While some people are only familiar with Madagascar as a film, it is actually a real, living island considered to be the fourth largest in the world at 226,917 square miles. It currently has a population of 26.2 million people, who are called Malagasies.

To give you a brief historical background, Madagascar was once ruled by a mad queen, Ranavalona, for 33 years. She hated Christians, thus focusing on eradicating them from the island. Not only that but she also tried to eradicate neighboring kingdoms and other political rivals. She practiced slavery to construct her palace and other public amenities. Due to her heavy hand and awful purging, the island’s population fell from 5 million to 2.5 million between the years 1833 and 1839. In just 6 years, the island was almost wiped out of its inhabitants.

A famous way of maintaining order was through the tangena. Here, the accused is poisoned and asked to eat three pieces of chicken. Should the accused die, it would mean that he was guilty, but was freed when he would survive the said ordeal. Some would not undergo such ordeal but were thrown instead into vast ravines where they would quickly meet their death.

Located in Africa, the island not only offers beautiful safari adventures, but it is also home to many different types of bird species considered by birdwatchers to be the most elusive types, that is, the long-tailed ground roller. The island also has weird-looking animals such as the giraffe-necked weevil, the aye-aye lemur, and the Malagasy giant rat. It is home to many different kinds of wildlife, some still unexplored and ready to be discovered.

Madagascar is home to a few heritage sites, such as the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve which is a labyrinth of impassable limestone and the Roal Hill of Ambohimanga which is a 500-year-old burial site.

Although illegal, many Malagasies consume cannabis or weed. Some of the cultivated cannabis weeds in Madagascar are of wild variety but are used only for local consumption. Today, the island has embraced the loss of the death penalty but is still considered to be one of the unhappiest places in the world because of their poor economy. However, even with this title on hand, tourists from all over the world still come to visit the beautiful island.

Businessmen have even managed to build luxurious resorts that only the most fortunate celebrities can afford. An example of this is the Miavana, accessible only by helicopter. It offers world-class services and a luxurious spa where people can relax and enjoy the beauty of Madagascar in one of its small islands.

A beautiful cultural distinction of Malagasies is that both men and women wear the same clothing called the lamba. It is a rectangular cloth worn around the body with different designs meant for different occasions. It is beautiful as it embraces equality among the people and shows how different they are from others. Through this cultural practice, it is very easy to appreciate how they live their lives in their own simple way.

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