Preface Last Updated: 10/24/2003 2:03 AM
Madagascar is a fascinating island. The people, whose origins are
a combination of Malay-Polynesian, African, and Middle Eastern, have
developed their own culture and traditions reflecting that diversity
as well as some unifying aspects, including a common Malagasy
Madagascar's long history as an isolated area has contributed to
the development of a Malagasy psychology. Although politically
associated with the African states, Madagascar is not African; it is
not Asian; and in spite of more than 60 years of French
colonization, it is not European.
The island's isolation from other land masses since breaking
apart from the greater land mass that included Africa, India, and
Australia more than 80 million years ago, together with the fact
that it remained unpopulated by humans until around the time of
Christ, has resulted in an incredible legacy of flora and fauna
unique to the island. From the famous lemurs, to the towering
bottle-shaped baobab trees, to the fantastic array of frogs,
chameleons and reptiles, Madagascar is one of the world's hotspots
for biodiversity and endemism [plants and animals found nowhere
else]. An illustration of the richness of the fauna found here is
the spiny desert, located in the dry southern part of Madagascar,
where 95% of the plant species are unique not only to Madagascar but
to this small region. Of the 33 species of lemur, all are endemic to
Madagascar (with the exception of two found in the neighboring
Comoros, where they were likely introduced by man).
Yet many of Madagascar's wonderfully unique species are
tragically threatened. Since the relatively recent (in evolutionary
terms) arrival of man, the giant sloth lemur, the enormous elephant
bird (at 1,000 pounds, the largest bird ever known, together with
the also-extinct moa of New Zealand), the pygmy hippopotamus, and
one-third of all species of lemur, including the giant lemur, which
was larger than a gorilla, have all become extinct. The rapidly
growing human population has also led to severe environmental
degradation. More than 90% of the original forest cover has been
Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, has proven to be a very
special assignment for many Americans, although not an easy one.
Americans must be resourceful to adjust to the isolated environment,
the language and cultural barriers, and the difficulties of life in
a developing country whose economy is severely strained. But the
pleasant climate, the abundant fresh food, the flowers, the friendly
people, and the opportunities for discovering the unique flora and
fauna of the island make an assignment here a fondly remembered
experience for most.
NOTE: The name of the country is the Republic of Madagascar. The
word "Malagasy" is used as a noun only when referring to the people
of Madagascar or the language they speak; e.g., the Malagasy speak
Malagasy. All other uses of the word "Malagasy" are as adjectives;
e.g., "The Malagasy people."
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 10/24/2003 2:07 AM
Madagascar, the world's fourth-largest island after Greenland,
New Guinea and Borneo, is situated in the Indian Ocean 250 miles off
the southeast coast of Africa. Covering 226,658 square miles, it is
995 miles long and 360 miles across at its widest point. It is
approximately twice the size of the State of Arizona. Madagascar
extends from 8 to 26 degrees south latitude - equivalent to the
range from Managua, Nicaragua to Miami, Florida in the Northern
The east coast of Madagascar is virtually a straight line facing
the Indian Ocean. The western coastline, facing the Mozambique
Channel and Africa, is more contoured. A spine of mountains running
the length of the island from north to south creates a distinct
geographical division between the east and west. Along the crest of
this ridge lie the central highlands, a plateau region ranging in
altitude from 2,450 to 4,400 feet above sea level. This central
ridge is punctuated by higher mountain massifs in three areas: by
the Tsaratanana Mountain massif in the far north; by the Ankaratra
massif in the central area south of the capital, Antananarivo; and
by the Andringitra massif further south.
The central highlands are characterized by terraced, rice-growing
valleys nestled among barren hills. Here, the crust of red laterite
that covers much of the island has been exposed by erosion, showing
why the country is known as "the Great Red Island." Toward the east,
a steep escarpment leads from the central highlands down through a
strip of dense rain forest to a narrow coastal plain. The Canal des
Pangalanes, a chain of natural and man-made lakes connected by
canals, runs parallel to the eastern coast for some 300 miles.
The descent from the central highlands toward the west is more
gradual, and is characterized by remnants of deciduous forest and
savannah-like plains. In the south and southwest, these plains
become quite dry, and it is here that one finds the unique spiny
desert and famous baobabs.
In the north of the island, the Tsaratanana Mountain massif (at
9,468 feet, the highest point in Madagascar) separates Diego Suarez,
one of the world's great natural harbors, from the rest of the
Madagascar's geography creates many climatic subdivisions. The
coastal climate is hot and tropical, with the east coast receiving
the most rainfall (more than 160 inches of rain in Maroantsetra.).
This is due to the effect of moisture-laden trade winds off the
Indian Ocean as they encounter the steep escarpment of the
Madagascar coastline. The east coast is also most affected by the
cyclones which periodically hit the island, often causing extensive
damage. East coast temperatures reach an average high of 85 in the
summer and 72 in the winter.
On the west coast, precipitation levels drop off from north to
south. There are desert areas of the deep south which receive only 2
inches of rain per year. West coast temperatures are generally
several degrees warmer than the east coast temperatures.
The central highlands, where the capital Antananarivo is located,
have a more temperate climate. There are two primary seasons; the
rainy summer season, which lasts from approximately November through
mid-March; and the dry season, from mid-March through October. In
(southern) summer, there are periods of rain almost every day, often
in the late afternoon. Cyclones, which can affect the coastal areas,
do not reach the highlands, but their influence can cause extended
periods of rain. The average daily high temperature in summer is in
the mid 80's, with a hot mid-day sun alternating with the periods of
rain. Nighttime lows average in the low 60's.
The shoulder months of April, May and September, October are very
pleasant, with little rain, blue skies, and daytime highs in the
70's. In the (southern) winter months of June-August, the skies are
often sunny and daytime highs can reach the mid-to-high 60s.
However, there are also chilly days which are overcast and windy
with daytime highs in the 50's. Nighttime lows in winter can drop
into the 40's in Antananarivo.
Population Last Updated: 10/24/2003 2:05 AM
Madagascar had no human population until about the first century
of the Christian era. The current population reflects the influence
of diverse societies from around the Indian Ocean and has developed
a unique and unified culture from varied sources.
From language, racial characteristics, and certain cultural
practices, it is generally agreed that the first settlers were of
Malay-Indonesian origin. (There is an 80% linguistic overlap with
Indonesian languages, with the closest correlation to the language
of the present-day Maanjan people of central Borneo.) Although no
archaeological remains indicate that human occupation occurred prior
to 600 A.D., it can be deduced from the lack of iron-working skills
among these early settlers that they must have left their original
homeland around the time of Christ, when iron-working began to
appear in Indonesia. Certain core elements of Malagasy culture
reflect its links to Indonesia (outrigger canoes, certain musical
instruments, traditions of rice cultivation, slash-and-burn farming
practices, and rectangular houses). The route of and reasons for
their migration are not known; however, due to the enormous expanse
- some 4,000 miles - of the Indian Ocean separating Madagascar from
Indonesia, it is generally thought that these immigrants must have
come in stages via southern India, the Persian Gulf, and east Africa
using the outrigger canoe - a form of navigation still found along
this presumed route.
Initial settlements were confined to the north and northwest
coastal areas. Early in the second millennium, Afro-Arab merchant
seamen, who dominated the western Indian Ocean by this time, began
exchanges with Madagascar, and some East Africans migrated, bringing
cattle. The African racial influence, most notable in the coastal
areas and southern plains of Madagascar, and the importance of
zebu-herding, probably date from this era. The Arab presence was
strongest in the northwest and southeast (where Arabic script was
widely used) and its influence is reflected in the continuing
island-wide practices of circumcision and astrology, and the
knowledge of making papyrus-like paper from beaten bark.
The first European to reach the island was the Portuguese
explorer Diego Dias in 1500. Dutch, English, and French traders
followed. The most colorful characters to bring their influence to
Madagascar were late seventeenth, early eighteenth century pirates,
who used the east coast island of Ile Sainte Marie and other areas
as safe havens and bases for attacking Indian Ocean trading vessels.
In the mid-seventeenth century, the French made the first attempt to
establish a commercial colony - near present-day Fort Dauphin in the
southeast. The French and English showed an increasing commercial
interest in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, drawn by
Madagascar's strategic location on trading routes to India and for
provision of staples to other Indian Ocean colonies, such as Reunion
and Mauritius. The Merina kingdom of the highlands used the help of
the British government and the benefits of missionary schools to
consolidate its control over much of the island. France made
Madagascar a formal colony from 1896 through 1960.
The twentieth century brought an influx of French settlers, and
Indo-Pakistani and Chinese immigrants. An historical rivalry has
existed between the coastal people (the Cotiers) considered to be
underprivileged, and the Merina of the high plateau region who are
predominant in the civil service, business, and the professions.
More than half of Malagasy are Christian. Many others follow
indigenous traditional religions, and about 7% are Muslim.
Christians are divided about half Roman Catholic (more prevalent in
coastal regions) and half Protestant. The major Protestant groupings
are Protestant Reformed (FJKM), Anglican, and Lutheran. The FFKM, a
consortium of the four major Christian religions, is a key player in
Madagascar social and political life. President Marc Ravalomanana,
the first highlander and first Protestant to hold that post, remains
a vice-president of FJKM, the Protestant Reformed church.
