Start planning your Madagascar family vacation
Take the entire family to Madagascar, a land of curious baobab trees and unusual wildlife immortalized in childrens’ animated movies. There's scuba diving, river expeditions, camping, and cultural adventures galore on the world's fourth-largest island. A Madagascar family vacation could be a life-changing experience for you and your loved ones.
What makes Madagascar a great destination for families?
Located off the southeast coast of Africa, Madagascar features diverse and sometimes otherworldly landscapes. You'll be enchanted by terraced rice fields, sandstone canyons, windswept beaches, deserts, and rainforests. Family-friendly accommodations include rustic tree houses and lodges, so come here for an unforgettable family vacation.
Best things to do in Madagascar with kids
Nicknamed the Red Island, Madagascar is a brilliant place for families. Whether it's suntanning and seaside family picnics, scuba diving with the teens, or cultural pursuits, the island won't disappoint. Here are our favorite activities.
Check out otherworldly baobab trees
The dramatic Avenue of the Baobabs in the Menabe region is a truly unique landscape. Around 25 colossal Grandidier's baobabs frame a dirt road that travels through the area, offering spectacular views. These trees are also the source of local legends, and sunset or sunrise are the best times to capture surreal photos of these revered giants.
See sea life at Nosy Be
An island off Madagascar's northwest coast, Nosy Be beckons families looking for idyllic beaches. There’s more than just pristine sand here, though, with humpback whale watching, horseback riding, and archipelago cruises all on offer. Snorkel with reef fish, sea urchins, giant clams, and green turtles at the nearby Nosy Tanikely National Park.
Spend some time in Antananarivo
Commonly known as Tana, the country’s capital has a rich mix of Arab, Indian, and African influences. Your kids will discover new cultures as they enjoy dance recitals at the French Institute, wander through the Museum of Art and Archaeology, or admire the Rova palace complex.
Go trekking in Andasibe National Park
Want to see Magadascar’s wild side? Consider a night trek with a local guide through Andasibe's forest. Your guide will help you spot the nocturnal, bear-like indri lemur with its blazing amber eyes and you’ll listen out for its legendary songlike call. Camouflaged geckos, hedgehogs, and bird life are also part of the habitat here. The morning mist makes for spectacular photos, too.
Get big thrills in Antsiranana
If you're seeking a vacation with a little adrenaline, Antsiranana is just the place. Also known as Diego Suarez, this northern port city is full of adventure activities including ATV trips, kite surfing, and mountain biking. Alternatively, relax along the beaches or explore Antsiranana’s French colonial heritage.
Tips for planning a family vacation in Madagascar
Consult with your doctor about necessary vaccinations for family trips in Madagascar, as you may need inoculations before departure. During meals, avoid ice cubes, tap water, and peeled fruit to ensure you don’t get sick. Although a rental car is a smart option, rental companies will often suggest that you also hire a driver for safety and ease. Avoid driving after dark, and use caution on the often rough roads. The weather is typically warm and humid, so dress accordingly and carry sunscreen, insect repellent, and refillable water bottles.