Isolated from mainland Africa for over 150-million years, Madagascar has developed to become a unique and beautiful landscape inhabited by approximately 25 million people. The capital, Antananarivo, is located close to the direct centre of the island and provides rich historical, architectural and cultural points of interest. The island is home to a number of national parks which each withhold astounding feats of nature, from breathtaking waterfalls to rainforests rich in lush vegetation. Also due to the extended period of isolation, over 90% of Madagascar’s animal and plant species are found nowhere else in the world, making this island truly unique. Amongst the natural beauty of Madagascar, its diverse landscapes play host to an incredible variety of activities. Visitors have chance to journey down the Tsiribihina River in a traditional pirogue - admiring the tropical birds as they fly overhead – or venture into the magnificent forests to encounter the numerous varieties of lemurs which inhabit the island up close.
Walk the ‘Avenue of Baobabs’
Recognised by UNESCO and also one of the most popular spots to visit in the country, this unique pathway of possibly 1000-year old trees tower over fishponds and fields and many believe this protected site holds spiritual significance, making it popular with travellers.
Perhaps the most familiar and endearing of the country's unique wildlife, Madagascar is home to over 30 species of lemurs. Roaming free amongst this vastly diverse island with the protection of reserves and national parks, there are plenty of opportunities for close encounters with these intriguing creatures as they bound through the towering trees of the forests amongst a host of other incredible inhabitants.
Madagascar’s phenomenal wildlife is not only on-land — from June to September, the eastern shore of Madagascar is the ideal spot to watch fascinating groups of humpback whales as they migrate to sheltered waters to nurse their calves, before they head back to the Antarctic for colder waters and abundant food supplies. The small of island of Nosy Be also offers the chance to watch the whales alongside dolphins and whale sharks as they dive through the waters together.
Fishing in Madagascar is considered some of the best, with the remote waters surrounding the island offering a haven for large numbers of pelagic and reef fish. With fishing presiding as a popular activity throughout the year (with the exception of February and March), expect to spot species such as the Giant Trevally, Bluefin and Barracuda all waiting to be caught (and released).
Madagascar is home to an incredible array of animals that can be found nowhere else on earth. From frogs to fossae, you’re sure to spot some truly unique creatures here.
This city is known as the wood-carving capital of Madagascar. Here you can buy everything from hand-carved furniture to intricate bowls and baskets. Ensure you visit one of the traditional wooden-houses – made entirely from perfectly carved wood without the use of nails or screws.
Madagascar typically has two seasons: a hot and rainy season lasting from November to April followed by a cooler, dry season from May to October. The east coast of the island, home to a large quantity of Madagascar’s lush rainforests, is typically the wettest whereas the central highlands are considerably cooler and drier, providing an ideal location for agriculture. Tropical storms are common in Madagascar between the months of January and March and peak months for enjoyable dry but warm weather are July and August.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Madagascar.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways from London Heathrow to Johannesburg, with onward connecting flights to Nosy Be with South African Airways.
From London Heathrow to Johannesburg: 10 hours, 50 minutes.
Onward connecting flights from Johannesburg to Nosy Be: 3 hours, 50 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.
Malaria is a risk factor within Madagascar and travellers are should ensure preventative treatment is taken during their visit (and beforehand if advised by a medical professional). Although there is no risk of yellow fever in this country, travellers will be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates whilst travelling in Madagascar.