Traditional religion emphasizes links between the living and the
dead. Ancestors are believed to be intensely concerned with the
lives of their descendants. Adherents believe death is but a passage
to another life from which the ancestors can advise and protect the
living. This spiritual communion is celebrated by funeral rites
called "Famadihana", or the "turning of the dead," a highland ritual
of removing remains from the family tomb, re-wrapping them in new
shrouds, and returning them to the tomb after festive ceremonies in
their honor. Although the timing of exhumations varies across the
island, the majority of Malagasy try to have the ceremony at least
once every five years, funds permitting. These are very important
and expensive occasions, since it falls to the family whose tomb is
being opened to entertain all guests with food and drink and to bear
the expense of new shrouds. Many Christians incorporate the cult of
the dead with their own religious practices.
Despite the existence of 18 major tribes, the Malagasy speak a
single language - Malagasy - which is grammatically related to
Indonesian and written in the Roman alphabet, using 21 letters.
Regional dialects exist but are more a matter of vocabulary and
accent than basic linguistic differences. This uniformity of
language has been a major factor in creating a sense of national
unity among people of diverse cultural characteristics.
Approximately 15% of the population also speaks French.
French-speaking is particularly prevalent in Antananarivo, other
towns of significant size, and in tourist destinations.
Official publications are frequently in both French and Malagasy,
and Antananarivo's daily newspapers appear in both languages.
The population, which was approximately 16 million in 2001, has
been increasing at an annual rate of approximately 2.8% and is more
than triple the 5.3 million population in the independence year of
1960. The 25,000 French citizens, including dual nationals, make up
the largest expatriate group. There are sizeable communities of
immigrants from China, South Asia, and the Comoros.
In 2001, 44.7% of the population was less than 15 years old and
only 3% over 65. Life expectancy in 2001 was 55.1 years. In the same
year, 32.7% of those 15 and older were illiterate (39.4% of women).
Per capita income in 2001 was approximately $260.
Public Institutions Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:04 AM
The Republic of Madagascar is a parliamentary democracy headed by
a President elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. Marc
Ravalomanana was the eventual winner of the election held in
December 2001, defeating the incumbent Didier Ratsiraka. A dispute
concerning the election results threw the country into crisis.
Transport links were severely affected and the economy went into a
steep decline from which the country is still recovering.
The Constitution of 1992, the third since independence in 1960,
is the basic document of government and provides for a strong
Presidency. Since 1995, the President has selected the Prime
Minister. The National Assembly is currently composed of 160
deputies, elected to five-year terms. The current Assembly was
elected in December 2002. Its membership reflects a clear popular
majority for the President, with over three-quarters of the deputies
representing the President's TIM (or "I Love Madagascar") party and
close allies. A 90-member Senate is chosen by the indirect election
of 60 senators and the appointment of the remaining 30 by the
President. The judicial system is based on the Napoleonic Code, the
1992 Constitution, and some traditional local practices.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:32 AM
As in many developing countries, educational, scientific, and
cultural activities in the Western sense are in a formative stage.
There are public universities in Antananarivo and each of the five
provincial capitals. Private higher-education has been allowed for
only the past 13 years, and there are currently a small number of
privately-run universities or specialized training institutions. The
scientific community of Madagascar includes scientists trained at
the various Malagasy universities, as well as a significant presence
of American and other western researchers working mostly in
environmental, biological, and anthropological fields.
The Government of Madagascar has announced an effort to fight
poverty and, in this connection, has announced an "Education for
All" initiative which would provide basic education free of charge
in public schools. Building and equipping rural schools in order to
insure equality of access to education is also a stated goal.
Another significant highlight is the announced introduction of
English teaching at the primary school level. Schools will also play
an important role in the fight against HIV-AIDS by providing sexual
education. Decentralization of education is also an on-going effort.
Church-affiliated private primary and secondary schools are an
important part of education, as they have been for over 150 years.
Unfortunately, all levels of Malagasy schools suffer from a shortage
of books and supplies.
The country has a rich folk music tradition, for which
appreciation is growing both domestically and abroad. Traditional
instruments include the valiha, a plucked stringed instrument made
from a length of hollow bamboo; the sodina, a traditional end-blown
flute; the kabosy, a small ukulele-like guitar; jejy voatavo (gourd
dulcimer); and a great variety of percussion instruments, including
drums and shakers. The Malagasy are also celebrated for their
A leading exponent of the valiha is the virtuoso performer Justin
Vali, who hails from Fierenana, a small village some 40 miles from
Tana where nearly all the inhabitants are dedicated to the
performance and/or crafting of the valiha and various percussion
instruments for resale in the markets of Tana. Mr. Vali currently
lives in Paris and has done much to engender an explosion of
interest in Malagasy music abroad.
Another group which has done much to increase enthusiasm for
Malagasy music is Tarika, which was voted by Time Magazine as one of
the top 10 bands in the world in 2001. Tarika has developed a unique
blend of traditional Malagasy music with other Indian Ocean musical
influences. The lead singer of the group, Hanitrarivo Raoanaivo,
recently established a performing arts center, Antshow, dedicated to
the promotion of traditional and contemporary Malagasy arts and
culture. She has also started a project to train young people in
Malagasy musical performing traditions, such as playing the valiha.
Fiber weaving is also a significant tradition in Madagascar.
Raffia is dyed and woven into baskets in a remarkably diverse range
of colors and designs, for domestic use and export. A rich
cloth-weaving tradition also exists, and is arguably the country's
most visually compelling art form. The lamba is a versatile cloth
wrapper which is worn like a large shawl, with one end draped over
the left shoulder. Portraits from the nineteenth century depict
Malagasy envoys presenting their credentials abroad adorned in these
glorious mantles. In the south, a narrower version was worn as a
loincloth. Long the traditional dress, the lamba has fallen out of
daily use in the big cities, but can still be seen in the
countryside (although, sadly, cheap imported cloth is often
substituted for the traditional richly-hued natural fibers). The
lamba also plays a significant role as a burial cloth.
The fiber-weaving tradition of Madagascar has recently become
more celebrated in the U.S. and Europe. In 2002 the Smithsonian
Institution National Museum of African Art hosted an exhibition
"Gifts and Blessings: The Textile Arts of Madagascar." Traditionally
lambas were woven in silk, cotton, raffia, hemp and banana stem
fibers. The chief decorative element of the lamba is colored warp
(longitudinal) striping, often in a deep red and black, with white,
yellow or green accent striping. Sometimes this striping is adorned
with geometric motifs in a brocade-like floating weft technique
known as akotofahana. Striking specimens of cloths decorated using
warp ikat dying and weaving techniques exist from as late as the
middle of the nineteenth century, indicating ancient links to
Indonesian textile traditions; however, this technique has
unfortunately now died out in Madagascar. While many other aspects
of the hand-weaving tradition have either disappeared or
significantly declined in Madagascar during the twentieth century,
there has recently been a small but significant renaissance in this
art form. Simon Peers, a British art historian and dealer, has
started a studio which produces lambas replicating ancestral models
for sale to museums, galleries and collectors. There are several
other ateliers and galleries in Tana where hand-woven lambas are
made or can be purchased. There is a silkworm project in Ambalavao
dedicated to reviving the traditional homespun silk-weaving
Antananarivo has several small museums, including a Museum in the
former Prime Minister's Palace housing certain items that were saved
from the fire when the Queen's Palace (Rova) burned in 1995. There
is also the Museum of Art and Archaeology, located near the Embassy.
The French Cultural Center hosts regular screenings of
French-language films. The French and German Cultural Centers
regularly host performances by Malagasy, Western, and African
artists. The French, German and American Cultural Centers also host
occasional lectures, exhibitions, films and forums.
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:32 AM
Agriculture dominates the economic life of the 70% of the
population living in rural areas - and rice paddies even dot the
urban landscape of Antananarivo. The poor performance of the
traditional agricultural sector, dominated by subsistence production
of staple foods, is a key factor in persistent poverty that keeps
80% of the rural population below the official poverty line. Rice,
the main staple crop, accounts for over half of farm output.
However, Madagascar, which was self-sufficient in rice until the
early 1970s, has since been a net importer. Plots are inefficiently
small and productivity is restrained by reliance on traditional
cultivation techniques and minimal use of inputs, resulting in
yields less than a third of those widely achieved elsewhere. Other
major staple crops for local consumption are cassava, corn and sweet
potatoes. Cash crops include vanilla, cloves, coffee, sugar cane,
cotton, pepper and other spices. Madagascar is traditionally the
world's largest producer and exporter of vanilla and a major
exporter of cloves. Coffee production has been hit by declining
world prices and the local dominance of out-of-favor robusta
varieties. Cotton and sugar production have declined, as protected
state-owned firms have failed to modernize and boost efficiency.
Increased cotton production could anchor a vertically integrated
textile industry, supplying raw material for fabric for Madagascar's
export-oriented apparel industry.
Fish, from both offshore industrial fishing and aquaculture, are
a key export, with Europe as the principal destination. Shrimp
accounts for about 70% and tuna about 25% of exports in the sector.
The seawater shrimp farming operations have been developed since the
early 1990s in response to depletion of offshore stocks. Plantation
forestry, based on commercially planted eucalyptus and pine, is
replacing logging of native forests, which has seriously diminished
the island's unique environmental heritage. Agriculture, including
livestock, forestry and fishing, accounted for about 70% of the
country's export earnings and generated about 35% of Madagascar's
GDP in 2001.
Principal mineral exports are chromite, graphite, and mica. There
is a modest amount of gold production. Two large industrial mining
projects - for ilmenite and nickel - are in the process of
pre-development. Precious and semi-precious gemstones, including
rubies and sapphires, are present in Madagascar, but their mining
and exploitation occur largely outside the law and thus they
contribute little to GDP figures.
