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5 reasons to travel to Madagascar

Having fallen in love with the country, I could give you 100 good reasons for travelling to Madagascar, but I will try to be brief 

  1. 1
    A destination far off the beaten track
  2. 2
    A land of adventure
  3. 3
    Breathtaking landscapes
  4. 4
    Exceptional wildlife
  5. 5
    A friendly population
1. A destination far off the beaten track

When I go to Madagascar I know for sure that I will be making an exceptional trip to a country that is far removed from mass tourism. I know that I will meet a population that is very rich culturally, that I will discover breathtaking scenery, and I am always the certain that I will bring home unforgettable memories...

Remember: a trip to Madagascar is a chance to discover things that you will not see in any other part of the world...

2. A land of adventure
Madagascar also means the possibility to experience real adventure, roaming among the Tsingys that were formed by wind and water erosion of the limestone, creating fields of spiky, razor-sharp rocks as far as the eye can see... It also means travelling by bush taxi, hiking in the jungle at night to observe nocturnal animals and the nights spent in little villages in the bush. An unforgettable experience for me was, after 3 days of trekking through the centre of the island, the journey down the Manambolo River by pirogue, and arriving at Bemaraha National Park.
3. Breathtaking landscapes

What struck me during my first visit to the Red Island was the possibility to discover so many different landscapes in a single trip, depending on the region of the country.

The central Highlands, the cradle of the Merina culture, are characterized by hills and plateaus where rice and various subsistence crops are grown. The arid south, dotted with white sand beaches and turquoise blue water. The jungles of the east, the island of Sainte Marie and the Vanilla Coast. The mountainous north, which offers lush vegetation and spectacular rock formations. Finally, the semi-arid West, dotted with savannas and bush, the land of the baobabs which take on ever stranger shapes.

4. Exceptional wildlife

For me, Madagascar means lemurs, many species of which can be observed in all regions of the island. Sometimes perched high in the trees in search of nectar and fruit, sometimes jumping in the tall grass of the bush, they have never hesitated to pose for me in front of my camera...

But Madagascar especially means the majestic baobab trees, which seem to be planted upside down and whose tops can reach 40 metres in height. Madagascar is also the chameleons, whose colours and shapes have never ceased to amaze me, and the traveller's palms whose leaves store water and which we are told were true blessings to thirsty explorers.

5. A friendly population
Above all, Madagascar is a land with a very hospitable and respectful population which has enabled me to learn its techniques for crab fishing, the cultural importance of the zebu or even the use of plants in traditional medicine. I have also learnt about the construction of "dhows", these outrigger pirogues for travel and fishing, paper-making at Antemoro in Fianarantsoa province, the processes of vanilla farming, as well as a great deal of ancestral knowledge and legends. A visit to Madagascar also means meeting guides who are passionate about their country and who will help you discover its many wonders.
Discover the destination

Why travel to Madagascar?

Also called the "Red Island", Madagascar will surprise you. Situated in the Indian Ocean, it hides many a treasure.
You should go if...
  • You're a fan of wide open spaces
  • You love hiking
  • You are passionate about discovering unique species of animals and plants
  • You want to discover a destination that is far from mass tourism
  • You love vanilla!
You shouldn't go if
  • You don't like adventure!
  • You're allergic to rice
  • You can't stand waiting, expecially for bush taxis
  • You don't like to haggle
  • You suffer in intense heat

Customize your perfect trip to Madagascar

Discover all our travel ideas for a trip in Madagascar.

All our tours in Madagascar

When to go in Madagascar?

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So, when are you going to visit the Big Island?

From December to March, most of the regions are affected by the rainy season or even hurricanes! So that is not the best time.

In winter (June to August), you can expect cool weather at higher altitudes. In short, the best moments to go are spring and autumn, when the climate is less hot and the weather is quite dry.

See when to go

Our advice for your holiday in Madagascar

Travel tips from our local agencies in Madagascar.

What to see in Madagascar?

Top places to discover.

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Prepare your trip in Madagascar
In this article, you'll find  a little summary of useful information on planning a trip to Madagascar. For a successful trip, it's best to be informed!

What documents are needed for traveling to Madagascar?

A visa is required to visit Madagascar. It's possible to get it before your trip from the Embassy of Madagascar in Paris (as Madagascar does not have an Embassy in London), or you can get a visa at the airport upon arrival. A 30-day tourist visa is free of charge. For 30 to 60 days, the visa costs 70 euros, or around £52. For a 60- to 90-day stay, you'll have to pay 100 euros, or around £73. If you want to stay longer, it is possible to get a 30-day transformable visa on-site in Madagascar at a Malagasy Embassy or Consulate. Expect to pay 100 euros, or around £73 for this.

Health advise

Except for a case of the runs, you aren't likely to get seriously sick if you follow some basic rules. Don't drink the tap water, forget about ice, if possible avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables, avoid contact with stray dogs, do not bathe in stagnant water, etc .

There are no vaccine requirements for visiting Madagascar, but with that being said, I still recommend the basic vaccines (rabies and the combined polio, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine), as well as hepatitis A and B and typhoid fever. Depending on the length and place of your stay, it is also recommended that you get antimalaria treatment, especially if you plan on travelling in the jungle.

Language

The official languages are Malagasy and French, but there are numerous dialects depending on the area and ethnic group.

Time difference

The time difference between the UK and Madagascar is two hours in the summer and three in the winter. That means that during the summer, when it's noon in the UK, it's 2:00 pm in Madagascar. And in winter, it would be 3:00 pm. 

Phone and internet connection

To call Madagascar from abroad, you must enter the following country code: 261, followed by the local phone number.

More and more hotels are starting to offer Wi-Fi to their customers, however this is not the rule everywhere. You'll also find many cybercafés, but don't expect a great connection...

Electricity

Electricity in Madagascar is distributed in 220 volts and the plugs have two pins. However, it is not uncommon to have power outages, even in the city... 

Address and phone number for the British Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar:

Ninth Floor Tour Zital Ravoninahitriniarivo Street Ankorondrano Antananarivo 101 Madagascar

Ph.: +261 20 22 330 53 +261 20 22 356 27

There is no Madagascar Embassy in the United Kingdom. For services, you may contact the nearest Embassy in Paris, France.

4, avenue Raphaël 75016 PARIS.

Ph.: 01 45 04 62 11