Video Source: Youtube
Flag Source: CIA World Factbook
Getting In and Around
You must have a passport (valid for at least six months) and a visa to enter Madagascar. Visas can be purchased at the airport, but if you plan on extending your visa, you will need to get one through the Malagasy embassy in your country before departure. If you are staying for fewer than 30 days, the visa is free.
Most international flights will arrive at Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo. First-time visitors are often surprised by Madagascar’s size; on the world’s fourth-largest island, getting around can be time-consuming. Fortunately, the country offers several transportation options, of varying cost and quality. The most convenient way to get around the island is via Air Madagascar
, which boasts reliability and quality—for a price. Most flights leave from Antananarivo. If you are taking domestic flig
hts, call your airline beforehand to confirm departure times, as they are subject to change. If you’re looking to travel like a local, consider a taxi-brousse
(bush taxi), a pousse-pousse
(rickshaw), or a regular taxi, all of which are cheap and abundant but should be used only during the day.
Safety and Security
The U.S. Department of State has described Madagascar as “by and large, safer than many other African countries and even certain U.S. cities.” The country is one of the safest in the developing world for female and solo travelers. That said, it has endured a recent spike in the number and severity of crimes, particularly against public transportation (including bush taxis, buses, and private taxis) at night. Avoid nighttime travel, and do not flaunt your valuables—keep you bag close and don't keep any valuables in your pockets. The U.S. State Department has more information about safety and security in Madagascar
. We advise carrying your passport or another form of identification with you at all times, as police will sometimes jail travelers without IDs.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has created a security ratings system called the Ibrahim Index
, wherein scores are based on each country’s quality of government. Before traveling to Madagascar or anywhere on the continent, check the index and do your research.