Overlanding Africa.com offers budget safaris, Africa overland tours, camping & backpacking advice for Africa.

Check out our Chilly Bin Surfer Chronicles on our blog.

Contact us
SA: +27 (0)21 422 4644
UK: 0871 28 44 99 1

By Email
On Facebook

You have

Find things you like, add them to your backpack & they'll appear here.

Get the free Overlanding Newsletter!
Images of Western Trans Africa Expedition
Western Trans Africa Expedition 21 Weeks From More about this trip
Merzouga Morocco
Morocco Encompassed 15 Days From GBP 799 More about this trip
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Johannesburg to Nairobi via Zimbabwe 5 Weeks From ZAR 15890 More about this trip
Previous Next

About Madagascar

Madagascar is a rich and diverse country which offers nature loving budget travelers a chance to explore this wonderland of rare creatures and stunning jungles. There are a range of attractions to suit all tastes.

Madagascar Budget Travel

Below is a list of Madagascar's top destinations, click on the link to view all details and tours.

Antananarivo, Hell-ville, Isalo National Park, Montagne d'Ambre National Park, Nosy Be

Fast Facts

Currency
Malagasy Ariary (MGA)

Dialing Code
261

AIDS

Madgascar HIV/AIDS precautions include the following: - Don't ever share needles or syringes - Practice safe sex at all times - Equipment should be sterilized - If you require self-administered injections, take an adequate supply of your own needles - Avoid tattoos, acupuncture treatment or body piercing

Airports

Madagascar airports include the following:
• Antananarivo Airport

Birdlife

Madagascar has 258 bird species, with 115 of these endemic to the country. Madagascar birdlife is abundant and spectacular with a number of good birding hotspots across the island including the beautiful Parc de Tsimbazaza, as well as the nearby Perinet Reserve where a range of species can be seen in stunning rainforest habitats.

Conservation

Madagascar conservation is essential to preserve the precious biodiversity of the islands, and includes the preservation some of the world's rarest and most unique flora and fauna. The city has a fairly good zoo and botanical gardens which house a number of rare endemic species, including large varieties of lemur, while islands ranging from Nosy Be to Nosy Tankiry are also key conservation areas.

Culture

Madagascar cultures include the following: - Traditions in the highlands vary from coastal areas - The building of tombs and religious ceremonies that go with this practice is a strong traditional culture shared by all tribes - Food and drink plays an important role in all cultures - Music and dance is an important part of festivals and celebrations - Tribal influences range from Asian to French

Customs

Madagascar customs allows for free import by persons of 21 years of age and older: - 500 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 500 grams of tobacco - One bottle of alcoholic beverages - No free import of perfume

Health

Madagascar health is typical of any African country, with health facilities ranging from average to poor. Malaria is rife, and other health risks include untreated water, cholera, Rift Valley Fever and plague. Take a first aid kit and vitamins, and follow basic health precautions to ensure that you stay healthy on your Madagascar travels.

Innoculations

Madagascar inoculations include: - Diphtheria - Hepatitis A - Malaria - Rabies - Tetanus - Typhoid - Yellow Fever

Languages

Madagascar languages include the following: - Malagasy (official language) - French - English

Malaria

Madagascar malaria medication includes the following: - Mefloquine (Lariam) - Doxycycline - Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone

Money

Madagascar money and banking information is as follows: - Banking hours are Monday to Friday from 08h00-16h00 - Foreign currency must be declared on arrival - Travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks and most large hotels - Credit cards are accepted at major hotels - US Dollars are the best currency to have as many services and outlets accept this currency

People

Madagascar people include the following groups: - Merina - Betsileo - Cotiers - French - Indian - Creole - Comoran

Phrase

Madagascar local phrases in Malagasy include: - Hello - Manahoana - Goodbye - Veloma - Please - Azafady - Thank you - Misaotra - Yes - Eny - No - Tsia

Plants

Madagascar plant life can be found in a riot of colour, which endless jacaranda trees, red crown-of-thorn euphorbia and purple bougainvillea found across the city. There are a number of botanical gardens and reserves which showcase a large diversity of Madagascar plantlife, while the Perinet Reserve is a biodiversity haven. For fresh local flowers visit the stunning Flower Market in the capital, which has a good range of beautiful flowering plants.

