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Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

Ashford, United...
Level Contributor
1 post
4 reviews
Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

I am hopefully going to stay on Nosy Be on a marine conservation course for 5 or 6 weeks. I read that in 2012 there were riots in Tana & I know that the country isn't politically stable. I was just wondering if anyone had been recently and if they had an inkling of what is going on (UK foreign office advice isn't fab). Basically is it safe to go to Nosy Be & spend a few days in Tana?

Also I have heard bad things about air Madagascar. Is it worth using them?

In addition are there any unmissable things to do in Madagascar?

Also I read that getting money out in Madagascar can be tricky as you can't always use a debit card -what would you recommend?

Thanks Everyone

83 replies to this topic
Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Algonquin Provincial Park
Level Contributor
1,522 posts
981 reviews
1. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

I was there in the fall and I felt very safe. As always things change especially if there is an election but when I was there it was very peaceful.

There are ATMs in major cities, but it is a cash society.

Level Contributor
2 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

I grew up in Madagascar and I have been back to visit a couple times since, the last time was in 2001. As far as air travel goes, I think that the last time Air Madagascar had a crash was in 1963 and while the cleanliness of the planes etc is not what one would expect in the U.S., all flights are pretty short. Generally there is no assigned seating so it is first come first served and jogging across the tarmac to the stairs to get a better seat is pretty funny.

IMO, personal safety is not an issue, but watching your money and personal belongings is important. It is important not to wear flashy jewelry and not to display a lot of cash.

Antananarivo...
Destination Expert
for Madagascar
Level Contributor
281 posts
35 reviews
3. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

It is perfectly safe to go. Being a local and travel professional, I am very sad about the negative buzz around the destination since as far as I know tourists have never been a target unless they were looking for trouble.

Having travelled all over the world, Madagascar is much safer than many very popular destinations.

Air Madagascar is OK, just be prepared to get a flight delay or cancellation... same situation as you would have experienced in the U.S with Jet Blue a few years ago.

A good article to summarize the situation :

…blogspot.ca/2012/03/is-madagascar-dangerous…

Fort Dauphin...
Destination Expert
for Madagascar
Level Contributor
346 posts
50 reviews
4. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

Hi, I first visited Madagascar in 1987, then lived there on and off through the 90's and moved there and lived there full time from 1999 to 2010 and in that time I never ever felt in any way unsafe. I must admit though that I am a naturally cautious person and my instincts keep me away from large groups, off the streets at night, etc. I am moving back to Madagascar this year after three years absence. You don't say when you will be there but during election time I recommend that you stay away from political gatherings etc, and, really, for me, I will stay out of Tana during that time. Most important thing for all overseas travellers to any destination is to register with your embassy and give them a means to contact you should there be any need to. You'll love Madagascar, enjoy. Nosy Be is a very well visited place very accustomed to tourism. You can use debit cards in ATMs in just about any major town in the country, certainly you can use them in Tana and Nosy Be... Most banks accept VISA card and the BNI Bank accepts MasterCard debit card. I go every year and use an Australian issued MasterCard debit card and have never had a problem. Don't expect to be able to pay in restaurants and bars etc though, you can only get cash from an ATM, and don't forget the usual advise to advise your bank that you will be travelling and tell them where you will be. It's hideous when they put a stop on your card !!

Sydney, Australia
2 posts
5. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

What is cheapest way to go there from australia??? How cheap is good accomodation etc. How to get there from Sydney?

Edited: 12:36 am, March 13, 2013
Fort Dauphin...
Destination Expert
for Madagascar
Level Contributor
346 posts
50 reviews
6. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

Ciarandoylo if you would like to create a new topic with that question I will gladly answer. This topic is about Malaria.

Saint Petersburg
13 posts
7. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

Hi ciarandoylo,

You can find the best and cheapest flight from Australia to Madagascar on skyscanner.com

Good luck!

Karel

Morris, MN USA
Level Contributor
9 posts
7 reviews
8. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

I am planning to travel to Madagascar in May for work. A friend of mine who used to live in Madagascar advised me to dye my hair dark (I am of Swedish heritage and am very blond, with blue eyes). Is this just paranoia, or is it good advice?

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Algonquin Provincial Park
Level Contributor
1,522 posts
981 reviews
9. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

WHY??? I was only there 3 weeks but I think is crazy!

Morris, MN USA
Level Contributor
9 posts
7 reviews
10. Re: Is it safe to go to Madagascar?

OK! That's what I thought, too, which is why I asked the question in this forum. Thanks for confirming, OntarioCanuck!

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