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Madagascar

If you’re travelling to Madagascar, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Madagascar.

Latest alert

There is currently an outbreak of pneumonic and bubonic plague in Madagascar. You should contact your flight operator or travel agent if you intend to travel this route.

Irish Citizens are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

There has been political unrest in Madagascar since 2009, and the situation remains unpredictable. Although foreigners have not been targeted in past demonstrations, we advise you to avoid the centre of Antananarivo, to exercise caution, and to keep an eye on news reports, as well as any information that may be posted on this website. Avoid any large gatherings or demonstrations.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

The Emergency Services (Police, Medical Emergency and Fire Service) number in Madagascar is 117.

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Madagascar, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Pretoria in South Africa.

If you phone outside of working hours, leave us a message giving:

  • Your name
  • The nature of your problem
  • Where you are now
  • Your contact details (mobile phone number or phone number of where you’re staying)

We regularly monitor these messages and one of our staff members will be in contact with you.

Other EU Embassies

You can also contact the Embassies or Consulates of other EU countries for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and security

Practical advice

  • Get advice locally about areas of risk and security concerns
  • Take common-sense precautions about safety and security
  • Know who to contact in case of an emergency

Political unrest

There has been political unrest in Madagascar since 2009, and the situation remains unpredictable. Although foreigners have not been targeted in past demonstrations, we advise you to avoid the centre of Antananarivo.

Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. And avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.

Crime

If you travelling to Madagascar you should take these sensible precautions to protect yourself against crime:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Madagascar, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Pretoria if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Madagascar, follow these basic guidelines:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Additional information

Health

Check with your doctor 8 weeks in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Madagascar.

More travel advice

Because we don’t have an Embassy or Consulate in Madagascar, we can’t give you up-to-date travel advice.

But you can visit these foreign ministries for more detailed information: