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Madagascar Cruises, Tours & Safaris

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Take one of our Madagascar tours or cruises to discover this island nation's rich cultural history and unique biodiversity. Madagascar, located off the coast of Mozambique, is a place that sparks curiosity; of the over 2,000 endemic species, 80-90 percent are found nowhere else. Cruises to Madagascar frequently visit ports of western Madagascar in addition to Seychelles IslandsMauritius Island, and Réunion Island. Explore the lowland forests of eastern Madagascar, searching for the country's famous lemur populations living amongst the lush landscape. Relax on Nosy Be and Sainte Marie's white-sand beaches and take a dip in the Indian Ocean. Learn about the unique history of this multicultural nation, a true melting pot of cultures and customs. Contact one of our Madagascar experts for help planning your dream Madagascar tour.
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10 Madagascar Tours, Cruises & Safaris for 2023-2024

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3 Best Luxury Cruises to Madagascar for 2023-2024

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Adventure in Madagascar$870016Nov 22, 2023Enjoy beaches, nautical activities, and discover endemic fauna and flora, as well as places of natural beauty on a 16-day cruise from Mahé in …
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Adventure in Madagascar$965016Mar 10, 2023Get up close and personal with some of nature's most unique flora and fauna as you sail from Mauritius to Seychelles. Explore the magnificent ports …
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Adventure in Madagascar$870016Feb 21, 2023Le Champlain invites you on a brand new 16-day cruise in the Indian Ocean to experience “the island continent” of Madagascar. From Mauritius to …
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8 Best Places to Visit in Madagascar in 2023-2024

4 Best Small Cruise Ships in Madagascar for2023-2024

Ship NameMax PassengersFromSummary
Le Bougainville184$9650Experience a luxurious setting where the main focus is of authenticity and passion for travel. Le Bougainville is an environmentally-friendly …
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Le Jacques Cartier188$8700Indulge in an intimate cruise with the opportunity to visit an ever-expanding choice of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service. …
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Coral Geographer120$10260Arriving in December 2020, the 120-passenger Coral Geographer will feature state-of-the-art specifications and expedition features as her sister …
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Le Champlain184$8700Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel aboard this glamorous limited-capacity yacht with …
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Madagascar Travel Guide

Madagascar at a Glance

Location: Madagascar is a country located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of southern Africa. To its west are Mauritius, Réunion, and Seychelles to its north. Zanzibar is to its east, Comoros is to its south.

Capital: Antananarivo is the capital city.

Population: 28.6 million

Language:  Madagascar's official language is Malagasy, although French is widely spoken. The island country of Madagascar is home to a wide range of indigenous and immigrant languages. There are about 300 native languages spoken on the island.

Land Area: Madagascar covers 587,041 km², making it the 43rd largest country in the world and the fourth largest island.

Religion: 41% Christian, 7% Muslim, and 52% Animist who worship gods called Zanahary or Andriamanitra. Anthropologists often divide Madagascar’s religions between traditional beliefs and practices typical to different ethnic groups and animism. 

Major ethnic groups: The people of Madagascar are ethnically diverse Austronesians with roots in five major ethnic groups: the Betsileo, the Tsimihety, the Merina, the Bezanozano, and the Mahafaly.

Currency: The official currency of Madagascar is the ariary (MGA). One central bank, the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), oversees the issuance and exchange of ariary. The bank divides the country into six regions and issues banknotes in denominations of 25, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 ariary.
Madagascar Culture

Madagascar's culture is vibrant and diversified, influenced mainly by the French, Africans, Indonesians, and Asians that live on the island. Formerly a French colony, Madagascar's French legacy can be seen in many forms today, from architecture to cuisine. The island has acquired a unique blend of African, Asian, Arab, and Islamic civilizations over the years.

Rhythm and dance are essential elements of Malagasy culture. In Malagasy music, the valiha, a bamboo tube zither, and the marovany, a box guitar, accompany singers.

The Malagasy people have a national meal called romazava, a meat stew spiced with chili peppers. Spice trade routes have brought in spices such as chili, turmeric, cassia, and cardamom. The island's unique local produce includes vanilla beans, coffee beans, cloves, and nutmeg plantations. 
How much does Madagascar Safaris cost?

Prices for adventure Life Madagascar Safaris for 2023 start from $1,871 to $9,650 for trips of 5 to 16 days. Madagascar safaris provide some of the world's most unique and endemic wildlife, making it the perfect safari location for families.

Is Madagascar worth visiting?

