Madagascar tours & holiday packages | Discover Africa Safaris

Madagascar tours & holiday packages

A unique flora and fauna destination

The world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar is situated just off the east coast of Africa, home to a wealth of unique flora and fauna.

Madagascar’s tropical climate, sun-kissed beaches, friendly locals and diversity of wildlife and flora make it a must-see destination for travellers and wildlife-enthusiasts alike.

Few countries on the planet can match Madagascar’s biodiversity – over 70% of the 250,000 wildlife species on the island are found nowhere else in the world, while it’s estimated that 90% of the plant-life on the island is also native to the country.

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Andre Van Kets says

We swam with turtles, kayaked through mangroves, relaxed for hours on unspoilt white-sand beach, dined on magnificent French-style cuisine, and constantly gazed up -- trying to spot the curious creatures that called down to us from the thick canopy of trees above.

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Introduction

Madagascar broke away from the African continent over 150 million years ago and has a population of just over 17 million people. Its capital, Antananarivo, is a city with a large and growing population. It was once home to the Madagascan monarchy prior to the coming of European conquest.

The islands' top tourist attractions include the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, considered to be the birthplace of the Malagasy people (the name for the people of Madagascar), Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Nosy Be Island, Madagascar’s largest and most popular holiday destination famed for its tropical, clear-water beaches.

Know before you go

The south and southwest are arid with very little rainfall experienced throughout the year.

The westcoast is drier than that of the east and central highlands.

The eastcoast is the wettest part of the island and also the most humid.

Madagascar has more than 50 species of lemurs - a highlight when visiting. October-November are the best time to see these creatures.

Humpback whales can be sighted between July and September when they arrive to birth their calves.

September-December is the best for bird enthusiasts.

Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world.

90% of its flora and fauna is endemic and a variety if diverse biomes.

Dress modestly and choose comfortable clothing.

Swimwear and brief shorts are not acceptable in the towns/villages, away from the main tourist resorts.

Pack light, most hotels and lodges have laundry facilities.

Only drink bottled water.

Madagascar is three hours ahead of GMT.

The local currency is the Malagasy Ariary and the most acceptable foreign currency is the Euro, but US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted.

Carry a mix of cash denominations and never keep all your cash in one place.

A valid passport with a minimum of six months validity on arrival is mandatory. Tourist visas are required from all foreigners visiting the country.

Tourists have been unaffected by the political unrest since 2009. Travelling into the centre of Antananaviro (the capital city) should be avoided.

When to go

Madagascar can be enjoyed throughout the year, however it is advised that you avoid the wet season from January to March. The best time to go is from April to December because the weather is characterised by temperate and generally dry conditions, although being prepared for any eventuality is advised because of the unpredictable weather patterns. Madagascar is a big country and therefore climate varies hugely depending on the geographic location.

Peak-season: this is the most pleasant time to travel to Madagascar because it has cooler temperatures with little rain. The tourist season begins after April, following the cyclone season, although some roads may still be inaccessible in May due to heavy rains during the wet season. July to September are the best time to see humpback whales and the beaches are in pristine condition.

Mid-season: April avoids the busy high season but is still a great time to experience lush landscapes, bounding lemurs and quiet parks and beaches. Similarly, October and November are excellent for baby lemurs, while September to December sees hot weather for beach holidays.

Low-season: January is the start of the very wet and hot period on the island, such rain can make the parks and roads inaccessible and certain lodges and hotels actually close. February is the peak of the wet season, with a high risk of cyclones (especially in the northeast). Much of the wildlife hides from the rain at this time of year. March is hot and humid with a smaller chance than February of cyclones.

What to pack

​Beachwear

Sunscreen

Hat and sunglasses

Modest clothing if you venture into the towns or villages

Neutral, long-sleeved clothing if trekking on safari.

Rain jacket.

Toiletries and small first-aid kit.

Over the counter meds like painkillers, etc.

Weather and Climate

Madagascar can be enjoyed throughout the year, however it is advised that you avoid the wet season from January to March. The best time to go is from April to December because the weather is characterised by temperate and generally dry conditions, although being prepared for any eventuality is advised because of the unpredictable weather patterns. Madagascar is a big country and therefore climate varies hugely depending on the geographic location.

Safari / Holiday Styles

Madagascar offers the best chance of experiencing a safari and beach holiday.

Where to stay

Madagascar Map

Madagascar's location on Google Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about Madagascar

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

What vaccinations should I get?

This is all dependant on the countries that you will be visitng and due to the status of certain vaccinations changing at times, please consult our experts before getting vaccines. go there.

Is it okay to drink the water?

In some parts of Southern Africa it is safe to drink the tap water, however it is highly recommended to stick to bottled water (mostly supplied) during your trip as even drinkable African water is completely different in taste and… go there.

Madagascar - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Reviews on our Madagascar safaris

We visited Madikwe and Madagascar for our honeymoon in 2014. It was a dream trip that was made possible by Discover Africa. The best part of their service was the ease with which it was handled. Their website is very clear and full of…

Lexi Spheris

from South Africa

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