Exploring Madagascar – Being one of the last places on earth to be settled by humans, and because of its unique geographic location, Madagascan culture is a unique blend of influences.
Exploring Madagascar – The country is famous for its biodiversity and unique animals such as lemurs.
Exploring Madagascar – Paddy fields are quite common throughout Madagascar. They represent a staple of the Malagasy diet, rice. They also reinforce the fact that the people can trace their ancestry to Southeast Asia.
Exploring Madagascar – It's believed the first settlers of Madagascar were Indo-Malayan sea traders. They were followed by traders out of what is now the Middle East as well as east Africans.
Exploring Madagascar – CNN's Errol Barnett explores this fusion of cultures and asks locals how they see themselves -- more African or more Asian?
Exploring Madagascar – "The Madagascan culture isn't only Africa and Asia," says Malagasy writer Michelle Rakotoson. "We have European beliefs, Arabic beliefs, Chinese beliefs and Hindu beliefs! It's all embedded in our culture."
Exploring Madagascar – This taxi, manufactured by the French carmaker Citroen, is an example of the country's international influence.
Exploring Madagascar – Madagascar became independent in 1960, but many examples of the French colonial influence remain visible, especially in the architecture. French is also one of the official languages.
Exploring Madagascar – Madagascan political uncertainty has led to an economic contraction. Today, Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world where people live on generally less than two dollars a day.
Exploring Madagascar – As a hotspot for biodiversity and with critically endangered animals surviving in this unique environment, Madagascar attracts tourists from all over the world.