MADAGASCAR TRAVEL GUIDE
The fourth-largest island in the world was created more than 125 million years ago when a piece of the African mainland broke away and drifted into the Indian Ocean. Isolated from the mainland, this tropical Eden known as Madagascar, evolved into a safe haven for some of the most unusual life forms on earth - a zoologist’s dream island teeming with chameleons, mongoose and lemurs and an apothecary’s laboratory with precious medicinal plants and herbs.
Relatively undiscovered until a few decades ago by tourists, the ‘Great Red Island’ of Madagascar has seen an increase in tourist traffic with travellers discovering and appreciating the unique delight of virgin rain-forests, pristine beaches, warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean, sandy deserts and an astonishing array of unusual wildlife and truly impressive flora.
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MADAGASCAR QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Antananarivo
- Currency: ariary (MGA)
- Area: total: 587,040 km²
- Population: 26,26 million (2018)
- Language: Malagasy (national & official) French (official)
- Religion: Indigenous beliefs 52%, Christian 41%, Muslim 7%
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MADAGASCAR PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 8 March, Women’s Day
- 29 March, Martyrs’ Day
- 1 May, Labor Day
- 26 June, Independence Day
- 15 August, Assumption
- 14 October, First Republic Proclamation Day
- 1 November, All Saints’ Day
- 11 December, Fourth Republic Day
- 25 December, Christmas Day
Also, the Christian holidays of Easter, Easter Monday, Ascension, Whit Sunday, and Whit Monday.
MADAGASCAR WEATHER SYNOPSIS
In Madagascar, two seasons are recognised: a hot, rainy season from November to April and a cooler, dry season from May to October. The east coast has a sub-equatorial climate driven by easterly trade winds, along with the heaviest and most consistent rainfall, with a maximum of 3,700 mm annually. The west coast of the country is generally drier and is subject to significant coastal erosion. The southwest and the extreme south are semi-desert environments, receiving less than 800 mm of rainfall annually. The average annual temperatures vary between 23°C and 27°C along the coast and between 16°C and 19°C in the central mountains.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN MADAGASCAR
The best time for outdoor activities in Madagascar is from April to November. December to March can be very wet and is also the cyclone season.
BEACH OPTIONS IN MADAGASCAR
Madagascar has plenty of stunning beaches and no matter the time of the year, the weather should be good somewhere. February is the peak cyclone season, so you might want to avoid that. The best time to visit the beaches is from September to December.
SURFING IN MADAGASCAR
You can enjoy excellent surf somewhere in Madagascar all year round. The best time for consistent bigger swell is from March to November, but you'll find good smaller waves from December to April too.
KITESURF IN MADAGASCAR
Madagascar has great wind for wind and kitesurfing from March to November with the most consistent winds found from June to September. The most popular spots for kitesurfing are Sakalava, Babaomby and Anakao.
For more details on kite surfing in Madagascar expand this section!
HEALTH RISKS IN MADAGASCAR
Be aware of possible health risks in
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.