Welcome to Madagascar
Leapin’ lemurs – Madagascar is incredible. Outdoor enthusiasts have found their Eden here on this island nation, where 5 percent of all known animal and plant species are found.
If you’re up for adventure (and in Madagascar, adventure is par for the course), go off-roading to the rain forests, deserts, mountains, sandstone canyons, and terraced rice paddies in which these creatures make their homes.
Marvel at the Avenue of the Baobabs, hike through the dramatic red rock formations (likened to the larger ones found at Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park) of Tsingy Rouge Park and snorkel with sea turtles at Nosy Sakatia. Kitesurf at The Three Bays and meet those furry lemurs, as well as birds and chameleons in Lokobe, Mantadia and Isalo national parks, or in Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travel with a conscience – Madagascar’s biodiversity is under threat from climate change, so go now, if you can.
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Need To Know
- Madagascar is big – in fact, it’s the world’s fourth largest island at 226,917 square miles.
- Madagascar has the privilege of being “megadiverse,” a designation just 17 other countries have. This means they have a vast number of different species that are found nowhere else on Earth. More than half of the world’s chameleons and dozens of lemur species live here. The incredible diversity can be attributed to the island’s isolation for approximately 70 million years.
- The national sport is … bare-knuckle fighting, or You’ll likely run into one of these popular fist fights during your visit.
- Madagascar cuisine is indicative of its cultural diversity, with Southeast Asian, African, Indian, Chinese and European influences.
Madagascar’s official languages are Malagasy and French.
When To Go
The best time to go to Madagascar is the dry season, from April to October. This season offers optimal conditions for wildlife viewing, hiking and water sports.
Ivato International Airport, Antananarivo
Passport must be valid at time of entry for six months beyond arrival date.
Visa Required By US Citizen?
The CDC recommends the following vaccines for most travelers when visiting Madagascar: Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Depending on where you are traveling, you may also need Hepatitis B, Malaria, Rabies and Yellow Fever vaccines.
Power plugs and sockets: types C, D, E, J and K. Standard voltage: 127/220V. Frequency: 50Hz.
Official local currency: Ariary
The road conditions in Madagascar range from minimally acceptable to very poor. There are few pedestrian crosswalks and no working traffic signals.
Be prepared for random police vehicle checkpoints if driving in Madagascar. Carry photo ID, passport and visa.
Madagascar’s public transportation is unreliable and poorly maintained. There is virtually no rail service.
Foreign visitors must obtain an international driver’s license.
US Embassy Info
U.S. Embassy Antananarivo
Lot 207 A, Point Liberty
Telephone: +(261) (20) 23-480-00 (Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(261) (20) 23-480-00
Fax: +(261) (20) 23-480-35
Local Visitor Info
National Office of Tourism
+261 20 22 661 15
Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Safety and Security
Civil unrest is common in Madagascar. Use caution when in downtown Antananarivo and vicinity, particularly near government buildings, the national stadium and historical monuments.
Petty crime is common, including pickpocketing and purse snatching. Luggage theft is common at the baggage claim area of Ivato International Airport.
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