What Makes Madagascar Special?

Updated: Aug 6

Summer Series 1 - Week 4

Something that many people don't know about Madagascar, besides the fact that 90% of its wildlife species not found anywhere else on the planet, is that it is home to three of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. It is a world organization that highlights the world's most significant cultural, scientific, and natural sites. Around the globe, there are 1,154 properties in total, so the fact that Madagascar, an island, is home to throw different ones is pretty incredible.

What are the world heritage sites in Madagascar?

1. Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve (1990) Natural Site

From afar this may just seem like a regular river with mountainous rocks along the edge. However, if you take a closer look you will notice the variation in color on these rocks.

These rocks were created from the natural rhythm of the river water through a process called erosion, in which the minerals and waves rubbed against the limestone until it began to wear away. This resulted in the beautiful ridges in the picture on the right, a closer look at the rocks. They certainly aren't ones to be climbing on, as they are extremely sharp and jagged, but they are one of nature's mysteries that happened over the course of time, and created carvings that not even humans could create. It remains as one of the natural wonders of the world, and certainly of Madagascar.

2. Ambohimanga Royal Hill (2001) Cultural Site

The Ambohimanga Royal Hill is as it sounds, it is culturally a significant site because it is where royalty was not only where royalty existed at one point, but it is also where many historically important royals are buried. It is known as a sacred space and will forever be remembered by the people of Madagascar as the start of their country and its ruling powers. It is also really interesting for architects to study, as it has many features that were unique to the space and the time period in which it was designed.

3. Atsinanana Rainforest (2007) Natural Site

Last but certainly not least is the Atsinanana Rainforest, which is expected to be roughly 60-80 million years old. Scientists believe that once upon a time, Madagascar may have actually been connected to Africa. However, it broke away from the continent of Africa, and created itself as an independent island. This resulted in the wildlife growing and flourishing. But, many current factors are putting this rainforest, like most, in danger. For more facts on the rainforest we'll link a resource down below.


  1. Look up the different kinds of wildlife present in Madagascar's rainforest.

  2. Have your child select an animal or plant that they find interesting and draw a picture of it.