cost-conscious expats.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Tourism

Major Companies

  • Madagascar Sary Group
  • Spambana
  • Madagascar Petroleum

Culture and Language Overview

Madagascar's culture is a fascinating mix of Malagasy traditions, French customs, and African heritage. The country has a vibrant arts scene and unique traditional ceremonies such as zomby ceremonies, which have inspired tour operators. Malagasy is the native language, whilst French is used in business and administration.

Cultural Highlights

  • Madagascar music and dance, influenced by traditional Malagasy, French, and African styles
  • Lemurs, native to Madagascar and a major attraction for tourists
  • Iolana, a traditional ceremony and dance performed during the full moon period

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Madagascar's diverse landscape comprises rainforests, beaches, deserts, and mountains. The country is home to numerous national parks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Notable landmarks include the Avenue of the Baobabs, Tsingy de Bemaraha, and Ascension Island.

Notable Landmarks

  • Avenue of the Baobabs, a natural phenomenon of giant baobab trees forming a mystical avenue
  • Ranomafana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a variety of endemic species
  • Ascension Island, a Naturally Protected Marine Area with unique marine life

National Holidays

  • Independence Day, June 26th
  • Christmas Day, December 25th
  • New Year's Day, January 1st
  • Feast of the Ascension, May 13th
  • Assumption Day, August 15th
  • All Saints' Day, November 1st
  • All Souls' Day, November 2nd

Political Stability

Madagascar's political climate is notoriously tumultuous, with various political crises and frequent military coups. The country experienced a serious crisis between 2009 and 2014. However, significant strides have been made towards stability, including a new democratic constitution and multilateral aid programs.

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