travel, financial and other practical information for travellers
Air Madagascar serves 29 domestic airports and landing strips
around the island. Because distances are large and the road
network is modest, internal flights are often the best option.
The routes from Antananarivo to Tulear on the southwest coast
and from Diego Suarez to Ankify on the northwest coast make
excellent overland trips.
When to go
Before considering a tailor-made package, bear in
mind that Madagascar has very specific seasons that impact on
when and where you should travel. With Monsoon time from
December through to March the best time to travel to Madagascar
is generally February to December. Madagascar has two seasons: a
hot, rainy season from November to April, and a dry season with
cooler temperatures from May to October. There is, however,
great variation in climate owing to elevation and position
relative to dominant winds. The east coast has a subequatorial
climate and, being most directly exposed to the trade winds, has
the heaviest rainfall, averaging as much as 3.5 metres annually.
Because rain clouds discharge much of their moisture east of the
highest elevations on the island, the central highlands are
appreciably drier and, owing to the altitude, also cooler. The
dry season in the highlands is pleasant and sunny, although
somewhat chilly, especially in the mornings. During this time,
the blue skies of the central highlands are considered by many
to be among the clearest and most beautiful in the world. The
west coast is drier than either the east coast or the central
highlands because the trade winds lose their humidity by the
time they reach this region. The south-west and the extreme
south are semi-desert; as little as one-third of a metre of rain
falls annually at Toliara.
We offer a personal service to
all clients which includes planning of tours, advice as to where
to go and the reservations of lodges and land transport.
us or further information or to help you plan your ultimate
Climate is an important consideration. Madagascar’s climate is
diverse, ranging from humid and tropical in the eastern region
to semi-arid in the south. The hot western lowlands have summer
rains only (December – March) and parts of the central
highlands are almost temperate. Some places become inaccessible
during the rainy season. Cyclones often occur from late January
to February. Generally, wildlife viewing is most rewarding from
the end August through November.
We run a number of scheduled, small group tours each year,
including specialist birding and wildlife tours. We arrange
tours for private groups, too.
We specialise in individual, inclusive, customised itineraries.
We offer the widest range of destination in Madagascar and can
advise which are suitable for your party and dates of travel.
All visitors need visas. You can obtain a one-month tourist visa
on arrival at Ivato International Airport. Alternatively,
Malagasy embassies or consulates issue one- and three-month
visas. Further information is available from http://www.madagascar-consulate.org/visainfo.html
There are about 3700 Ariary to the pound sterling and 2100 to
the US dollar. Few hotels/restaurants accept credit cards.
Travelers should only use authorised Bureau de Change or ATMs
which accept visa cards.
Few hotels accept credit cards. Mastercard cannot be used at all
in Madagascar. Take cash and travellers cheques in US$ or euros.
You can exchange hard currency at the airport, at Malagasy banks
and certain hotels. Malagasy money may not be taken out of the
country and can only be exchanged back into hard currency with
220V. European plugs for small appliances.
This is a malarial region. Avoid insect bites by wearing long
sleeves and trousers and using effective insect repellant,
particularly at dusk. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly
Cholera is present. Never drink unpurified water. Bottled
mineral water is readily available throughout the country. Avoid
ice cream and yoghurt.
Consult your doctor or travel health clinic for advice and
What to pack
- Comfortable, light, casual
- Something warm to wear at
night in winter, in the desert or the highlands
- Comfortable walking shoes
with a good grip
- Effective insect repellent
- Protective clothing and
lotion for the tropical sun
- Rain wear
- Personal toiletries and any
- Headache tablets, something
for digestive upsets, disinfectant
- Antisceptic wipes
- Torch / flashlight with
- Film and spare camera
- Strap-on water-bottle for
- Money belt for valuables
- Do not take expensive or
expensive-looking jewellery to Madagascar
GMT + 3
500 cigarettes and 1 litre of alcohol.
Malagasy is the first language. French is the official business
language. English is increasingly used in the main tourist
areas, but our agents and many of the local reserve guides speak
English. If you speak no French, we suggest you take a French
phrase book. You can obtain a Malagasy tape and phrase book from