An island slightly larger than France, Madagascar was isolated from the African mainland for over 165 million years, resulting in plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Including the instantly recognizable lemur.
Since March 2009, the country has been led by self-proclaimed president Andry Rajoelina, who was formerly the mayor of the capital Antananarivo after protests which swept him to power. Tourism is a small, but important, part of Madagascar's overall economic strategy. While visiting the country will likely involve more roughing it than, say, Mauritius or the Seychelles, it is becoming increasingly popular as a destination for eco-tourism.
Matadorians who have visited the country share their views and advice below.