Astronaut on board ISScaptured Madagascar, looking northward. The grassy plains that dominate the western landscape are dotted with stony massifs, patches of deciduous forest, and baobab trees, while the south is characterized by desert and spiny forests.

Credit: NASA

Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world, and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian peninsula around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth.

The local scenery on the ground is as follows.

Credit: Wikipedia

Reference: One Island, Two Perspectives (NASA Earth Observatory)
See earthview photo gallery: LiVEARTH