Population

A July 2008 estimate puts the population at 20,042,551.

Religion

Madagascar religion includes the following groups: - Traditional beliefs - Christian - Muslim

Safety Tips

Madagascar safety tips include the following:
• Beggars and pickpockets are common in the city - walk assertively and keep valuables out of sight and safe in a moneybag under your clothes
• Roads can be very bad, and zebu often cross in large herds so be cautious when driving
• Be careful walking around at night, and women especially should avoid walking alone
• Avoid large crowds or demonstrations which could turn violent

Transport

Madagascar local transport options include the following: - Bus - Car - Taxi - Boat

Travel Books

Madagascar recommended travel books include: - Madagascar: The Bradt Travel Guide by Hilary Bradt - Guide to the Mammals of Madagascar by Nick Garbutt - The botanical and zoological park of Tsimbazaza: Guidelines for the future by Judith Evans Parker - Birds of Madagascar: A Photographic Guide by Peter Morris, Frank Hawkins, and Mark Andrews - Madagascar Travel Pack by Globetrotter

Visa Requirements

Madagascar visa requirements are as follows:
• Nearly all foreign nationals require a visa to visit Madagascar
• A valid passport of 6 months minimum is required
• At least 1 blank page on passports is required
• Visas can be issued on arrival, but it is much easier to obtain visa before leaving for Madagascar
• Return or onward tickets are required otherwise a high deposit is charged

What To Buy

What to buy for Madagascar safaris:
• Good sized sturdy backpack plus a decent moneybag
• Madagascar travel guide plus a Madagascar wildlife and bird guide
• First aid box with basic supplies
• Malaria medication, mosquito repellent and mosquito net
• Plug adapter for UK and UK travellers

What To Pack

What to pack for Madagascar safaris:
• Camera, spare batteries and film or memory, plus binoculars
• Sturdy walking or hiking shoes plus long, thick knee socks
• Long pants, loose, lightweight long sleeved shirts and a warm jacket for cooler days
• Sunglasses, sunhat and sunscreen
• Torch plus spare batteries

When To Go

When to go to Madagascar:
• Rainy season runs from January through March
• April and May are the greenest months of the year
• April to October offers the best winter with the coolest temperature
• November to March is the hurricane season with humid climates
• September to October is the breeding season for lemurs

Wildlife

Madagascar wildlife is extremely diverse and unique. Species are abundant in a range of habitats an reserves, with large populations of lemurs being some of the more famous Madagascar species which can be found across the county. Other species include a range of primates, zebu, reptiles and other fascinating creatures.

 

Ask us something or leave a comment


Recent Feedback

Left quoteThe highlight of my trip had to be Gweru in Zimbabwe, it was my idea of paradise. So much to do there with the animals and the location of it was just beautiful!Right quote

Anne B (27) from Ireland

Left quoteThe trip was great! A very relaxed ride in a mokoro, followed by camping in the Okavango Delta and watching the animals on the islands was awesome!Right quote

Michael & Silke from Germany

Left quoteI loved every millisecond of the entire trip... Guess what I did in Swakopmund? I skydived out of a plane - woohoo was that AWESOME :-)Right quote

JoJo E (61) from Switzerland

Left quoteFinally home and had a great time…. I loved the shark diving, Sossusvlei and Himba people. Saw Lions, a Leopard, Elephants, Giraffes, everything really! Thanks for…Right quote

John E from Canada

Left quoteI did not believe in god till i visited Chobe National Park.Right quote

Juca from Uruguay

Go to all feedback Previous Next