About Madagascar

The world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar is a vast magical land just waiting to be discovered.

A former French colony, it offers a beguiling range of things to do and see as well as many areas to be explored. Rich in flora and fauna, much of which is found nowhere else on earth, a typical trip can include the lemurs of the Perinet Reserve, the baobabs of Morondava, the whales of Sainte Marie and the narrow streets and alleyways of charming Antananarivo, and while the infrastructure may be poor, the rewards are rich. The jewel in Madagascar’s crown, however, is the offshore island of Nosy Be and its outlying neighbours. Largely undeveloped but boasting some superb beach hideaways, this really is island paradise. With whiter sands, clearer seas and more dramatic settings and sunsets than any of its Indian Ocean rivals, the idyll is completed by virgin beaches with nesting turtles and playful dolphins.


  • Spot many of the various species of lemur
  • Track turtles as they come ashore
  • Marvel at the baobab landscape
  • Take a sunset cruise dolphin-spotting
  • Visit a vanilla farm for a unique souvenir


  • Variety of Lemurs, Tenrecs, Silky Sifakas


  • Dry – April to November
  • Green – January to March
  • Point to notice – South west can get extremely hot in the summer, but is cool with blue skies and minimal rain in the winter. The central highlands from May to October can become cold, windy and unpredictable showers.

In The Know

    • Capital – Antananarivo
    • Currency – Ariary
    • Point of Entry – Antananarivo
    • Airlines – Air Madagascar & Air France via Paris, Kenya Airways via Nairobi, South African Airways via Johannesburg
    • Flying Time – 3 hours 10 minutes from Johannesburg
    • Time Zone – GMT +3
    • Visa on arrival
    • Medical Requirements – Malaria prophylaxis recommended 

Insider Tips

  • If travelling from Nosy Be back to the UK consider breaking your journey in The Comoros – home to turtles, lemurs and extraordinary fruit bats
  • Take a travel neck pillow for lengthy overland journeys as the roads can be poor
  • Swot up on your school French, English is rarely spoken in remote areas
  • Don’t try to cram too much into a trip – it is a very large island and road journeys can be long
  • Try to include a stay on Tsarabanjina; the sea is clearer, the sand whiter and the sky bluer than anywhere else in the Indian Ocean

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