Madagascar Travel Preparations: Tips and Advice for a Memorable Trip

Plan your trip to Madagascar before arrival with important tips for preparation. Avoid unpleasant surprises by preparing as much as possible from Germany. This blog post provides a guide to help you get ready for your journey to Madagascar.

Planning Your Trip to Madagascar

Important Tips for Preparing for Madagascar

If you have decided to take a trip to Madagascar, it is wise to prepare as much as possible from Germany to avoid any unpleasant surprises. In this brief blog post, I would like to provide you with a guide based on my own travel experiences and the experiences of our numerous guests who have vacationed in Madagascar. There are certainly many other approaches

Planning a trip and preparing for it is essential. That’s why I want to highlight different points that you can filter out to find the ones that suit you best.
1- Cheap flight connections
2- Visa for Madagascar
3- Safety on the island
4- Medicines and vaccinations
5- Photo equipment
6- Clothing
7- Useful tips

Check-in Tours

Cheap flight connections to Madagascar

Unlike traditional flight connections, Madagascar offers unique opportunities for travelers. Make sure to check out the best deals for your trip.

When traveling to Madagascar, it is not advisable to wait for cheap last-minute offers like in most travel destinations. Experience shows that flights tend to become more expensive as the planned departure date approaches. We recommend comparing prices online or at your local travel agency. Personally, we have always had very good experiences with the agency “Check-in Tours”. The advice is always professional and the team makes great efforts to find the best rates and offers for guests.

Unfortunately, there is currently no direct flight connection from Germany to Madagascar. Connections are usually made through Paris (CDG) or other European cities. Johannesburg is served by several airlines. In addition to direct flights from Amsterdam and Nairobi, there are also numerous other connections via Mauritius or the Seychelles, and recently, a connection with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.
In my personal experience, Air France is a very good option, although not always the cheapest, for booking a direct flight from Paris (CDG) to Antananarivo. This Air France connection allows passengers to bring 2x 23kg of luggage + 12 kg of carry-on baggage on board. With these generous allowances, you can bring back some souvenirs for your loved ones or yourself on the return journey. Take home without expecting additional costs. Flights operated by airlines in Madagascar are not always reliable. For example, Air Madagascar is constantly facing setbacks. A new airline is currently in the works, focusing on domestic flights. The timeline for this project is still uncertain. If you cannot avoid taking a domestic flight, keep in mind that these flights usually have lower baggage allowances compared to international flights. Typically, more than 20kg per person is not allowed. Detailed information on flights from Europe to Madagascar is available.

Stay updated.

For international flights, we recommend requesting a non-binding and often very affordable offer from Check-in Tours Travel Service:

Thomas Weickel
Check-in Tours Reiseservice,
Lindenplatz 4
72622 Nürtingen
Tel +WhatsApp: +4915734741409
Mail: info@checkintours.de

Visa for Madagascar

Applying for a visa and paying the fees can now be done before departure, not just upon arrival at the airport as before.

However, the visa is still required upon arrival in Madagascar.

Arrival at the airport

When it comes to formalities, the electronic visa is only available for tourist stays and the deadline for application is 72 hours.
Fees vary depending on the duration of the stay:

E-Visa for 15 days (14 nights): 10€.

E-Visa for 30 days (29 nights): 35€.

E-Visa for 60 days (59 nights): 40€.

Additionally, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date;
The official website to apply for your visa is :
https://evisamada-mg.com/fr/home
Please take note of this information for your preparation for Madagascar.

Safety on the Island

Safety is a topic that is often controversial among travelers. Unfortunately, there are various reports circulating on the internet, some of which are years old and constantly resurface. Overall, Madagascar is a safe country and the same rules of common sense apply here as in any other country:

  • Avoid walking alone at night in Antananarivo
  • Avoid wearing flashy jewelry
  • Be cautious of your surroundings and belongings

  • It is recommended to not wear openly
  • In some national parks, especially Isalo and during the Tsiribihina river cruise, night tours are generally no longer possible. However, there are explicit opportunities to do so in various parks.
  • The traffic and local, rather chaotic customs on the road are unfortunately not comparable to those in Germany and are, in my opinion, the only safety issue in Madagascar. To be on the safe side, it is highly recommended to hire a knowledgeable driver with a perfectly equipped car and completely avoid public transportation. If the use of public transportation cannot be avoided, it is important to be cautious and vigilant at all times.
  • When planning a trip to Madagascar, it is advisable to thoroughly inform yourself about public transportation in Madagascar. We generally advise against self-driving in Madagascar. However, experienced African travelers have various options to rent a rental car. For more information on Madagascar, check out our Madagascar A-Z guide for details on safety in Madagascar.

