I’m sure all of us are familiar with the island of Madagascar, considering a lot of us have seen the movies. The first movie out of all three, takes place on the island of Madagascar. In the movie we see Madagascar as having a beach and a jungle like environment full of trees, with high plateaus. Overall, it seems like a pretty diverse island and a place many people would consider visiting. But does the geography in the movie match up with the real island? Let’s find out!
Madagascar is and island that’s located in the Indian Ocean, east of Africa (more specifically the country of Mozambique). The reference of Madagascar on a map is Africa though. Anyway, Madagascar covers about 587,041 square kilometers, is slightly less than twice the size of Arizona and is the world’s fourth largest island. The island of Madagascar can be divided into five geographical regions: the east coast, the Tsaratanana Massif, the central highlands, the west coast, and the southwest. The east coast mostly consists of narrow lowlands throughout. The Tsaratanana Massif contains the highest points of the island, coastlines and the Montagne d’Ambre which is of volcanic origin. The central highlands contain a wide variety of hills, volcanoes, plains, marshes and rice fields. The west coast consists of plains and is made up of sedimentary rock. Finally, the southwest has both plateaus and even a desert region. The terrain as a whole would pretty much be described as narrow coastal plains, with high plateaus and mountains located in the center. The climate of Madagascar somewhat varies throughout the island depending on what the topography is in a certain area. Overall the climate would be described as tropical along the coast anywhere on the island, a little milder and temperate inland and the south of the island would be considered arid due to the desert that’s located here. The weather as a whole seems pretty cool, because it’s diverse depending on what region you’re located on the island. A down side to Madagascar is the fact that the island suffers the impact of cyclones (hurricanes) from time to time impacting the weather and rainfall during certain times of the year. Madagascar might also suffer from drought and locust infestations also affecting the weather. The volcanoes in Madagascar haven’t erupted in historical times, so no need to worry about those. I would talk about the different kinds of natural resources that Madagascar produces, but they don’t really have any so I’m not going to even touch on that topic. Madagascar, however, struggles with environmental issues. There are many soil erosion results from overgrazing and deforestation, surface water is contaminated with raw sewage and other organic wastes, and several species (only found in Madagascar) are becoming extinct.
Believe it or not, the population of Madagascar is of pretty good size. As of July 2015, the amount of people living in Madagascar was 23,812,681. That’s crazy! The population growth rate is 2.58% with approximately 33 births taking place for 1,000 people, and near seven deaths for every 1,000 people. There are about 2.61 million people living in the capital of Antananarivo (35.1% of the total population) with the rate of urbanization being 4.69%.
The answer is yes. Yes, the diverse geography in the first movie is similar to the real life landscape of Madagascar. Due to the many different physical features that this island offers, it makes it a wonderful place to travel because you can experience the different topography and can participate in different activities. Madagascar may not be the place you had in mind for vacation, but I can assure you that it’s definitely a place to consider!



Army, U.S. Department of the. “Geography of Madagascar.” Country Studies (2015): 0-1. Web.
CIA. “AFRICA:: Madagascar.” The World Factbook (2015): 0-1. Web.


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