As ships are moored or anchored in this port, you will be tendered ashore.
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Nosy Mangabe is a small island reserve located in Antongil Bay about 2 km offshore from the town of Maroantsetra in eastern Madagascar. 520ha in size, it is accessible by small boat and is part of the larger Masoala National Park complex. It is a tropical rain forest preserve and sanctuary for the endangered aye-aye.
The island has a rich history of trading and piracy; on the west side of the island are rock carvings by Dutch sailors from the 16th century. British science fiction writer Douglas Adams visited the island searching for the aye-aye in one of his lesser known books, Last Chance to See. There are no permanent settlements on the island, a campsite with bathroom and kitchen facilities serves as a base camp for biologists, researchers and eco-tourists.
The unit of money is the ariary. This unit preceded the French rule, and Malagasy franc notes had the value in ariary printed on them too (50000 francs = iray alina ariary = one million ariary). The ariary is worth about half a U.S. cent.
The remarkable thing about Madagascar is that the entire island speaks one language: Malagasy, (pronounced 'Malagash' or even 'Malgash', not as the spelling suggests) an Austronesian language. Because the island is so large there are many different dialects. The Merina dialect is the "Official Malagasy" of the island and is spoken around highlands of Antananarivo. Most Madagascans, however, speak Merina across the island.
French is the second official language of Madagascar. The government and large corporations use French in everyday business, but 75-85% of Malagasies only have limited proficiency in this language. Madagascans assume that all foreigners are French speakers and therefore can speak several different phrases. Attempts by foreigners to learn and speak Malagasy are liked and even encouraged by the Malagasy people.
The third offical language is English, though very few people speak English. It became an offical language in 2007.
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