Madagascar holidays travel guide in the great red island

madagascar map
madagascar map

Tourist information for visiting Madagascar, all you need to know before starting, by the necessary documents to the best times to go, how to get on the large island called red for the color of the soil with a high iron content.

Madagascar in brief

  • Capital: Antananarivo
  • Surface area in sq km: 587 041
  • Population: 19,683,359
  • Religion: Mostly Christian (Catholic and Protestant), in addition to traditional religions and a small Muslim minority.

Where is Madagascar

The State of Madagascar coincides with the eponymous island located in the Indian Ocean, off the East African coast, across from Mozambique. It’s the fourth-largest island in the world (excluding Australia after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo) and is backed by several smaller islands, including Nosy Be and Sainte Marie, the best known in the aspect tourism, particularly Nosy Be, which serves as a starting point to visit the islands and archipelagos that surround it. Madagascar island is traversed throughout its length by a mountain range, which in the eastern part falls steeply to a narrow coastal plain, while in the western part goes down to the coast, forming extensive plateaus. The tropical forest that once covered the whole territory, except for the south and the region of Toilara, following the process of desertification, now found only in the eastern part of the island because of the disappearance of about 70% of the forests.


The mountains are near the eastern coast of the island, so the waterways of this side are short, interrupted by rapids and fairly regular regime, while those of the West, are longer and with irregular regime. The main rivers are the Betsiboka, the Mangoky, the Tsiribihina, the Onilahy River, the Maningory and Mangor.


Madagascar, crossed in the south by the Tropic of Capricorn, has a tropical climate characterized by considerable regional variety. On the east coast it rains a lot and is absent the dry season; the central plateau enjoys a temperate climate and rainfall is concentrated in the summer season (November to March); the west (excluding extremities northwest and southwest) has a shorter rainy season, while in the south west, the climate is mostly dry throughout the year. The temperature of the west coast is consistently higher than that of the east coast, where the average is 25 ° C.


The population of Madagascar is composed of 18 major ethnic groups, mostly of mixed Asian and African, Arab and European influences.

Time zone

UTC/GMT +3 hours


Malagasy and French are the official languages of Madagascar.


The economic situation in Madagascar is rather unstable. Agriculture, vulnerable sector, is the main activity of the population. For there are cultivated before all the rice and then cassava, sweet potato, potato, corn and sorghum, and are intended for export products such as coffee, sisal, sugar cane, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, spices (especially vanilla ), and essences perfume. In the fisheries sector is growing export of shrimp. From the point of view of tourism Madagascar offers with its extraordinary landscapes, valuable resources, but only partially developed.

When to go in Madagascar

The best time to visit Madagascar is during their winter, from May to September. Are to avoid the months of January, February and March because in this period may occur, on the eastern coast, far north and far south, heavy rains and cyclones.

Travel Documents

Passports valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure.
Visas may be required depending on the nationality of your passport.


Calling Code: 00261


Supply Electricity: 127/220 V 50 Hz


The ariary is the official currency of Madagascar.