Madagascar has a dual industrial sector - Export Processing Zone
(EPZ) firms and a range of basic manufacturing serving the domestic
market. Nearly 90% of the activity in the EPZ, whose framework
legislation was passed in the early 1990s, is concentrated in the
apparel sector. Preferential access to U.S. and European markets and
the availability of low-cost labor have been key incentives for EPZ
investment, largely by foreign interests. EPZ employment reached
100,000 in 2001. The non-EPZ industrial sector produces a wide range
of products, but generally needs to adapt to current and future
import competition after long years of a protected domestic market.
The commercial banking sector is concentrated, profitable, and
dominated by affiliates of foreign banks (four French and two
Mauritian). Tourism is another key service industry, with an
estimated 170,000 visitors in 2001. Eco-tourism is a principal
attraction and three-quarters of the tourists are from Western
Europe. Commerce and trading account for one tenth of GDP and
several large food and retail stores have recently made a successful
entry into the Antananarivo market.
Gross domestic product totaled $4.7 billion in 2001. The economy
grew by an average of 4.5% annually from 1997 through 2001, but
contracted by 12.7% in 2002 as a result of a political crisis that
brought much of the economy to a standstill. The return to political
stability and significant donor support is expected to put
Madagascar back on its earlier growth trajectory from 2003 onward.
Madagascar's major economic partner is France, which accounts for
about 65% of the stock of foreign direct investment in the country.
U.S. investment is relatively small, but present in a wide range of
sectors (textiles, telecommunications, fishing, handicrafts,
mining). In 2000, 38% of Madagascar's imports came from France, 10%
from Hong Kong, 5% from Germany (and about 2% from the U.S.). In the
same year, France accounted for nearly 41% of Madagascar exports,
the U.S. 21.1%, and Germany 7.4%. Overall, Madagascar's major
exports are vanilla, shellfish, apparel, and cloves. Aided by
preferential trading regimes, including that of the U.S. Africa
Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and an export processing zone
regime, apparel exports have been the fastest growing export sector.
Major imports are crude oil and petroleum products, equipment and
capital goods, and consumer goods. U.S.-Madagascar trade tilts
heavily in Madagascar's favor. In 2001, Madagascar exported $215.8
million to the U.S. (vanilla and apparel accounting for nearly 95%
of exports), while importing only $15.24 million worth of goods from
After independence in 1960, Madagascar's first president,
Philibert Tsiranana (1960-72) rejected nationalist pressure to
reduce the large French role in key sectors of the economy,
pragmatically recognizing that the country needed foreign capital to
develop. In 1975, Madagascar took a U-turn toward revolutionary
socialism with a strong nationalist bent. Admiral Didier Ratsiraka
(1975-91), who took over in that year, declared that socialism was
the only road to development and promoted special economic
relationships with North Korea, the U.S.S.R, and the People's
Republic of China. He sought to dismantle "economic neo-colonialism"
by nationalizing much of the country's economic infrastructure. His
investment plan emphasizing heavy industry and foreign borrowing
further contributed to a desperate economic situation and by the
1980s, Ratsiraka's government was forced to turn to the IMF and to
accept conditionalities that began a forced rollback of socialist
policies, government controls, and state ownership.
At first under pressure from international financial institutions
and later on its own initiative, successive Madagascar governments
have undertaken macro-economic reforms. A first privatization
program (1988-93) and the development of an export processing zone (EPZ)
regime beginning in the early 1990s were key milestones in this
effort. After significant stagnation in the 1991-96 period, a "new"
Ratsiraka was democratically elected in 1996 and he presided over
five years of solid economic growth and accelerating foreign
investment (driven by a second wave of privatizations and EPZ
A six-month political crisis in 2002 (triggered by a contested
presidential election involving Ratsiraka and his ultimate
successor, Marc Ravalomanana) virtually halted economic activity in
much of the country (real GDP dropped 12.7% for the year 2002),
caused a sharp drop in inflows of foreign investment, and tarnished
Madagascar's developing reputation as a promising place to invest
and do business. The new Ravalomanana government, confirmed in power
by mid-2002, launched a recovery program and efforts to restore the
confidence of economic actors and to convince current and potential
foreign investors that the political crisis and its devastating
economic side-effects had been a one-time aberration. The
Ravalomanana government has been distinctly more pro-American than
its predecessors and actively seeks to increase trade and investment
between the United States and Madagascar.
Automobiles Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:07 AM
Nearly all Americans will find that a private vehicle is
essential for their tour in Madagascar. Traffic moves on the right,
thus left-hand drive vehicles are recommended. All Embassy personnel
may either import or locally purchase one car duty-free. Plan to
ship a car or negotiate to purchase a car from departing personnel;
new or used cars purchased locally are quite expensive. Unleaded
gasoline and diesel fuel are available. Higher-octane premium
gasoline can sometimes be found. In mid-2003, regular unleaded
gasoline cost approximately $3.40 per gallon (diplomatic personnel
may purchase coupons that reduce the price by approximately
one-third). A four-wheel drive is not essential, but may be useful
during the rainy season and for trips outside of Antananarivo. Post
suggests you also bring a set of license plates for your vehicle in
the event that the Malagasy plates are not ready at the time of your
Repair facilities exist for all French makes, most Japanese makes
(Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Isuzu), Volkswagen,
Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. However, repairing newer model U.S. vehicles
could be a challenge for the local mechanics as they may not be
familiar with the electronic components. It is often difficult to
source replacement parts locally for U.S.-specification vehicles. To
minimize this problem, try to bring a vehicle which is in good
condition. Employees should bring extra tires, spark plugs, fan
belts, oil filters, fuel and air filters, brake pads, oil, automatic
transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, etc., since
these are either unavailable or quite expensive. Post has a mechanic
who services motor pool vehicles and who is sometimes available for
after-hours service on a pay basis.
Foreign-made vehicles may be shipped to post at U.S. Government
expense in accordance with 6 FAM 165.9. Cars should be routed to the
Port of Toamasina (Tamatave). Ship your vehicle well in advance;
transit times can be four months or longer. To clear the POV
shipment through customs at the port of entry the following
documents are needed: former registration title (for a used car),
bill of sale, certificate of origin, bill of lading. To register the
POV locally, detailed specifications are mandatory. Local dealers
can provide such documents; however, the cost varies from dealer to
A car may be sold here with permission from the Malagasy
Government, but import duties are payable unless sold to another
person with duty-free status. Payment of the duties depends on the
agreement between the seller and buyer (offer with duties included
or without duties). As with local POV registration, Government
approval of a POV sale requires submission of more detailed
specifications than commonly found in owner's manuals. An Embassy
FSN can assist in this process. Used cars tend to hold their value
well, especially the more common Japanese and French makes.
International driver's licenses are recognized, but are only
valid for one year and cannot be renewed for use in Madagascar. Most
personnel get a Malagasy license, obtainable on presentation of a
valid U.S. license. Third-party auto insurance is obligatory and
must be obtained from a company operating in Madagascar. It is not
Driving in and around Antananarivo is hazardous. Great caution is
required to avoid accidents, especially involving pedestrians, small
children, and livestock. There are no functioning traffic-control
signals, and your expectations of the rules may not match local
driving practices - be accommodating. Drive with caution as you
circumnavigate potholes, hand-pulled carts (pousse-pousses), and
pedestrians. Most city streets and several highways are paved, but
are often narrow, in very poor condition, and heavily congested. In
the rainy season, it can take up to one and one-half hours for
Embassy employees to travel the four miles from the Embassy to their
homes in Ivandry.
Many suburban streets and country roads are unpaved, deeply
rutted, and rocky. The rainy season causes deep potholes and
washouts on the roads, even in Tana. Thus, many employees purchase
four-wheel-drive vehicles; although not essential for driving to and
from work, they are necessary for exploring some parts of the
island. If you choose to bring an ordinary car, it should have high
ground-clearance; also, consider installing heavy-duty shock
absorbers and steel-belted radials on your car. Low-slung sporty
models would ride too close to many of the local streets, inviting
damage to the undercarriage, even in town.
Local Transportation Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:08 AM
Vehicles used for public mass transport are rarely used by
Americans as they are generally in decrepit condition, crowded, and
Taxis are plentiful in Antananarivo and inexpensive - $1 or $2
(be prepared to bargain) for a ride within the main part of the city
during the day. Taxis will take you from the city to the suburbs,
but are sometimes difficult to find in suburban areas and in the
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:09 AM
Madagascar has two rail systems dating from colonial times. A
concession to operate the northern system was granted to a South
African-led consortium in 2002. It consists of a line from
Antananarivo to the main port of Tamatave, with a spur running north
to the rice and chromite region of Lac Alaotra, and second line from
Antananarivo 110 miles south to the industrial city of Antsirabe.
The Tamatave and Lac Alaotra lines are currently operational for
freight. The second system, the Fianarantsoa-East Coast line,
carries both freight and passengers between the highland city of
Fianarantsoa and the east coast port of Manakara. Railway cars for
passenger service are spartan and usually crowded and subject to
frequent delays and cancellations The FCE line was recently
rehabilitated, in part through USAID funding, and is the subject of
a mid-2003 tender offer for an operating concession.
Air Madagascar has frequent domestic service to Antsiranana
(Diego Suarez), Toliara (Tulear), Mahajanga, Nosy Be, Nosy Boraha (Ile
Sainte Marie), Toamasina (Tamatave), and Taolagnaro (Ft. Dauphin).
