With biodiversity to rival the Galapagos Islands, towns of colonial magnificence, beautiful beaches of golden sand and a remarkable culture influenced by Europe, Africa and the East, Madagascar's rare riches are well worth discovering. Venture into national parks to experience profound moments in nature, mellow out on idyllic islands, stroll through heritage towns and spot quirky wildlife not found anywhere else on this earth.
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Spot lemurs on a guided walking tour of Ranomafana National Park
Embark on an adventure through stunning Isalo National Park
Soak up the secluded coastal beauty of Tulear
Australia: Yes - Visa required
Belgium: Yes - Visa required
Canada: Yes - Visa required
Germany: Ye - Visa required
Ireland: Yes - Visa required
Netherlands: Yes - Visa required
New Zealand: Yes - Visa required
South Africa: Yes - Visa required
Switzerland: Yes - Visa required
United Kingdom: Yes - Visa required
USA: Yes - Visa required
All nationalities require a visa for Madagascar. If you have an embassy in your home country you can obtain the visa prior to departure. 30 day tourist Visas are also available for most nationalities on arrival at Antananarivo airport. Currently the visa fee has been suspended. Visa and other entry and exit conditions change regularly so we recommend that you contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Madagascar for the most up to date information.
Minors travelling to Madagascar with only one parent are required to carry a legal document signed by any non-travelling parents, giving approval for the child to travel, or other applicable documents, such as custody orders.
Tipping isn’t mandatory, but a little generosity will be received positively especially when considering the low wages that most service workers are typically paid. Setting aside a small amount for porters, guides and drivers is wise, as is leaving spare change or rounding up the bill at restaurants.
Cyber cafes are found in some of the larger cities like Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa and Antananarivo. Smaller towns and remote areas will have far less access, so prepare to disconnect when travelling out of urban centres.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Madagascar's large cities and towns, but less so in rural areas and on remote islands. Ensure you have global roaming activated before leaving home if you wish to use your mobile phone.
Squat/pit toilets are the standard in Madagascar except for western-style flushable toilets that are sometimes available in large hotels and other modern buildings. Carry your own supply of soap and toilet paper, as this is rarely provided.
Short city bus ride = 300 MGA
Snack at a market = 200-500 MGA
Bottle of beer in a restaurant or bar = 4,000 MGA
Basic meal in a café or restaurant = 8,000-12,000 MGA
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Madagascar. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found, some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Major credit cards like Visa are usually accepted by large hotels and western-style restaurants in the capital but not by smaller vendors. Ensure you have adequate cash to cover purchases not able to be made on credit.
ATMs that accept foreign cards can be found in large cities and the airport, although they're often unreliable or out of service. Be sure to carry a back-up method of payment in case ATM access becomes difficult.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Madagascar go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/madagascar/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
1. While on holiday in Madagascar, be considerate of local customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
10. Madagascar is one of the world's most bio-diverse places. Let's keep it that way by not removing any flowers, leaves, coral, wood or organic materials from the island.