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Madagascar

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Plan a Madagascar Adventure With Downunder Travel

Learn more about our destination packages and the amazing attractions Madagascar has to offer.

Madagascar is found in the Indian Ocean, approximately 250 miles off the coast of East Africa and is the fourth-largest island country in the world. It split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago and over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. In fact, 80% of Madagascar’s 14,883 plant species are found nowhere else in the world, including five plant families. The island is home to two-thirds of the world’s chameleon species and over 300 species of birds have been recorded on the island.

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Learn More About Madagascar

The famous ring-tailed lemur is one of over 100 known species and subspecies of lemur found only in Madagascar. Madagascar is a bird watchers paradise. An ornithologist would be in heaven observing the incredible variety of birds in their natural habitat. The “Avenue of the Baobabs" is an amazing stand of huge baobab trees and a must-see! Other great varieties of flora include aloes, orchids, numerous pachypodium and of course, the baobabs. Madagascar’s largest reserve – Tsingy de Bemaraha is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also called the Labyrinth of Stone. This difficult to reach location includes a unique landscape of jagged limestone pinnacles.

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The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French with 41% of Madagascans practiced Christianity, and 52% adhered to traditional religions. While in general tap water is considered not safe, bottled water is cheap and found almost everywhere. Tipping is customary and is expected to be higher from tourist over locals. A reasonable amount would be 10% but it's not necessary to add if a service fee has already been added to your bill.

The hot rainy season is November–April while the cooler dry season is May–October. Nationals of most countries can obtain a visa on arrival valid for up to 90 days. Popular activities to do in Madagascar are kite and windsurfing, kayaking, deep sea fishing, trekking, diving and wildlife tours. Bargaining is a very common practice at markets, for rickshaws or even taxis. You'll find the Madagascar culture is fascinating with origins from both Africa and Asia!

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What you need to know

Information and Facts

With rainforests, reefs and beaches, Madagascar is the fourth largest island on earth. For the outdoor enthusiasts, Madagascar provides the perfect adventure. Travel through the incredible landscapes, viewing exotic animals. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime, contact a destination specialist today to learn more.

Madagascar: Facts & Information

Weather

Madagascar’s climate is mostly subtropical with two distinct seasons; a hot and rainy season, also known as the summer (November to April), from May to October is the country’s winter, characterized with cooler, drier conditions.

Safety

Canadians can enjoy safe travels year-round in Madagascar. The (UV) sunrays can be very strong and can cause a burn, even on a cloudy day. As well, make well-informed decisions, take necessary precautions as you would with travel anywhere else, have copies on-hand of your important documents.

Vaccinations

Some vaccines may be recommended, and should be up to date when travelling to Madagascar. These recommended vaccines include: Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, measles, meningitis and the influenza shot among others. It is possible that travellers may need a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to prove they’ve received their vaccines.

Currency & Customs

The currency in Madagascar is called the Ariary. There are ATMs in major towns throughout the country and Visa and MasterCard is often widely accepted. Your passport must be valid, or should not expire, for at least 6 months past the date of your return. You would also need an entry visa, for a maximum stay of 90 days, to enter Madagascar.

Electricity

The electrical current for Madagascar is 220 volts; it is recommended for certain appliances such as hair dryers and straighteners to bring both a plug adapter and converter. For newer electronics such as tablets or smartphones, a plug adapter may only be needed as the voltage could automatically adjust.

Language

The main spoken language in Madagascar is Malagasy as well as French.

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