As of mid-2003, Air Madagascar serves the following international
points: Paris, Mauritius, Reunion, Johannesburg, and Nairobi. Air
France and Corsair provide air service to Paris and Air Austral, Air
Mauritius, and Inter Air provide regional international service.
Domestic and international air fares are generally quite expensive.
For the adventurous, a network of taxibrousse (private vans that
take on passengers for a fee) provides service along virtually every
road in the country.
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:33
Local phone service is acceptable. The Embassy provides personnel
with phones and pays installation costs. Employees pay for their
residential bills, which average $30 per month plus any
long-distance charges. There are now three mobile phone operators
operating in Antananarivo, and many Americans subscribe to these
Most Embassy personnel purchase phone cards from a U.S. carrier
to make personal international phone calls. Subject to availability,
the Embassy switchboard can access a U.S. toll-free number (IVG
line) from home or office phones for placing such calls. Using the
local telephone system to make international calls is quite
Internet Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:12 AM
Internet access is available in Madagascar, usually via telephone
modem connection, which can be quite slow. Internet usage is
relatively expensive, taking into account subscription charges and
telephone line usage fees.
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:34 AM
Weekly international airmail deliveries are scheduled to and from
Europe and the U.S. International mail to and from Europe takes
about 5 days, and averages from 10 days to 3 weeks to and from the
U.S. The American Mission address for international mail is:
(Name) Ambassade Americaine B.P. 620 101 Antananarivo, Madagascar
There are several private companies that providing commercial
express mail service for letters and packages, but this service is
Antananarivo receives surface-to-air pouches. Since no APO or FPO
facilities exist in Antananarivo, Embassy personnel are authorized
use of the Embassy's air pouch to receive and send letter mail.
Incoming packages are limited to 40 pounds in weight, may not exceed
24 inches in length, and cannot exceed 62 inches in combined length
and girth. Delivery of packages takes about 4 weeks. Outgoing
packages are limited to flat material. The address for
surface-to-air items is:
(Name) 2040 Antananarivo Place Dulles, VA 20189-2040
While there are provisions that permit employees at hardship
posts to receive limited consumables shipments through the pouch,
employees are reminded that prohibitions to the use of the pouch to
send items to circumvent the UAB limits exist.
U.S. postage stamps are occasionally available in the Embassy
commissary; however, it is best to bring a supply with you.
Pouch mail now comes via Paris twice a week. Count on at least 10
days transit time for personal letters.
Radio and TV Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:17 AM
Antananarivo has a growing number of local radio stations
(currently about 30, including two State-run stations). The Voice of
America (on air for seven hours a day in Antananarivo), Radio
Netherlands, the BBC and RFI also broadcast under governmental
convention. Most broadcasts (except those by foreign networks) are
The Office de la Radio et de la Television Malagasy (ORTM),
founded in 1996, is composed of the formerly state-run National
Television and Radio. This entity was created to make the formerly
state-controlled media more responsive to a liberalized economy.
ORTM also delivers authorization and regulates the broadcasting
environment. A shortwave radio is needed for other overseas
National Television, TVM, is the only station that can be watched
in most parts of the country. Reception difficulties may occur,
however, because of weather and topography. Malagasy is the main
language, but there are some news broadcasts in French and English.
Entertainment programs are often in French. In addition to TVM, six
private television stations broadcast from Antananarivo. Many
Americans increase the scope of viewing possibilities by acquiring
satellite dishes. The cost of the equipment and the subscription for
satellite TV service can be quite high.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
10/24/2003 1:17 AM
There are presently five daily (except Sunday) and two weekly
independent newspapers, published in either French or Malagasy.
Coverage of international issues in these papers is minimal. The
first English-language paper, the weekly Madagascar News, appeared
Virtually no other English-language magazines or newspapers are
sold in Madagascar, although recent back issues are available on an
ad hoc basis from street vendors. Some current French periodicals
are regularly available. European airmail subscriptions to Time,
Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, etc., arrive within 2-3
days of publication, but are expensive. Mission personnel may order
subscriptions at U.S. domestic rates via surface-to-air pouch;
delivery takes 4-6 weeks.
The Malagasy Government Ministry of Information prepares a daily
summary news bulletin in French. A French language sampler of
stories from the Malagasy press is published weekly. No
English-language books are sold in Antananarivo. Major bookstores
have stocks of French classics and paperbacks at high prices. It is
quite common to order books through the internet for delivery in 2-3
weeks via the pouch.
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 10/31/2003 1:54 AM
Health concerns include: Malaria, hepatitis, schistosomiasis,
rabies, typhoid, intestinal parasites, cysticercosis, poison shark
meat, and plague. Automobile accidents are common and local
facilities are poorly equipped. AIDS has been documented in low but
Medical Resources and Facilities: The Embassy maintains a small
but adequately equipped Health Unit staffed by a Foreign Service
Nurse Practitioner (FSNP), and an RN. The Regional Medical Officer,
based in Pretoria, visits post as necessary, usually twice a year.
The Regional Psychiatric Officer, also based in Pretoria, visits
The RN can treat minor ailments, keep your immunizations current,
and assist in making appointments with local physicians. The FSNP
can treat most conditions normally seen in a typical Family Practice
Clinic or Urgent Care Center.
The doctor currently used by the Embassy is an English-speaking
Malagasy surgeon trained in the U.S. who has privileges at a small
hospital, the Clinique des Soeurs. Clinique des Soeurs which has a
relatively high standard of cleanliness, but suffers from a shortage
of supplies and inadequate services and is not equivalent to a U.S.
standard facility. The Military Hospital has one French physician
per Department, but no coverage when one of the doctors is on leave.
Serious medical problems, or conditions requiring sophisticated
diagnostic procedures or surgery, will result in medical evacuation,
either to Pretoria or the nearby island of Réunion. South Africa
offers excellent medical and hospital facilities, as does Réunion,
which is part of France.
Basic dental services are available in Madagascar, but it is
recommended that dental work be done prior to arrival. Some people
have opted to have more sophisticated dental work, such as crowns
and root canals, performed here at the Adventist Dental Clinic and
the service has been satisfactory. Evacuation for dental problems is
authorized only under specific circumstances and the treatment
authorized at Government expense is limited.
Recommended: Hepatitis A&B, rabies, DT, polio, typhoid, yellow
fever, influenza (all available at the Health Unit)
Malaria Prophylaxis: Mefloquine (appropriate dose for age), taken
weekly, or Doxycycline, taken daily. There are rare cases of malaria
in Antananarivo. Insect repellent for adults is available in the
Health Unit. Repellent for children should be brought with you.
Fluoride Supplementation: The water supply in Madagascar is not
fluoridated. To prevent tooth decay, fluoride supplements are
recommended for children. Multivitamins are recommended if distilled
water is the primary drinking water.
Walking Blood Bank: There are no recommended blood bank
facilities in the country. Have documentation of blood type and
register for a "Walking Blood Bank" program in the Health Unit.
Health Precautions: Distillers are provided in homes and work
places. Fruits and vegetables should be soaked in chlorinated water
for 15 minutes. Avoid wading in fresh water, in order to reduce the
risk of schistosomiasis. Bring flea control for pets to avoid
plague-carrying fleas. Avoid ingesting any shark meat to prevent
ciguetera poisoning. Avoid eating undercooked foods and cold foods
Medical Supplies: Bring an adequate supply of prescription drugs
and forms to order more from your insurance plan, an extra pair of
glasses, your lens prescription, and sufficient contact lens
supplies for your tour. Imported sunscreen, insect repellent, and
most over-the-counter medications are available, but expensive. You
may want to bring special formulations for small children.
The FSNP will be happy to take care of your minor prescriptions
for the short term or in case of emergency. The Health Unit supplies
malaria prophylaxis, but does not provide other long-term
Community Health Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:19 AM
There is a high level of pollution from automobiles and dust in
Antananarivo. This, combined with sudden temperature changes,
contributes to a high incidence of respiratory infections. A French
physician has termed the conditions here "pleasantly unhealthful."
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:20 AM
Antananarivo's water supply is from impounded surface water. The
distribution system is quite ancient, and the possibility of illness
from contaminated water is high, especially during the rainy season.
The sewage system is poor. Boil all water before using for drinking
or cooking or use water from your distiller.
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 10/27/2003
The Mission encourages spousal employment and has a number of
positions that may be filled by eligible family members, including
Community Liaison Officer, RSO secretary, assistant General Services
Officer and newsletter editor. In addition, spouses are occasionally
employed to assist with specific projects.
The American School is receptive to qualified applicants from the
Mission community and two spouses of Mission employees are presently
employed there. USAID also occasionally has positions open to
qualified family member applicants.
Spouses have been employed to manage the American Recreation
Association from time-to-time. The Embassy also has an active summer
hire program for high school and college student family members.
Eligible Family Members considering employment within the Mission
should, for some positions, have or be able to obtain at minimum a
Secret security clearance, and family members seeking certain
positions must have or be able to obtain a Top Secret clearance. The
Embassy will assist family members in completing and submitting the
required security clearance paperwork.
There may be some opportunities for spousal employment on the
local market, particularly for those with professional skills and/or
experience in the field of development. Such opportunities include
private sector employment and consulting for international
organizations. At present, there is no bilateral work agreement with
Madagascar; thus it is necessary to obtain a work permit to work on
the local market. The Embassy has proposed a bilateral work
agreement to the Government of Madagascar and is awaiting its reply.
American Embassy - Antananarivo
Post City Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:37 AM
Antananarivo (commonly referred to as Tana) is the capital city
and principal population center of Madagascar. No reliable
population statistics exist (the last census dates from 1993), but
estimates put the figure at about 2,000,000.