The secluded island is worth the long travel for adventurers and nature lovers. From lush rainforests and arid plains to beautiful beaches and majestic canyons, Madagascar's beauty is everywhere.

How many days do I need to see Madagascar?

In order to get the most out of a trip to Madagascar, plan on staying at least two weeks. There is limited public transit on such a huge island, making getting from point A to point B more challenging. During your tour, you'll visit the country's biggest cities, beaches, and national parks.
 

Fun Facts About Madagascar
  • Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, at  226,917 square miles. It is also the fourth largest island in terms of population, after Greenland, Papua New Guinea, and Borneo.
  • Malagasy vanilla is considered one of the best in the world and is more expensive than French vanilla. Since 2000, Madagascar has been exporting more than 90% of the world's vanilla.
  • Madagascar has been an independent nation for more than 100 years.
  • Madagascar is a country of extremes, where 80% of the population lives below the poverty line, and 1% of the owns nearly 90% of the land.
  • It has the world's fifth-largest coral reef, making for some excellent diving opportunities in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
  • Madagascar has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, and Atsinanana Rainforests. Seven more sites are tentatively listed and are under review by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
  • The island of Madagascar is home to 99% of all lemur species in the world.
  • It is the only country with both scorching deserts and lush rain forests.

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Madagascar FAQs

Do I need a visa to travel to Madagascar?

Entry to Madagascar requires a six-month passport with three blank pages. Visas are available in advance or on arrival for stays under three months. Visas are available for purchase in US dollars, euros, or Malagasy ariary, except credit cards.

Is it safe to travel to Madagascar in 2023?

The majority of trips to Madagascar go smoothly. It is best to go with well-established organizations or travel businesses that are familiar with the area and can forewarn you of potential dangers and local customs in advance.

In Madagascar, muggings and robberies are prevalent. Visitors should be cautious in Madagascar. Avoid rural areas if traveling alone. Not recommended: walking alone or at night. To avoid escalating violence, you should not resist when confronted with armed robbery.

Political protests can occur, especially in Antananarivo. You should avoid protests and demonstrations due to violence.

All visit to Batterie Beach, where there have been violent attacks, including fatalities, is strongly discouraged

November-April is cyclone season. Cyclones can disrupt services.

What is internet access like in Madagascar?

Madagascar ranks among Africa's fastest broadband internet providers with an average download speed of 42.84 Mbps, despite being one of the world's poorest countries, according to the September 2021 Speedtest Global Index. On the other hand, only 2.1 percent of Madagascar's population has access to high-speed internet. Hotels in major cities like Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa, and Antananarivo offer free wifi access. However, the internet is not common outside these areas.

Can I use my cell phone while in Madagascar?

Yes, major cities have some cellular coverage. The best and cheapest way to stay connected when in Madagascar is to buy a local prepaid SIM card instead of international roaming. Madagascar has four 4G-enabled telecom providers: Telma, Airtel Madagascar, Orange Madagascar, and Bip.

Do I need power adapters?

Madagascar is powered by 220V, 50Hz power, which means that any 110V device will not work without a converter. Adapters for C & E outlets are required.

What are the toilets like in Madagscar?

While the toilets in hotels, lodges, camps, restaurants, and gas stations are standard western-style toilets, those in National Parks may be squat toilets. Madagascar has one of the lowest sanitation levels in the world, with less than 10% of households having a private toilet.

Can I drink the water in Madagascar?

No, tap water in Madagascar is unsafe to drink. We recommend that you always drink bottled or filtered water provided by your tour operator during your time in Madagascar.

Are credit cards accepted in Madagascar? Will I be able to find ATMs?

Although not to be relied upon exclusively, ATMs are available in most major cities (Bekopaka in Tsingy of Bemaraha is an exception). ATMs run out of money on weekends.  Only large resorts, shops, and hotels take credit cards, and most establishments only accept cash.

Should I purchase travel insurance?

Always. As a precaution, travel insurance is a wise investment that might save you thousands of dollars and provide a sense of security. On our Once You're Booked page, we feature some fantastic Redpoint deals.

Is tipping customary in Madagascar?

Depending on the quality of the tour, you can tip your guide for $10 or more and leave similar or minimal gratuities in resorts and restaurants. Reward a porter who handles your luggage with $1 per bag. Tips are always appreciated but not expected. Aim to tip in Ariary. Dollars, euros, or even British pounds have little use on the island.

When is Cyclone season in Madagascar?

For the majority of Madagascar, cyclone season begins in November and lasts until April. Damage and contamination to water supplies can occur in distant sections of the country, notably along the coasts.

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