Madagascar Travel Information
The Madagascar authorities' decision (March 20) to
exclude all air traffic, both international and regional
flights, still applies. Traveling by ship is also not
possible. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has little
opportunity to assist Norwegian citizens who want help
returning to Norway. The official "state of health
exception" has been continued and this gives the
authorities wide powers and a number of restrictions on
movement have been maintained. Local flights are
currently stopped. For more information on the situation
and the authorities' actions, see the section Health.
The security situation in Madagascar is generally
worse today than before the crisis years following the
coup (2009-2013). But if you get into the situation
beforehand and take necessary precautions, you can
travel relatively safely over large parts of the island.
Due to political instability, social unrest and, to
some extent, extreme poverty, crime has become a growing
problem in Madagascar. The capital Antananarivo is safer
than many other major cities around the world, but
robberies, robberies and thefts are happening more often
now than before, especially in some downtown areas, in
markets and at bus and "taxi" stations.
Avoid large crowds and demonstrations. In general,
movement on foot outside hotels etc. should be avoided
after dark. Even for shorter distances it is recommended
to use taxi or own vehicle. Problems have also been
reported in some nature reserves (especially in the far
north) and on some beaches (especially in the Toliary
Use hotel safe for storing passports and valuables.
Limit the storage and exposure of cash/valuables when
In the rural areas of the south, the increased
activity of cattle thieves, who are now also engaged in
other forms of criminal activity, has major problems. As
a general rule, one should not resort to holiday trips
on bad roads in deserted areas.
- Countryaah: Antananarivo is the capital
of Madagascar. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
The danger of terrorist incidents in Madagascar is
considered low. In recent years, there have been a
greater number of financially motivated kidnappings, but
these mainly affect residents of Indian/Pakistani
Madagascar generally has a well-developed bus
transport system, but safety and comfort are far lower
than in Norway. Travelers should use their own
transport. Car hire with a driver is often no more
expensive than driving, and is recommended. Both the
road standard and the car park standard are generally
poor in Madagascar. It is encouraged to exercise great
caution in traffic, both for driving and pedestrians.
Avoid driving after dark.
The driver of the car is legally responsible if one
gets involved in an accident on the road. Travelers
themselves must consider how they will behave if they
are involved in an accident. Some people recommend
driving straight to the first police or gendarmerie post
if you have been involved in causing an accident,
whether you are the cause of the incident or not. This
is especially true outside of densely populated areas.
There are examples of people taking the law into their
own hands, with some very tragic consequences (for
example lynching). It is recommended to contact the
police (17 or 117) or gendarmerie (19 or 119) as soon as
Madagascar is a weathered country, and violent storms
often sweep across the island during the rainy season
that lasts from December to April. The floodwaters can
cause major material damage and make roads impassable.
Cyclones are most frequent on the east coast and the
northern tip of the island. Popular tourist destinations
such as Ile St. Marie and Nosy Be are in vulnerable
zones. It is emphasized that it is important to follow
directions and recommendations from local authorities,
especially during the rainy season.
When traveling to Madagascar you are encouraged to
register at reiseregistrering.no.
In Madagascar, Norway is officially represented
through the Embassy section of Antananarivo (subject to
the embassy in Pretoria), Consulate General of
Antananarivo and the Vice Consulate of Toamasina.
In crisis and emergency, it is recommended that you
contact the Consulate General of Antananarivo (tel: +261
340503401), possibly the Embassy section of Antananarivo
(tel: +261 349123419). Outside of office hours, UD's
24-hour operating center can be contacted on tel: +47 23
95 00 00 or by e-mail: UDops@mfa.no.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Norwegian citizens need a visa to stay in Madagascar.
In January 2020, a tourist visa could be obtained on
arrival at the airport. 30-, 60- or 90-day tourist visas
are purchased on arrival and paid in cash with USD,
Euros or local currency ariary. The issuance of a 30-day
tourist visa at the airport in Antananarivo cost 35
euros in January 2020.
Alternatively, you can apply for an e-visa, cf. Apply
for a visa.
The passport must have two free pages and must have
at least six months validity. Documentation on return or
forward travel must be able to be submitted.
Make sure that the entry stamp with the correct visa
period is stamped in the passport.
For visas in addition to short-term tourist stays, it
is recommended to consult Madagascar's official
information pages on the Internet, the website of the
Madagascar Consulate in Norway, and/or the website of
the Madagascar Embassy in Berlin.
All travelers abroad should take out their own travel
and health insurance before leaving. It is also
recommended to bring a valid vaccination card. It is the
traveler's responsibility to ensure that insurance and
vaccination cards are valid. Gassian authorities do not
allow the import of plants and most foods.