Antananarivo is a city of contrasts: you will be charmed by its
setting amid a dozen hills; the vestiges of picturesque brick
colonial-era houses, with their elaborately carved balcony railings;
the still-impressive Queen's Palace (Rova) capping the central hill
(although sadly gutted by fire in 1995, the stone skeleton remains
intact); central Lake Anosy, surrounded in springtime by clouds of
lavender-flowering jacaranda trees. On the other hand, you will be
put off by the pollution, infuriating traffic snarls, decrepit
condition of many buildings, roads and other infrastructure, and
especially by the abject poverty of most of its citizens, visibly
evident by the shanty dwellings that are found everywhere in the
town. Rice fields, marshes, lakes, and growing suburbs flood the
vast and fertile plains surrounding the city.
Antananarivo lies on the high plateau. It was built on and around
steep hills, with the oldest section, the Haute-Ville, crowning the
highest ridge at an elevation of 4,750 feet. It has successively
been a tribal, monarchical, colonial, and national capital since
1794. Known as Tananarive during the period of French colonization,
the city's name was restored to its Malagasy spelling in 1975.
European and traditional Malagasy elements mingle intimately in
the streets. The heights are reached by webs of narrow streets or
steep stairways and feature balconied, brick buildings clinging
precariously to the steep slopes.
Madagascar achieved independence from France in 1960. Since that
time, many of the buildings (in fact, much of the infrastructure)
have not been changed or improved. Although some new roads have been
built, the majority of the old ones have not been repaired or
upgraded. Since the capital's population has burgeoned, many lack
Security Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:43 AM
Post security advice is to avoid political gatherings and street
demonstrations and to maintain security awareness at all times.
Airports and military installations should not be photographed. The
major concerns in Antananarivo are petty street crime and theft from
residences and vehicles. Although not generally aggressive,
incidents involving violence by criminals, particularly when the
victim resists, are on the rise. Walking at night, whether alone or
in a group, is not considered safe in urban areas, including in the
vicinity of Western-standard hotels. Organized gangs of bandits are
known to patrol areas where foreigners, who are perceived to be
wealthy, congregate. Wearing expensive jewelry or carrying expensive
items such as cameras while on foot or while using public
transportation is strongly discouraged. Valuable items should never
be left in an unattended vehicle. Although crimes such as burglary
do occur in areas outside the capital, the threat of confrontational
crime is less common in rural areas. Night travel in private or
public conveyances outside Antananarivo is discouraged due to poor
lighting and road conditions.
Visitors to several popular tourist areas, including Nosy Be in
the northwest, Ile Ste. Marie in the east, Fort Dauphin in the
south, and the Tulear/Isalo National park corridor in the southwest,
should guard against being taken advantage of by unscrupulous
individuals posing as guides or claiming to operate in an official
capacity. Individuals should be alert at all times to the potential
for theft and should never entrust valuable items to an unknown
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:37 AM
The U.S. Government named its first commercial agent in
Madagascar, resident in Tamatave, in 1866 when the island was an
The two countries concluded their first bilateral agreement, a
Treaty of Peace and Commerce, in 1867, and signed a Treaty of Peace,
Friendship, and Commerce in 1883. The long history of U.S.
diplomatic presence was interrupted twice when the post was closed
from 1933 to 1941 and again from 1954 to 1959. The Consulate was
elevated to Embassy status on June 26, 1960, when Madagascar gained
independence from France.
Mission personnel include an Ambassador and personnel of the
Department of State, USAID, the Defense Attaché's Office, and the
The Chancery is a five-story building located in downtown
Antananarivo, at 14-16 rue Lalana Rainitovo, in the Antsahavola
neighborhood. It houses Department of State personnel and the
Defense Attaché's Office. The telephone number is 261-20-22-212-57;
fax number is 261-20-22-345-39.
The Public Affairs Section of the Embassy runs an American
Information Center just up the street from the Embassy. It is a
small-scale reference library which provides up-to-date information
about the United States through reference materials, databases and
online resources both to Americans working in Madagascar and to
decision- and opinion-makers in Madagascar. It is not a circulating
library, but it does have extensive book collections that can be
used on site.
The Public Affairs Section also runs an American Cultural Center,
located at 7 rue Rainizanabololona, Antanimena, Antananarivo, which
is also home to the American Press Center, the Academic Advising
Center, the English Teaching Program, and the Multi Purpose Room.
The telephone number for the Cultural Center is 22-202-38. The local
postal address for the Embassy is:
Ambassade des Etats Unis d' Amerique Boite Postale 620 101
USAID offices are currently located in Anosy, at Villa Vonisoa
III, Avenue Dr. Ravoahangy. The telephone number is 261-20-22-254-89
and the fax number is 261-20-22-348-83. Its postal address is:
USAID B.P. 5253 Antananarivo 101, Madagascar
USAID is scheduled to move to a new location around the start of
calendar 2004. The U.S. Government provides $25-30 million dollars
per year in foreign assistance to Madagascar, most of it
administered through the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Since 1981, the U.S. has provided more than $556 million in aid to
Madagascar through grants, food assistance, and concessional sales
of commodities. USAID's principal development strategies focus on
Democracy and Governance, Health, Population and Nutrition,
Environment and Rural Development, and Agriculture and Trade. The
overall goal of the USAID new strategy for FY 2003-2008 is
sustainable and inclusive economic development.
The main Peace Corps office is in the Ivandry suburb where most
Embassy housing is located and its training center is on Lake
Mantasoa, some 70 kilometers east of Tana. The first Peace Corps
Volunteers arrived in Madagascar in 1993 and there will soon be over
130 volunteers throughout the country. Madagascar volunteers
currently work in three areas:
* TOFL: Volunteers teach English in the secondary schools. Peace
Corps teachers and their counterparts also use English teaching as a
vehicle to promote understanding of community development issues
such as AIDS awareness, gender equality, and environmental
* Environment: Volunteers work under the direction of the
Ministry of Water and Forests in collaboration with organizations
such as the Worldwide Fund for Wildlife (WWF); the Malagasy national
parks service, ANGAP; Catholic Relief Services; and local community
associations. The main focus has been on environmental protection in
and around parks and reserves, initiation and support of
environmental education, and community forestry and ecotourism
projects. Volunteers have become increasingly involved in
agricultural projects such as intensive rice farming, fruit tree
production, and beekeeping.
* Health: Volunteers work with the Ministry of Health and various
NGOs, primarily on mother-child health care and AIDS education and
prevention. The focus is on health education for local communities.
In addition to official personnel and their dependents,
approximately 360 other Americans live in Madagascar. U.S. visitors
include a modest number of U.S. tourists, business people, and
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:26 AM
When permanent housing is not immediately available, the Mission
attempts to accommodate new arrivals in other vacant houses pending
availability of their permanent residences. Other possibilities
include a rented room at the American Recreation Association (ARA),
located in Ivandry, the Madagascar Hilton or the Hotel Colbert. The
Colbert has just been renovated and is within walking distance of
the Embassy. The Colbert offers a limited selection of fitness and
health facilities. The Hilton offers facilities such as a swimming
pool and tennis courts. Rooms are usually without heat and can be
chilly during winter months.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:27 AM
The Interagency Housing Board assigns new employees to their
housing. Housing is quite adequate by American standards, but floor
plans may be somewhat odd. None of the houses have central heating,
but all have fireplaces and the Embassy supplies portable electric
The U.S. Government owns the Ambassador's residence with its five
bedrooms, four baths, two half-baths, modern kitchen, and large
living-dining area, which is ideal for representational purposes. A
large attractive garden is sometimes used for outdoor entertaining.
Furnishings Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:27 AM
All Embassy-provided housing is adequately furnished with
standard living, dining, and bedroom groupings. Other furnishings
include a refrigerator, freezer, electric stove, microwave,
distiller, washer, dryer, carpets, and draperies. Post's selection
of upholstery, drapery, and curtain materials is limited. Post is
unable to fulfill special requests. Bring a crib, high chair, and
other special-needs items. Locally made furnishings are below
American standards, and imported items can be quite expensive.
Ceiling fans are installed in each occupied bedroom. Bring other
fans for use in other rooms during the summer.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:28 AM
All houses occupied by U.S. Government personnel have hot and
cold running water in kitchens and bathrooms; plumbing is adequate.
Stall showers are rare, as most bathrooms only have tubs.
The electrical current in Antananarivo is both110v and 220v,
50-cycle, AC. Newer homes are wired for 220v, but others are a
mixture and special care is required in plugging in appliances.
Voltage is uneven, and spikes and brownouts are common. Moreover,
occasional spikes caused by lightning can damage computers, stereos,
or other electronic equipment. A voltage stabilizer/regulator and
surge suppressor or UPS are recommended for all sensitive
electrical/electronic equipment. Telephone line surge protectors are
also recommended, to help protect modems and other sensitive
telecommunications equipment. Many people make a habit of unplugging
video machines, computers, stereos, etc., when not in use, to
protect the equipment.
Prior to arriving at post, inquire about the electrical current
in your prospective residence, so you may bring the appropriate
equipment. The Embassy provides a limited number of transformers,
but you may wish to bring extras. American-French adapter plugs are
available from GSO. Small appliances can sometimes be found locally,
but are often expensive.
One phone is provided for each home. American phones can be used,
but most require adapter plugs. These can be bought cheaply on the
Food Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:29 AM
Food supplies in Tana are plentiful and easy to obtain. There are
currently three large international grocery chains which permit most
Americans to source virtually all their food and household supply
needs on the local market. Certain imported items are more expensive
here and some specialty items are not available; Mission employees
generally procure such items through their consumables shipments.
