When to go
Madagascar can be a year-round destination, but different places are at their best at different times of year. Travel from the end of April until the end of November is generally considered to be the best time. The rainy season is usually from mid-December to mid-March, with heavy downpours interrupting blazing sunshine. However, the southwest is usually fairly dry year round.
Getting to Madagascar
Air Madagascar currently operates up to four flights per week from Paris CDG. Air France flies to Madagascar up to four times per week via Paris, and Kenya Airways flies via Nairobi three times per week. Air Madagascar has a twice-weekly service to Nairobi and Madagascar can be linked with Mauritius five days a week.
There are also daily flights between Madagascar and Johannesburg. Prices for international flights vary enormously depending on travel dates and routing. For this reason, some of the suggested itineraries exclude the cost of international flights.
Madagascar is two and a half times the size of Britain, with often difficult terrain and just a few good roads, so travel can be challenging and time-consuming. It makes sense, and is sometimes essential, to fly. Air Madagascar has a good domestic flight network; charter flights are generally expensive. On overland trips, you travel in a four-wheel drive vehicles with a qualified driver and a professional guide.
French is Madagascar’s second language and English is not widely spoken.
Visitors to Madagascar require visas which can be obtained on arrival.
There are no compulsory requirements unless you are arriving from a yellow fever area. Madagascar is a malarial area and precautions should be taken. Always consult your doctor at least six weeks before travel and see the useful NHS website for details of recommended vaccinations for your destination.
Accommodation in Madagascar
Madagascar has – and Rainbow Tours can book – some exceptional lodges near nature reserves, along with a wide range of appealing places to stay by the beach ranging from upmarket air-conditioned hotels to simple bungalows. We also offer a selection of comfy hotels in the capital, Antananarivo, and can arrange both no-frills and luxurious camping. Be aware that accommodation is in short supply, and should be booked well in advance. See our Where to Stay web page.
Our expert Madagascar team
Our Madagascar programme offers the most extensive choice of Madagascar holidays of any UK tour operator, visiting many of the remoter areas as well as the more visited parks and beaches. Our team is led by Madagascar wildlife expert, Derek Schuurman, who has travelled extensively throughout the country and has been arranging holidays there for almost twenty years. In support, Rachel Dobb did her field studies work for her Biological Sciences degree near the Andasibe - Mantadia National Park, and she took this opportunity to explore as much of the country as she could. Our East Africa expert, Rob Morley, is the team's newest recruit. He has long wanted to learn about Madagascar firsthand, and has just returned from an extensive trip.