Southwest region of Madagascar is one of the dry and arid areas of the island. The southwestern part forms a main sub-division of the regions of Madagascar. The region is characterized by a unique topography. The Southwest region of Madagascar is singular in its own way.
The two chief groups of people living in the Southwest region are the Antandroy and the Mahafaly. These two groups occupy different areas and have distinctions between their cultures. The chief means of livelihood for both groups is however the same namely cattle rearing. Agriculture is also done on the fertile patches of land.
The literal translation of the term ‘Antandroy’ is ‘the people of the thorns’. This name is derived from the nature of the land occupied by the people of the group. The dry desert area of the Southwest region of Madagascar provides shelter to the Antandroy people. However, with time, the resources of this area are becoming scarcer and the people are compelled to migrate to other regions.
The Mahafaly group living in the Southwest of Madagascar makes up almost 1.6% of the total population. The area from Onilahy River in the north to the Menarandra River in the south is occupied by the people of this group. The Mahafaly group is in a better condition than their neighbors, the Antandroy.
The southwest region of Madagascar provides one essential plant that forms an integral part of the life of the people namely the prickly pear cactus. It serves a dual purpose, firstly providing a source of food and water and secondly as a natural technique of defense. The dry forest of the Southwest is also a significant part of Madagascar flora. Mapsofworld provide online flight booking for Southwest airlines at lowest airfare.