Madagascar is primarily an agricultural country. A wide variety
of fresh, locally-grown vegetables is available in Antananarivo.
Madagascar's varied climate permits the production of both tropical
fruits (including banana, papaya, mangoes, litchis, guava, and
passion fruit) and temperate climate fruits (including apples,
peaches, plums, and strawberries). Most fresh produce is seasonal
and may not be available year round.
Bread, long-life milk, pasteurized milk, juice, yogurt, eggs,
coffee, tea, rice, pasta, and a wide variety of canned goods and
packaged items are available in Antananarivo. There are few
microwavable prepared dishes. Fresh meats, including beef, pork,
chicken, duck, lamb, and veal are available at the large grocery
chains. Fresh and frozen seafood are also available. The quality is
good and the price is reasonable. Ham, charcuterie and a limited
selection of cheeses from Europe are available but the price is
high. A limited range of Madagascar-produced cheeses is also
Some wines are produced in the highlands around Fianarantsoa and
Ambalavao. The quality is quite variable, but in general, few
Americans find the local wine up to international standards. French
and South African wines can be found on the market but are slightly
more expensive than in the U.S. (about $7.00 a bottle and up). Good
quality beer, soft drinks, and soda and tonic water are bottled
locally. Diet sodas are not available. Imported beers are available
but expensive. Local liquor prices are high.
The Antananarivo Recreation Association has a small commissary
with membership open to all American U.S. Government employees. An
initial, non-refundable capital fee ($100 for families and $50 for
single employees) is required for membership.
Inventory at the commissary is quite limited and includes cheese,
meats such as bacon and hot dogs, a limited selection of soft drinks
and juices, liquor and wine (mostly from France and South Africa),
and crackers and cookies. The commissary's inventory is imported by
air from South Africa and once a year from the United States, so
most items are expensive. Plan to use your consumables allowance and
any available household effects allowance to ship foodstuffs and
household supplies to post, particularly if you have infants, pets,
or special dietary needs. The CLO will supply a list of items which
are recommended for bringing in your consumables allowance.
The snackbar adjacent to the Mission offers weekday lunch
selections of sandwiches, hot meals, salads, drinks, and desserts.
Clothing Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:38 AM
Cotton and other washable materials are suitable for summer
clothing. A light-weight raincoat and umbrella are needed during the
rainy season. Due to its high altitude, the winter season is much
colder in Tana than many people anticipate. Since homes in
Antananarivo do not presently have central heating and can be quite
drafty, temperatures inside the home can be lower than some find
comfortable. Bring wool sweaters or fleece garments, long sleeve
shirts, long pants, and warm socks and slippers to ensure comfort
indoors in winter, and medium-weight jackets for outdoor wear.
Evening wear is not formal in Antananarivo, and weekend clothing is
Ready-made blouses, skirts, and dresses are difficult to find in
stores and in the marketplace, especially for tall or large sizes.
Although a significant amount of textile manufacturing is done
in-country and some export-quality clothing can occasionally be
found, this is hit-or-miss as factory outlets are not a
well-developed concept here. Most people bring what they will need
to post, especially "high-tech" athletic clothing, fleece, and
Some people have clothing tailor-made here. Prices for tailoring
are quite reasonable, but results are variable. Some excellent
quality cottons are available and other types of fabric can be found
but selection is limited. It is best to import a supply of notions
since thread, zippers, and the like are of poor quality.
Clothing is also commonly ordered for delivery through the pouch,
although delivery times can be long. Footwear that you bring should
reflect the poor conditions of the streets and sidewalks (and the
lack thereof). In the rainy season, expect to encounter muddy
conditions - bring appropriate footwear, especially for children,
who spend a great amount of time outdoors here.
Men Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:30 AM
Men: Those who deal frequently with Malagasy officials usually
wear coat and tie. Wool suits are appropriate for winter; a sweater
can be added when necessary. A dark suit is appropriate for evening
occasions. Formal wear is generally not required.
Women Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:30 AM
Women: Employees need standard office attire. Evening wear varies
and includes pantsuits, dresses, and skirts or slacks with a jacket
or sweater. Slacks and jeans are fine for casual wear.
Children Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:31 AM
Children: Children spend a great deal of time outdoors here and
will need plenty of hard-wearing casual clothing. Shorts are often
worn in the summer, but warmer pants, jackets, hats, fleece
garments, sweatshirts and the like will be needed in the winter.
Girl's clothing, especially dresses, is easy to find here but the
selection for boys is much more limited.
Some people have had pants and shirts made here for their
children. Good quality corduroy and chino cloth are readily found
and tailoring for such items is inexpensive. Remember to bring warm
pajamas, bathrobes, and slippers for winter evenings.
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:32 AM
Large pharmacies, supermarkets, and hardware stores are
well-stocked, although rarely with U.S. brands. Certain imported
items are much more expensive here than in the U.S. Plan for your
family's special needs for the length of your tour and bring in your
consumables or household effects shipment items that cannot be
ordered via pouch from mail order firms in the U.S.
The rule of thumb on personal and household products is to bring
what you know, trust, like, and would miss if you lacked it! Bring a
supply of toiletries as prices here can be high and you will
probably not find your preferred brand. The range of familiar
cosmetics brands is very limited. Bring stationery supplies, gift
wrapping paper and greeting cards (cards here are in French), small
hardware items, kitchen utensils, flashlight, batteries, coat
hangers, car-care needs, household linens, and gardening supplies
Bring supplies for your favorite sports, such as tennis and golf
balls, and snorkeling/diving gear. Crafts supplies, such as
embroidery thread, yarn, patterns, and sewing notions should be
brought if you will want them. Musical instruments (i.e. rental
instruments for children), and the supplies for them, are not
Specialty cleaning supplies may not be available here. Cleaning
products imported from France are expensive. To avoid the problems
of dry cleaning, bring spot remover.
Infant furniture, baby bottles, formula, baby food, diapers,
wipes, and other supplies are expensive and the range is limited;
most families import these items. Toys are expensive and the
selection quite limited. You should bring toys with you which are
appropriate for your children for the duration of your assignment.
It is also a good idea to bring a supply of birthday gifts (both for
your own children and to give away at birthday parties),
invitations, party favors and party decorations.
Large toys, such as modular plastic playground equipment,
basketball hoops, bikes, tricycles, ride-on cars, and the like, that
can be sent through HHE will be much appreciated here by your
children and their friends. Such items are either unavailable here
or quite expensive. They can easily be sold when you leave if your
children have outgrown them. Many such items are too large to fit in
pouch shipments and thus cannot be ordered after you arrive, so plan
Seasonal décorations, such as for Halloween, Thanks-giving,
Christmas, Hannukah, Easter, etc., are not readily obtainable here.
Bring them if they are important to you.
Basic Services Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:32 AM
Dry cleaning is of fair quality and not expensive. Haircutting
salons for men, women and children are variable, and some are of
excellent quality. Salons may not always have hair-coloring
products, so it's best to bring your own supply.
Repair services for U.S. appliances are scarce to nonexistent.
Spare parts are usually not available and must be ordered from the
U.S. or South Africa.
Shoe repair is available but of poor quality and workmanship.
French shoe wax is available here.
Domestic Help Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:33 AM
Most people employ at least one domestic employee while they are
posted here, to handle chores such as cleaning, laundry, cooking and
childcare. Some families, especially those with children, employ two
or more domestics.
Domestics usually work a 5-day workweek and get 30 days paid
vacation plus pay for a "13th month" after being with an employer
one year, as well as a Christmas bonus or gift. Some people arrange
a schedule for a six-day work week. Domestics with childcare
responsibility will usually work in the evening for extra payment
and taxi fare to return home. Salaries are usually around $100 per
month, and employers provide lunch, bus fare, and uniforms. Some
servants will live in, but most do not because of the importance of
family life in the Malagasy culture. For the same reason, and also
due to the difficulty of finding public transport after dark, many
domestics are reluctant to work evening hours. All servants must be
covered by work-accident insurance and social security. Annual
physical examinations, including x-rays and tuberculosis testing,
are recommended for all servants.
Extra help for receptions or dinner parties can usually be
arranged through friends or colleagues.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 11/10/2003 2:26 PM
The Roman Catholic, Anglican, Reformed Protestant, Lutheran,
Congregational, Baptist, Seventh-day Adventist, and Greek Orthodox
denominations are represented in Antananarivo, but most services are
in the Malagasy language. There are some services in English and
French. There are also several mosques.
At Post Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:34 AM Madagascar's school
system, formerly based on the French system, probably would not be
useful to American children.
The American School of Antananarivo was founded in 1969 as an
independent coeducational school. It offers an American education
from preschool through grade 12. Music, art, French, computer, and
physical education courses are offered to all students. The school
is accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and
Schools and recognized and supported by the Office of Overseas
Schools of the Department of State.
The academic year, which is divided into four quarters, is from
late August through early June. The school day runs from 7:45 a.m.
to 2:45 p.m. After-school activities are offered daily. Children do
not go home for lunch, but bring a snack and pack a lunch for
school. Uniforms are not worn. Children wear clothes similar to
those they would wear in the U.S. All books and school supplies are
provided by the school. Transportation is the responsibility of the
The school is located in the suburb of Ivandry, four miles away
from Antananarivo. It has fifteen classrooms, a library/computer
center/video center, an assembly/activities room, a large
playground, music/band room and a playing field.
