Madagascar in detail

Planning Tips

Resources

  • Madagascar Tourisme (www.madagascar-tourisme.com) National tourist office site, with lots of info and great photographs.
  • Wild Madagascar (www.wildmadagascar.org) Background information, conservation news.
  • Madagascar National Parks (www.parcs-madagascar.com) Detailed background and practical information about Madagascar's national parks.
  • Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/Madagascar) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date and that you have a clear page for the visa.
  • Check you are up-to-date with standard vaccinations and consider whether you need additional ones and/or malaria prophylactics.
  • Arrange for appropriate travel insurance, ensuring all activities you plan to undertake are covered.

What to Take

  • Good walking shoes
  • A head-torch
  • Water-purifying gadget or chlorine tablets and a water bottle
  • Waterproof jacket
  • EU electrical adaptor
  • A spare battery pack
  • Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
  • A sleeping liner or your own sleeping bag if planning to camp
  • An umbrella

What to Wear

Madagascar is a pretty relaxed place and you can essentially wear what you'd wear at home, adapted to the realities of the climate! It can get very hot – and wet – at certain times of year, so wear light materials (cotton, linen etc). More than anything, wear suitable clothes for hikes and comfortable clothes for long road trips.

Women will be fine wearing shorts and singlets in popular beach areas but should consider something a little more conservative in rural areas (bermudas and t-shirts are fine).

Very few places require evening/formal wear, although if you're planning to attend any kind of Malagasy celebration (especially religious), you'd do well to pack a smart outfit.

Top Tips

  • Madagascar is huge so you won't see everything in a single trip.
  • Pick an area/itinerary that will tick your boxes: is wildlife your priority? Do you need a few days on the beach? Do you have must-sees?
  • Offroad driving can quickly wear off, especially when you're a passenger; be realistic about how much time you want to spend in a vehicle.
  • Timing matters: the country has very distinct climate zones and the best time to go will depend on where you want to go and what you want to see (whales are only there in winter, but forest wildlife is at its most active in summer).
  • Don't just plump for the RN7 on your first trip; it may be the most popular/easiest route but is it the best for you?