Health & safety
Travelling throughout Madagascar is not inherently dangerous. Petty theft is the main risk – do not keep your valuables in a pack or external money belt, and watch your pockets when in crowded areas. To avoid getting into trouble with the police, carry your passport with you at all times (a photocopy will not be sufficient).
Some areas along the coast are subject to danger from sharks and strong currents. Make sure to seek local advice before heading into the water. Mosquitoes are ubiquitous and malaria occurs here – wear insect repellent, especially at dawn and dusk.
A combination of packed, unroadworthy vehicles and reckless drivers makes taxi-brousse (bush taxi) travel potentially hazardous. To minimise the risks, try to avoid night travel if possible.
Madagascar is a reasonably hard place to travel with young children, so junior travellers are a fairly rare sight. Disposable nappies are available in Antananarivo’s supermarkets, but are hard to find elsewhere. Many hotels provide chambres familiales (family rooms) or double rooms with an extra single bed for parents with children.
Most women do not feel threatened or insecure in any way when travelling in Madagascar. The most you can expect is some mild curiosity about your situation, especially if you are single and/or don’t have children. Physical harassment and violent crime are very rare, and in fact male travellers face far more pestering from the hordes of prostitutes who frequent nightclubs.
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