The export of most animal species such as reptiles,
shells, birds and plants is prohibited, unless a formal
export permit has been granted by the Gassian
authorities. There are special export restrictions for
cultural monuments. Travelers are encouraged to check
the government's regulations on the internet regarding
Coronavirus (covid-19): Since March
20, coronavirus has been detected in the country. The
spread of infection has now stabilized, but will soon
change. The Madagascar authorities' decision (March 20)
to exclude all air traffic, both international and
regional flights, continues to apply. Traveling by ship
is also not possible. Local flights are currently also
A "state of emergency" has been introduced, which
gives the authorities broad powers for action. The
restrictive measures have since April 20 been somewhat
softened, including the start-up of schools and the
reopening of public offices / services and the private
sector. Shops and restaurants are allowed to stay until
13:00, but there is still a curfew at 20:00 - 05:00.
Minibuses can carry a maximum of 18 passengers and
can operate outside the provinces. Taxis operate during
the day, but it is not allowed to travel from/ to three
of the major cities (including the capital). The
gathering of more than 50 people is still prohibited.
NB: The mask injunction is now strictly followed up.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has little
opportunity to assist Norwegian citizens who want help
returning to Norway. It is also not known at present
whether other European countries have specific plans for
evacuation. If Norwegian citizens want assistance for
return - if such an opportunity were to be opened, you
can contact the Consulate General of Antananarivo
(email@example.com or phone +261 340503401).
Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of the
development of the corona virus. Feel free to follow
local authorities' advice, guidance and instructions on
how to deal with the situation. For information from
Madagascar local authorities, cf. Situation coronavirus.
All travelers are advised to check with their
insurance company whether the travel insurance is valid,
given that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises
against travel that is not strictly necessary for all
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
The health situation in Madagascar is very poor, and
travelers should be aware that the possibility of
medical assistance in case of injury/illness is
considerably worse than in Norway. There is a nationwide
network of hospitals and clinics, but the standard is
varied and not the same as in Europe. Some may be
recommended for less severe illness or injury. In case
of serious illness, evacuation to La Reunion or South
Africa is recommended, ideally accompanied by health
care professionals. Therefore, valid travel insurance is
very important when traveling to Madagascar.
It is recommended to bring first aid equipment to
clean wounds and protect against further infections that
easily occur in tropical climates. There is a danger of
malaria in much of the country and it is recommended to
seek advice from a physician/health station before
departure about the need for malaria prophylaxis.
Remember that mosquito oil should always be included,
and that mosquito nets brought in can be useful when
traveling outside cities and major tourist spots. There
have been several measles epidemics in recent years.
Water directly from the tap should not be drunk, and
good food hygiene should be demonstrated.
Reference is also made to the Public Health Institute
for official health professional travel advice and
health professional guidance to Norwegians when
The area code for calls from Norway to Madagascar is
+261. The mobile telephone network is relatively well
developed, but some areas still do not have coverage,
and the different operators may have different coverage
rates. One should inquire in advance with their mobile
provider whether the mobile subscription can be used for
"roaming" in Madagascar and how much this costs. An
alternative is to buy a prepaid subscription from a
The tourism sector has undergone a great development
in recent years and there are accommodation options with
comfort and price adapted to all types of travelers.
There are internet cafes in most major cities and
tourist sites and wifi is also prevalent at better
hotels, restaurants and cafes in major cities and
Electricity: 220 volts. Sockets as in Norway.
The coin unit is ariary (MGA). Only major
Antananarivo hotels, restaurants and shopping centers
accept credit cards. Cash can be withdrawn from banks
and ATMs in major cities and at tourist destinations
such as Nosy Be (North-West) and Ile St. Marie. The most
widely used credit card is Visa, but Mastercard has also
been approved for a number of places. Only a minority of
banks accept Mastercard. It is recommended to include a
good foreign currency inventory (preferably euros).
There is no upper limit for the introduction of
currency, but must be stated upon entry as part of the
control of the black market. It should be noted that
very many still quote prices in the former currency
Gassian Franc (FMG). The exchange ratio is 5 FMG = 1
Normal opening hours for shops: From 09.00/10.00 to
18.00/19.00 (also Saturdays), supermarkets from 09.00 to
19.30 (all weekdays), Sundays 09.00 to 13.00, banks from
08.00 to 15.30 - closed Saturday/Sunday, offices and
shops are often closed in the middle of the day (noon -
The time difference to Norway is +1 hour (summer
time) +2 hours (winter time).
It is recommended to always wear your passport. ID
documents are becoming more and more frequent,
especially when traveling by car. Passports are the only
internationally valid identification paper. Keep a copy
of your passport, visa and insurance in a safe place.
Punishment for possession and use of drugs is mainly
in Madagascar as in Norway. The authorities have
introduced strict measures against "sex tourism",
especially in relation to the abuse of minors. The
penalty for buying sex is five to ten years in prison
In the capital many speak French, but English is
generally deficient. The gases dress relatively formally
in a work context, but less formally in restaurants and
in private. Please note, however, that the view of what
is fair dress code in public places is more conservative
than in Norway.
It is useful to note that gases place greater
emphasis on formal courtesy than Norwegians: greeting
when entering a store or passing someone in a room,
apologizing when bumping into someone, often using "s"
il vous plaît "and" merci "etc.