Few destinations on the planet are as exotic or majestic as Madagascar, one of the largest islands on the planet. With its incomparable natural biodiversity, a result of the isolation of its flora and fauna for millions of years from the main continent of Africa as well as the rest of the world, Madagascar attracts thousands upon thousands of adventure seeking tourists every year, hoping to catch a glimpse of the pristine ecological surroundings in their purest form.
Still, a lot of folks move to Madagascar due to the attraction of its distinctly francophonic capital city, Antananarivo, which seduces expats with its strangely metropolitan air, and its European styled promenades coupled alongside quaint shops and residences. The capital is quite a thriving destination, and has boomed thanks to the large wave of tourism to flood the island in the last decade or two. The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French. Madagascar is a Francophone country, and French is spoken among the educated population of this former French colony. Employment options in the capital are fairly decent, with English teaching (as with most overseas locations) dominating the list. Nonetheless, there are plenty of other options, especially for those bringing enough capital to invest in their own business or venture, for example in the (eco)tourism sector.
Of course, there are few other things that the country is so well-known for: the natural phenomenon in Madagascar are simply amazing. With roughly 5% of the world’s living species being represented in Madagascar, there is hardly an animal or plant that won’t blow the newcomer away. From the lemurs to the huge birds to the various chameleons and reptiles, Madagascar is a true evolutionary gold mine—a reality that hasn’t failed to dawn on the world’s scientific community, which make of the island a virtual research center, always conducting studies and investigations into new species and topics. Couple that with the phenomenal natural land formations, and you’ve got a winning package.
As far as particular destinations are concerned, check out IExplore for an idea of what the different areas of Madagascar are like and what kinds of attractions they offer (the topographical and ecological diversity from between one spot of the island and another are tremendous). Also, people moving to Madagascar (or considering doing so) are well advised to consult what visa requirements there are for entering and remaining in the country, information which can be obtained at ExpatFinder.
Thankfully, the cost of living is fairly low in Madagascar, and along with the very reasonable real estate prices, a lot of people from the US, Canada, and Europe choose to make Madagascar their retirement destination. Make sure to consult some real estate listings in the country. And lastly, be sure to check up on some of the general living issues that will confront any newly transplanted member of Madagascar’s society, such as payment methods, costs, etc.