There are several private primary and secondary schools, some
affiliated with the Catholic Church, providing instruction in
French. Secular schools include several Ecoles Primaires Françaises
for grades 1 to 5, and the French Government Lycée for older
It may be difficult for older children not fluent in French to
transfer into the French system. American children find the French
system more rigid, with more homework and less emphasis on sports
and extracurricular activities. Lessons in music and ballet can be
arranged. Swimming, tennis, horseback riding, and golf lessons are
also available through one of the private sports clubs (see below
Away From Post Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:35 AM Some parents send
their older children to school in the U.S. or to boarding schools in
other countries. Others have employed a correspondence school system
to teach their children at home.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:36 AM
A good knowledge of French is essential for conducting business
in Madagascar, and for enjoying a varied social life. Some knowledge
of the Malagasy language is useful, but not essential. The Embassy
offers French and Malagasy language instruction for Mission
employees and family members. The Alliance Française offers a French
language instruction program. Malagasy language instruction is also
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:39 AM
The Embassy proper does not have any recreational facilities.
However, the Ambassador's residence has a swimming pool and tennis
courts and the DCM's house has a swimming pool. These facilities are
traditionally made available to Embassy personnel and their families
several days per week during the summer season.
The American Recreation Association in Ivandry offers a
volleyball court. There are two tennis courts at a nearby club,
where court use and/or lessons can be easily arranged at a
reasonable cost either on an ad hoc basis or through membership.
Most other sports facilities in Antananarivo are available only
through membership in a private club. The Golf du Rova, a private
club in a beautiful, wooded setting about 15 miles from the city,
has a good 18-hole course and a competent instructor who speaks
English. Lunch and dinner are served in the clubhouse and a large,
well-maintained swimming pool is open from September to May.
Membership is required.
The Association Culturelle et Sportive d' Ambohidahy (ACSA) in
the city's center is a popular spot for lunch. The club offers
tennis, squash, swimming, billiards, and bridge.
The Club Olympique de Tananarive (C.O.T) offers clay tennis
courts, swimming, and excellent horseback riding instruction (in
French). Other horseback riding and swimming facilities are found at
the Club Carousel. Both are on the road to Ambohimanga about 4 miles
The Madagascar Hilton Hotel has a swimming pool with a nominal
entrance fee. A private gym near the suburb of Ivandry offers modern
exercise equipment and classes.
Coastal waters off Madagascar offer excellent swimming,
snorkeling, and scuba diving opportunities. Many areas of the
Madagascar coastline are reef-protected and these are generally safe
from sharks; however there are certain areas, such as the east coast
near Tamatave, where swimming is not advised. Primary destinations
for snorkeling and diving include Nosy Be and the beaches north and
south of Tulear. Regular air service is available to Tulear and to
the islands of Nosy Be and Ile Sainte Marie, however air fare is
expensive. If you decide to drive to Tulear instead of flying, a
four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.
The suburban neighborhood of Ivandry, where most Mission families
live, is quite hospitable to jogging and walking. Bicycling is also
a popular activity. An all-terrain type bicycle is recommended as
the most rewarding cycling is along the small digue paths (dikes)
that border the many rice paddies in and around Tana, which are not
traveled by cars or buses.
There are a number of interesting hiking and picnic spots in the
immediate area of Antananarivo. An active and very international
group of hikers/runners participate in a bi-weekly HASH in the
countryside surrounding Antananarivo. Bring all sporting equipment
with you since it is scarce and extremely expensive here.
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:39 AM
The varied climate, scenery, and vegetation found in Madagascar
offer myriad opportunities for photographers and nature lovers in
search of plants, animals, and scenery found nowhere else on earth.
Some excursions require a four-wheel-drive vehicle, but many
interesting spots can be reached by paved highways. Many
destinations are located on or near the RN7 which extends nearly 600
miles from Antananarivo to Tulear on the southwest coast.
There are several popular weekend getaway spots within a
two-to-three hour drive from Tana. Lake Mantasoa offers sailing,
water sports, and swimming. It is a popular destination for Mission
personnel, several of whom have rented weekend houses there.
Andasibe-Mantadia, just off the road to Tamatave about three hours
from Tana, is situated at the edge of the eastern rainforest. It is
the most accessible of Madgascar's national parks. It offers
excellent opportunities for viewing lemurs, chameleons, and other
wildlife in their natural habitat and also offers enjoyable hiking
through secondary forest. Other weekend possibilities are Lake Itasy
to the west and Antsirabe (the pousse-pousse capital of Madagascar
with a charming colonial-era hotel featuring a large garden, pool
and tennis court) to the south.
Touring possibilities in Madagascar are too numerous to list
comprehensively. It is a naturalist's wonder. Madagascar has 18
national parks and numerous other reserves, both public and private,
which offer an incredible diversity of landscape and fauna. From the
beautiful beaches of Nosy Be, Ile Sainte Marie, and Tulear; the
weird, towering karst pinnacles known as "tsingy" (which means
needle in Malagasy) in the Bemaraha and Ankarena reserves; the spiny
desert in the south; the Avenue of Baobabs in the west; the soaring
granite outcroppings of Andringitra (a world-class rock climbing
destination); to the Parc National d'Isalo, with its eroded
sandstone formations resembling those of the Southwest United
States, Madagascar offers a panoply of touring possibilities.
While the "getting-there" is often rough and time-consuming
(Madagascar is almost 1000 miles long and roads are often poor) it
is also part of the pleasure. While you may often have to "rough-it"
on the road, some of these destinations, such as the Parc National
d'Isalo, several sites on Nosy Be, Andasibe, etc., offer world-class
tourist accommodation. Increasing eco-tourism and improving roads
are stated priorities of the present government; thus one can
anticipate improving logistics in the future.
Indian Ocean vacation possibilities include Mauritius, Réunion,
and the Seychelles. There are non-stop flights to Mauritius and
Réunion and connecting service to the Seychelles. Currently, thrice
weekly flights to Johannesburg and a weekly flight to Nairobi link
Madagascar to vacation spots in South Africa and East Africa
Entertainment Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:40 AM
Antananarivo's restaurant scene is quite satisfactory and
includes establishments specializing in Chinese, French, Indian,
Italian, Korean, and Malagasy cuisine. There are several nightclubs
in and around Antananarivo, as well as several casinos.
The zoological and botanical park of Tsimbazaza, located on the
south side of Tana, features lemurs, birds, crocodiles, tortoises,
and other species indigenous to Madagascar. A small museum featuring
natural history and ethnological exhibits is located within the
There is a small lemur reserve in a picturesque site along a
river about 14 miles west of Tana. The Croc Farm, a crocodile farm
and botanical park, situated near the airport, is a good destination
for an outing with children. The Queen's Palace, or Rova, is under
renovation after a fire gutted the structure in November 1995.
Articles that were saved from the fire are on display in a museum in
the former Palace of the Prime Minister adjacent to the Rova. Soccer
matches are played at the large stadium in Antananarivo on Saturday
and Sunday afternoons during winter.
While the world-renowned Zoma market, which used to take place
weekly along the Avenue de l'Independence, no longer exists, there
are several markets where one can shop for fine examples of local
handicrafts. These include the Digue market, the Andravoanghy
artisanal market, and the Coum market and Village Artisanal at 67
Hectares. Whether your tastes run to raffia basketry, embroidery,
handwoven lambas, gemstones, ammonites and other fossils, batik or
woodworking, there is something for everyone.
The quality of the light, the hazeless skies, and wealth of
subject matter make Antananarivo a delight to the photographer.
Bring a good supply of all photographic needs. Film can be processed
here; however, some staff members prefer to send their film to the
U.S. via pouch for processing.
Social Activities Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:40 AM
Social life can be as busy as you wish and depends greatly upon
your own initiative and resourcefulness. Cultural opportunities are
limited in Antananarivo. Among many Americans, social life revolves
around informal entertaining - dinner and perhaps a video - in the
home. The ARA has a library of VHS video cassette movies that can be
rented. Many Americans subscribe to satellite TV stations offering
hundreds of channels. The cost for such service, and for the
necessary equipment, is quite expensive.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:41 AM
The Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission, and agency heads
maintain active representational schedules, in which other Embassy
employees are expected to participate in varying degrees. Receptions
or dinners at home and lunches and dinners at restaurants are
typical representational events.
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:41 AM
All staff members are expected to assist the Ambassador and
senior officers as needed in entertaining host country guests and
official visitors. Protocol rules, with respect to calls on host
country officials and heads of diplomatic missions, apply only to
the Ambassador, but other officers are encouraged to call on
Malagasy and diplomatic counterparts as appropriate to their
position. Employees can have business cards printed at the Embassy
on their arrival.
Special Information Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:42 AM
Post Orientation Program
A sponsorship program is well established at Post. Each new
arrival is assigned a social sponsor and a work sponsor. New
arrivals will be met at the airport by their sponsor, who assists
them in getting settled into their new home and in finding their way
around. The CLO has established an orientation program for new
arrivals which is given periodically. Welcome Kit information
packets, containing a basic primer for life in Madagascar, are
provided to new arrivals. Soon after arrival, the CLO arranges a
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:45 AM
Air travel from the U.S. to Antananarivo is usually via Paris
(the most direct route) on Air France or Air Madagascar. An
alternative route is via South Africa, which usually entails an
overnight stop in Johannesburg.
