Madagascar Guide

Madagascar Guide

Country data

Location: South Africa

Time zone: CET + 2 (during summer time: CET + 1)

Total area: 587,041 km²

Land area: 581,540 km²

Water area: 5,501 km²

Length of the state border: 0 km

Coastline: 4,828 km

Capital: Antananarivo

Provinces: 6
Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, ​​Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Electricity: 110, 220 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 261 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Maromokotro 2,876 m


Population: approx. 23.2 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 2.6% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 40

Life expectancy: 64 (male), 67 (female)

Official language: French, Malagasy


  • 41% Christian
  • 7% Muslim
  • 52% other


The two most pronounced seasons are the rainy season (January-March) and the dry season (April-October).

Furthermore, the regions of Madagascar differ in terms of climate:


North and West Coast:

  • humid (26 ° C) rainy season
  • moderate dry season

East coast:

  • hot (28-35 ° C) and rainy summers
  • year-round trade winds

South coast:

  • very dry, with rare rainfall
  • pleasant temperatures (22-27 ° C)

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Ariary (MGA)

Classification: 1 ariary = 5 iraimbilanja

ATMs: some ATMs in Antananarivo.

International credit cards: These are rarely accepted. Mostly only VISA card.

Regulations: The local currency may be imported and exported up to an amount of 400,000 MGA.

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currencies that can be imported. The export is permitted in the amount of the declared import minus the exchanged amounts.

The exchange receipts are often checked.

It is not possible to exchange the local currency back!

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 500 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

In order to be able to export products from the arts and crafts, you need a certificate of their proper purchase. You should therefore make sure that you get this when you buy.

Travel advice

Since there are often bureaucratic problems and supply bottlenecks, trips to Madagascar are associated with increased problems.

There are already several indications that dubious travel guides address people at airports and in cities. Therefore, never trust strangers and only use official travel agencies in the big cities.

Behavioral advice

  • Do not entrust money or personal documents to strangers
  • avoid walks after dark
  • do not drive at night


Food and textile industries are the most important industries in Madagascar.

Tourism is not yet very well developed, but the government continues to promote it.

The main export goods include fishery products, cloves, coffee, vanilla, sugar, as well as graphite and nickel.

Industries: chemistry, iron and steel industry, electrical engineering, vehicle construction, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, textiles

Natural resources: bauxite, fish, graphite, semi-precious stones, coal, quartz, salt, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 4%
  • Grain cultivation: 1%
  • Pasture area: 41%
  • Forests: 40%
  • other: 14%


The originally widespread tropical rainforest has been pushed back by clearing and is now almost only found in the eastern part of the country.

With well over 8,000 different types of plants, Madagascar is a special travel destination for people who are interested in botany.


The ten national parks / nature reserves offer tourists a beautiful, species-rich fauna.

There are some animal species that only live in Madagascar, e.g. ten species of lemurs (Makia monkeys) and five species of birds (Corachidae, Cuas, Peewit, Roller Bird and Vangas).

Many different species of parrots, birds of prey and ornamental birds complete the picture.

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