    Medication and Vaccinations

    This topic also varies greatly among individual travelers. The safety-conscious traveler will prioritize clean and safe accommodations. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before traveling to Madagascar to ensure you have the necessary vaccinations and medications.

    Take everything from syringes to painkillers. The adventurer is more of the opinion “if something happens, I’ll react on the spot”. I can only share my personal experiences at this point. In individual cases, every medication should be clarified with the family doctor and his prescriptions strictly followed. For a detailed overview of preparation for Madagascar in terms of medications and vaccinations, visit the page of travel medicine experts. I cannot recommend malaria prophylaxis from my own experience, or only in rare cases, as about 30% of guests become ill after about a week due to the significant side effects. There are huge regions. In Madagascar, there is no risk of malaria throughout the year. However, due to climate differences in this vast country, the risk of contracting malaria can vary significantly. For example, the likelihood of contracting malaria in the highlands during winter is almost zero. It is sufficient to bring along a decent mosquito repellent and sleep under a well-tensioned mosquito net in the affected regions. Such nets are standard inventory in all hotels and do not need to be brought along separately. Many guests leave Madagascar without ever seeing a single mosquito. For added safety, you can consult with a healthcare professional before your trip. Consult a tropical medicine specialist.

    Photography Equipment

    A country with so many breathtaking natural wonders like Madagascar naturally attracts many enthusiastic hobby photographers. In this case, the entire trip is usually focused on the desired photo opportunities. It is important to carefully consider which parts of the photography equipment are essential. To avoid problems on site, it is advisable to bring everything necessary to Madagascar in advance. It will be difficult to find what you need on the island. To get a decent CF/SD card and other specific accessories like batteries on the island, you won’t be able to purchase them. For travelers who value high-quality photos, we recommend planning your Madagascar vacation for photographers in advance.

    Appropriate Clothing

    The clothing you bring to the island depends on the type of vacation, the season, and the destinations you have chosen for your stay on the island.
    In general, you should always be prepared for all possible weather conditions. During the rainy season, it is especially important to have enough waterproof clothing. Madagascar, being an island with 4 climate zones, has different requirements for clothing accordingly. As a small tip, I would recommend wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants in the humid regions of the island, as they can help protect against mosquitoes. Additionally, when hiking in the highlands such as the Andringitra Mountains, it is important to be prepared for fluctuating temperatures. In winter nights (June, July, and August), it can get quite cold in Madagascar. Due to significant climate differences depending on the travel season and region, it is important to consider the expected weather conditions and adjust your clothing accordingly when planning your trip. Learn more about weather, climate, and the best time to travel to Madagascar.

    Travel insurance is an important part of your trip.

    -Trip Cancellation Insurance

    We recommend getting travel insurance as part of your preparation for Madagascar. If you want to take advantage of this, you should do so as soon as possible after booking your trip. However, for bookings made within 30 days before the start of the trip, insurance coverage is only available if the trip cancellation insurance is taken out on the day of booking or the following day!

    Additionally, you can also take out the following travel insurances there:

    – Overseas health insurance
    – Travel baggage insurance
    – Travel accident insurance

    Useful tips:

    Finally, we would like to give you various tips that have proven to be very useful in practice, but are often overlooked:

    – A headlamp to have hands-free on hikes after sunset
    – Maps made of water-resistant material
    – A spare pair of glasses and a

    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen with sufficient SPF. In Madagascar, such products are expensive and hard to find
    • Keep a copy of your passport in a secure place, the same goes for carrying your travel funds
    • A GPS device can be very helpful during hikes
    • Good hiking shoes are essential for more challenging hikes or trekking tours
    • A travel journal, where you can jot down impressions and special experiences every evening, will bring joy for years after your trip
    • Hardshell suitcases are usually more useful than backpacks or duffel bags, a small backpack for day trips can also come in handy

    When preparing for a trip, it is important to… In Madagascar, travel adapters for electronic devices are not necessary. However, it is important to inquire at your bank about currency exchange, Visa cards, and ATMs in Madagascar. For assistance with money and payment, you can also find information in the section Money and Banks in Madagascar.

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