Household effects and vehicles shipped from the U.S. are sent by
surface to ELSO Antwerp, Belgium. Household effects are
trans-shipped by air from Antwerp to Antananarivo, and
privately-owned vehicles (POVs) are sent by sea to the Port of
Toamasina (Tamatave). POVs are transported in the container from
Tamatave to Antananarivo by road. Consider sending your vehicle well
in advance, as transit time can be four months or longer. To enable
post to prepare in advance all clearing documents for POV shipments,
post requires in advance the following: certificate of origin
(showing the make, year, model, and vehicle identification number),
or former registration title; the bill of sale (even for used cars);
and copy of diplomatic passport.
To enable post to prepare in advance all clearing documents for
household effects and unaccompanied air baggage shipments, the
following information is needed: packing lists (required by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs), marking address, number of pieces, and
weight. This information enables the Embassy expediter to pick up
the shipment soon after it arrives at the airport, thus avoiding
All effects must be well packed. Most shipments arrive at post in
good condition, but cars often arrive scratched and with minor
dents; outside mirrors, cigarette lighters, and radios are
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:45 AM
All personnel assigned to the post have diplomatic passports and
those with diplomatic titles will be on the diplomatic list and be
issued diplomatic identity cards by the Malagasy Government. This
allows personnel unlimited duty-free entry privileges, but normally
a family may import a maximum of two vehicles duty-free.
Passage Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:45 AM
A valid passport and entry visa are required for entry into
Madagascar. Malagasy visas are issued by Malagasy diplomatic and
consular posts and should be secured before arrival whenever
possible. The Embassy can usually obtain airport visas for personnel
who do not travel from or through Malagasy visa issuing centers if
passport data is forwarded to the Embassy two weeks in advance of
arrival. Personnel assigned to Post can obtain visas for themselves
and their dependents for two months, which can be extended after
Pets Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:46 AM
Quarantine requirements differ according to the type of animal. A
health certificate issued no more than three days prior to the date
of arrival in Madagascar from a veterinarian in the country in which
the animal was previously located must be provided. Dogs must have a
valid rabies vaccination within the past six months. Importation of
the following dogs is prohibited: Staffordshire and American
Staffordshire (pit-bulls), Mastiff or boerbull, Tosa, and
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 10/24/2003 1:46 AM
Host Country Requirements: The importation of firearms or
ammunition is strictly controlled by the Malagasy Government. Only
handguns of 7.65 caliber and under and shotguns are authorized.
Authorization for possession of such firearms, as well as
ammunition, must be sent via diplomatic note to the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs which will transmit the request to the Service
Provincial de la Defense for approval. Forms for the authorization
request for the possession of firearms are available at the Service
Provincial de la Defense. Upon arrival, firearms must be taken here
for verification against the information on the forms.
Post Requirements: To bring firearms and ammunition into the
country, you must seek advance permission from the Chief of Mission.
Requests should be directed through the Regional Security Office
prior to your scheduled arrival at post. The request should give the
justification for why the employee wishes to have a firearm at post,
as well as where/how the firearm will be stored/secured. List the
make, model, serial number, and caliber of each firearm in your
memo. Personnel should also certify that they are NOT prohibited by
applicable U.S. law from possessing, shipping, or transporting
firearms. The employee will be briefed by the RSO on safety
guidelines for firearms and will be required to sign an "Employee
Certification" form, which will be kept on file in the RSO's office.
Firearms and ammunition can only be shipped in your HHE. Firearms
and ammunition cannot be shipped through the diplomatic pouch or
carried in your baggage. For additional shipping information, refer
to 6 FAM 168.5.
Permission to import firearms into Madagascar or acquire them in
country does not in and of itself authorize U.S. Government
employees or dependents to carry firearms outside their homes.
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
10/24/2003 1:47 AM
In late July 2003, the Malagasy Government instituted the
replacement of the Malagasy franc (FMG) with the ariary, a
traditional Malagasy currency, at the rate of one ariary to five
FMG. Both currencies will be valid legal tender until November 2004.
The rates of conversion (September 2003) are approximately 1,200
ariary to US$1 and 6,000 FMG to US$1.
Personal dollar checks may be cashed by the Embassy cashier for
ariary. Opening a local bank account offers the convenience of
writing ariary checks. The cashier can only cash checks for dollars
for travelers leaving the country on official travel.
Madagascar uses the metric system of weights and measures.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 10/24/2003
No unusual taxes or licensing requirements are levied in
Madagascar. U.S. Government employees are not subject to any direct
taxes. All personnel pay transaction taxes and indirect taxes,
including Value-Added Tax, on purchases. Personnel may receive
reimbursement of VAT on purchases from a limited number of stores.
American personnel may sell personal property, including cars,
within the guidelines established by the Department of State and
USAID regulations, if customs duties are paid by the seller.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 10/27/2003 0:45 AM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse
Attenborough, David, Zoo Quest to Madagascar, Lutterworth Press,
Astuti, Rita, People of the Sea: Identity and Descent Among the
Vezo of Madagascar, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003.
Bloch, Maurice, Placing the Dead: Tombs, Ancestral Villages, and
Kinship Organization in Madagascar, Seminar Press, New York, 1971.
Bourgeacq, Jacques, and Liliane Ramarosoa, Voices from
Madagascar: An Anthology of Contemporary Francophone Literature,
Ohio University Press, Athens, 2002.
Bradt, Hilary, Madagascar The Bradt Travel Guide - 7th ed., Globe
Pequot Press, 2002.
Brown, Mervyn, A History of Madagascar, Marcus Wiener Publishers,
Cole, Jennifer, Forget Colonialism? Sacrifice and the Art of
Memory in Madagascar, University of California Press, Berkeley,
Dahl, Oyvind and Yvind Dahl, Meanings in Madagascar: Cases of
Intercultural Communication, Bergin & Garvey, 1999.
Durrell, Gerald, The Aye-Aye and I: A Rescue Mission in
Madagascar, Arcade, New York, 1993.
Ellis, Stephen, The Rising of the Red Shawls: A Revolt in
Madagascar, 1895-1899, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1985.
Evers, Sandra, and Marc Spindler, ed. Cultures of Madagascar: Ebb
and Flow of Influences, Leiden, Netherlands, 1995.
Fitzpatrick, Mary, and Paul Greenaway, Lonely Planet Madagascar -
4th ed., 2001.
Garbutt, Nick, Mammals of Madagascar, Pica Press, 1999.
Goodman, Steven M. and Bruce D. Patterson, ed. Natural Change and
Human Impact in Madagascar, Smithsonian Institution Press,
Washington and London, 1997.
Goodman, Steven M. et al, ed. The Natural History of Madagascar,
University of Chicago Press, (Jan. 2004).
Gow, Bonar, Madagascar and the Protestant Impact: The Work of the
British Missions, 1818-1895, New York, 1979.
Jolly, Alison, A World Like Our Own: Man and Nature in
Madagascar, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1980.
Kreamer, Christine Mulle, and Sarah Fee, Objects as Envoys:
Cloth, Imagery, and Diplomacy in Madagascar, Smithsonian
Langrand, Olivier, Guide to the Birds of Madagascar, Yale
University Press, New Haven, 1990.
Lanting. Frans, Madagascar: A World Out of Time, Aperture, New
Larson, Pier M., History and Memory in the Age of Enslavement:
Becoming Merina in Highland Madagascar, 1770-1822, Heinemann, 2000.
Mack, John, Madagascar: Island of Ancestors, British Museum,
Mack, John, Malagasy Textiles, Shire Publications, 1989.
Mannoni, Octave, Prospero and Caliban: The Psychology of
Colonization, Praeger, New York, 1956.
Mittermaier, Russell, et al. Lemurs of Madagascar, Conservation
Murphy, Dervla, Muddling Through in Madagascar, Overlook Press,
Tyson, Peter, The Eighth Continent: Life, Death and Discovery in
the Lost World of Madagascar, Harper Collins, New York, 2000.
Acquier, Jean-Louis, Architecture de Madagascar, Arthaud, Paris,
La Cité des Mille: Antananarivo: Histoire, Architecture,
Urbanisme, CITE/Tsipika, Antananarivo, 1998.
Cauvin, Patrick, Villa Vanille, Albin Michel, 1997.
De Flacourt, Etienne (annotated by Claude Alibert), Histoire de
la Grande Ile Madagascar, Karthala, Paris, 1995.
Gallieni, Joseph, Neuf Ans à Madagascar, Hachette, Paris, 1908.
Guide Bleu Evasion, Madagascar, Hachette, Paris, 2001.
Guide Gallimard, Madagascar, 1999.
Randrianary, Victor, Madagascar: Les Chants d'une Ile, Cité de la
Musique/Actes Sud, 2001.
Revel, Eric, Madagascar, L'Ile Rouge, Ballard, 1994.
Tronchon, Jacques, L'Insurrection Malgache de 1947, Karthala,
Verin, Pierre, Madagascar, Karthala, Paris, 1990.
Local Holidays Last Updated: 10/27/2003 1:03 AM
The Embassy observed the following Malagasy and U.S. holidays in
New Year's Day (A & M) January 1 Martin Luther King Day (A)
January 20 Presidents' Day (A) February 17 Day Commemorating Martyrs
(M) March 29 Easter Monday (M) April 21 Labor Day (M) May 1 Memorial
Day (A) May 26 Ascension Thursday (M) May 29 Pentecost Monday (M)
June 9 Madagascar Independence Day (M) June 26 U.S. Independence Day
(A) July 4 Feast of the Assumption (M) August 15 Labor Day (A)
September 1 Columbus Day (A) October 13 All Saints' Day (M) November
1 Veterans Day (A) Novebmer 11 Thanksgiving Day (A) November 27
Christmas Day (A & M) December 25