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9 Safaris & Tours
available in Madagascar
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18 Partners
offering Safaris
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0 Premier Parks,
Reserves and Wildlife
Areas

Overview

Lying off the southeast coast of Africa, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, home to a unique ecological environment. The island split off from the ancient landform of Gondwana some 88 million years ago and has since remained an isolated landmass. This has resulted in the spectacular biodiversity for which Madagascar has become known, with an astonishing 90% of its wildlife unique to the island. Similarly, 80% of the island’s plant life is found nowhere else in the world. Governed by France until 1960, it has a population of 22 million and a landmass approaching 600,000 square kilometres, so it is relatively sparsely populated with a rich mix of ethnic groups.

Due to its unique flora and fauna, Madagascar safari holidays are particularly special. Around 10% of its area is designated as a protected natural reserve. It has 21 national parks of which six – Andohahela, Andringitra, Marojejy, Masoala, Zahamena and Ranomafana – have been jointly awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Among the Madagascar wildlife, there is no big game such as elephant or lion, but you will find lemurs here and nowhere else. This is a broad family of mammals, from the smallest mouse lemur to larger Indri lemurs. There is also an astonishing variety of amphibians and reptiles, with all sorts of chameleons and geckos, many of which are only found here.

Madagascar safari tours take place on a different scale to those on mainland Africa. With no large predators here, the smaller animal inhabitants have been allowed to flourish. This means that safari tour guides can allow you out of the jeep and into the forest to experience the natural world first hand. This makes it a great destination for families with lots of hands-on activities available to fascinate the children.

When your Madagascar wildlife safari is complete, you can enjoy some of the many other charms of this fascinating island. The capital, Antananarivo, is a rich tapestry of paddy fields and buildings from the country’s colonial past. With scents of jacaranda rising from Lake Anosy in the city centre, the capital also treats the senses with its cuisine, a mix of local specialities and French influences.

Madagascar Safari Travel Seasons

  • Jul – Aug – High Season. Winter means balmy weather during the day and cooler nights. It can be much colder in the highlands.
  • Apr to Jun, Sep to Dec – Shoulder Season is an ideal time for Madagascar safaris as the weather is warm and there are fewer tourists. There will be rain about and this can close some of the national parks in November (opening again in June).
  • Jan – Mar – Low Season. Rainy season with the possibilty of cyclones, the east coast is more likely to bear the brunt of bad weather. If you are hardy enough there are some great discounts to be had.

General Info

  • Capital city – Antananarivo
  • Currency – Malagasy Ariary
  • Languages – Malagasy, French and English
  • Size – 587 041 sq km – about twice the size of UK
  • Population – 24.89 million

Madagascar Travel Safety and Health

  • Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Click below to find out more:
  • The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Madagascar: hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
  • Malaria is a risk so get medical advice on which prophylaxis you should take.
  • It is best to stick to drinking bottled water.

Pros

Pros

  • Madagascar safari tours are highly popular because of its unique ecological environment.
  • Madagascar wildlife holidays give you a chance to glimpse at some of the Endemic fauna and flora that can be found nowhere else on the earth.
  • When it comes to Madagascar safari animals, the lemur tops the list. So on a Madagascar wildlife tour, you can catch a glimpse of around 60 species of lemurs.
  • It has a low human population.
  • Madagascar wildlife safaris also give you the freedom to walk on safaris as there are no large predators found here.
  • Lastly, on a Madagascar safari adventure, you get to see the amazing baobabs.

Cons

Cons

  • Madagascar safaris can be expensive.
  • The road network is bad.
  • The accommodations are rustic.
  • Park encroachment.
  • Madagascar safari destination can be crowded, especially during Christmas.

Arriving in Madagascar

  • The only way to arrive in Madagascar by air is into Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo. There are taxis to the city centre and most major hire car brands are represented there
  • There are flights from Europe and mainland Africa

Getting Around

  • Madagascar is a huge country with a bad road network so travel times can be long and arduous
  • Planning you route and timings is essential
  • Internal charter flights can be arranged between all the major Madagascar safari areas

Visas

  • Visas are required for all other foreign passport holders, check before travel – Madagascar visas >>
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