In a few days I will leave the Netherlands and stay at the 8th continent, Madagascar, for 5 months. In this thread I will post updates of my time. But because I will be in a very remote place most of the time during the first 4 months updates will be quite scarce. Madagascar Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world, with a total size of 587.295 square kilometers, which is more than double the United Kingdom and slightly larger than France and as a reference for the Americans: it is a quarter larger than California. But there are "only" 22 million people living here, of which about 92% lives below the poverty treshold, making it one of the poorest countries worldwide. History Although it is only a few hundred kilometres away from present-day Mozambique, the first people to reach Madagascar where Malayan sailors, about 2000 years ago. Later Indonesians, Arabians and also African reached the island, which explains the mix of Asian and African in Malagasy culture. The first Europeans that reached the island were the Portuguese in 1500. Both the British and the French tried to establish a colony on the island, but both failed due to diseases and resistance of the inhabitants. The island then consisted of different kingdoms and tribes but by the end of the 18th century the Merina kingdom established an Inca like kingdom in Madagascar. The first king was Andrianampoinimerinandriantsimitoviaminandriampanjaka. Better known by his short name Andrianampoinimerina. In the beginning of the 19th century the British introduced the roman alphabet and tried to establish missionaries. But not long afterwards Ranavalona became the queen of Madagascar and during her reign christianity was banned and thousands of people were tortured to death because of their believe. But it had not a gigantic effect, because after her death christianity was to become the official religion of the kingdom. The kingdom came to it's end about 120 years ago and in 1896 the French finally made Madagascar their colony after over 2 years of war. Madagascar stayed a colony until 1960. During the first 50 years of independence Madagascar has not been very stable, as one of the prime ministers tried to establish a more communist state and in 2009 the Mayor of the capital city Antananarivo, a former DJ, challenged the sitting President and during the chaotic spring coup, he became President, with thanks to the military. In October 2013 there have been elections again and the lasts 2 Presidents were not aloud to be chosen again. The country is now quite stable, but economic development is very poor. Tomorrow more about the main attraction of this island: it's unique wildlife.