Madagascar travel advice

Latest updates: Safety and security – removed information about parliamentary elections

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Risk level

Madagascar - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Madagascar due to the high crime rate and the potential for political instability.

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Safety and security


Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common throughout the country. Be particularly vigilant in areas frequented by tourists in Antananarivo, specifically:

  • the steps leading to the Rova
  • the Avenue de l’Indépendance
  • the Analakely market
  • the road leading to the Soarano train station
  • 67 Hectares
  • Itaosy
  • Antaninarenina
  • Tsaralalana

During your stay:

  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • ensure that your personal belongings are secure at all times, including your passport and your other travel documents
  • avoid showing signs of affluence or wearing expensive jewelry
  • do not leave valuables or bags unattended
  • avoid carrying large sums of cash
  • only use a reputable tour operator
  • avoid walking after dark

Violent crime

There are reports of violent crime across all regions of Madagascar. Armed gangs are known to commit home invasions, carjackings, robberies, and kidnappings. Foreigners have been targeted in urban areas as well as in rural and isolated areas. Theft from vehicles occurs frequently. Thieves target cars stuck in traffic for smash-and-grab robberies.

During your stay:

  • do not travel after dark
  • choose a well secured accommodation
  • make sure you lock doors and windows at night and when you’re away
  • always lock your car doors and windows
  • keep valuables out of sight and reach
  • avoid confrontation
  • if attacked, don’t resist


There have been reports of attacks and robberies by persons representing themselves as “guides”, particularly on beaches and in coastal tourist areas.

Violent assaults have been reported in:

  • the island of Sainte Marie (also known as Nosy Boraha)
  • Ihosy
  • Pic Saint Louis in Tôlanaro (formerly Fort Dauphin)
  • Toliara, especially in Batterie Beach
  • Nosy Be
  • Ankify port
  • Ambanja
  • Anosy region
  • Isalo

Avoid visiting these areas alone and seek local advice on the security situation prior to visiting


Demonstrations are frequent in Madagascar. Violent clashes between demonstrators and police have occurred. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. There is an increased risk of civil unrest during election periods. Demonstrations can also lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

National parks and beaches

Armed gangs are known to assault tourists in isolated areas, such as beaches and national parks.

  • Be extremely vigilant when visiting such areas
  • Do not visit parks and beaches alone
  • Seek advice from your tour operator
  • Only enlist the services of a national guide accredited by the Ministry of Tourism
  • Ask to see the accredited guide’s badge


Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year.

Sharks are present, particularly in the Tamatave and Manakara areas.

Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.

Water safety abroad

Women safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Advice for women travellers

Road safety

Road safety is a major security risk in Madagascar. Fatal accidents are common, and they often involve pedestrians. Police assistance and emergency rescue services are limited in rural areas.

Road conditions

Road conditions vary thorough the country and are often in poor condition, especially in rural areas.

Driving can be dangerous due to:

  • poorly maintained road and potholes
  • stray livestock
  • lack of signage
  • pedestrian walking on main roads
  • insufficient or non-existent lighting and vehicles not using their headlights
  • poorly maintained vehicles

Driving conditions, especially in the northern provinces, may be hazardous during the rainy season from November to April.

If you choose to drive in Madagascar:

  • avoid driving after dark
  • only undertake land travel outside major cities in a four-wheel-drive vehicle
  • rent a car with a hired driver as overland travel can be hazardous
  • during rainy season, confirm with local authorities that the chosen route is passable

Driving habits

Drivers do not always respect traffic laws. They often drive at excessive speeds and have little consideration for pedestrians and other drivers’ right of way. Drinking and driving may occur at any time of the day or night.Traffic accidents can quickly draw large and sometimes violent crowds. Remain calm if there is a dispute, particularly in a public place. If threatened by a large crowd, seek direct intervention of local police.


Armed attacks occur on main highways, especially at night and particularly:

  • on Route nationale 13 (RN13)
  • between Fianarantsoa and Toliara on Route nationale 7 (RN7)
  • bewteen Ihosy and Fort Dauphin on Route nationale 13 (RN13)

For some itineraries, flying can be a safer option.


Local authorities occasionally set up roadblocks throughout the country. These checkpoints are routine and could result in vehicle and/or person searches.

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Remain calm and courteous
  • Carry your passport with you at all times

Public transportation

Public transport services are limited and not all are safe.


Official taxis can be used for short distances in Antananarivo but are scarce outside of the capital.

Multi-passenger taxis, known as “taxis brousse”, should be avoided as they are often involved in traffic accidents, pose a risk of robbery and are poorly maintained.

  • Avoid hailing taxis on the street
  • Use airport and hotel taxis
  • Never share a taxi with strangers
  • Make sure the driver doesn’t pick up other passengers along the way to your destination
  • Note driver’s name and plate number
  • Ask the driver to start the meter or negotiate the fare in advance
  • Have small bills ready for payment


You should avoid buses, locally known as “taxi be”. They are unsafe, overcrowded and frequently involved in accidents


Rail services are extremely limited, slow, often overcrowded and unreliable.

Marine transportation

Armed robberies occurred against tourist boats on the Tsiribihina River. You should avoid this area and seek alternative routes.

Ferry accidents occurred due to poor maintenance, overcrowding, lack of security equipment and measures.

If you choose to travel by ferry:

  • make sure the vessel you are boarding is carrying appropriate safety equipment and that life jackets are provided for all passengers and accessible at all times
  • don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy
  • verify the safety standards of ferries with your tour operator
  • avoid using water transportation during bad weather conditions


Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from Madagascan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.


Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you enter Madagascar.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links


Tourist visa: required for stays longer than 15 days up to 90 days
Business visa: required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: required

You can obtain a 30 or 60 day tourist visa upon arrival at the Antananarivo airport. Airport visa processing times can be lengthy, and you must present:

  • your passport with two blank pages 
  • a return ticket
  • payment in cash, in USD, euru or Malagasy ariary

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.


  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.


Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.


Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.


 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.


Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.

Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination.
Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

 If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 


In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Polio – WHO Temporary Recommendations

Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Wild poliovirus (WPV1) and/or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV1 or cVDPV3)) is/are present in this destination.

This destination is subject to Temporary Recommendations under the World Health Organization’s polio Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).  

Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.


  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
  • Make sure that the polio vaccinations are documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination. It is provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.
  • Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.

Proof of vaccination:

  • Travellers who are visiting for longer than 4 weeks may be required to receive a dose of polio vaccine 1 to 12 months before they leave this destination. This may be required even if you have previously received all the recommended polio vaccine doses as part of the routine vaccine schedule in Canada.
  • Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.


Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  


There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and rural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.


There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Rift Valley fever

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can be fatal. It is spread to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, from the bite of an infected mosquito, or eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from insect bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock, and unpasteurized dairy. There is no vaccine available for Rift Valley fever.

Lymphatic filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.


There is a risk of plague in this country. Plague is a bacterial disease that can cause serious illness, and if left untreated, death.

The occurrence of cases in areas where the plague bacteria are known to circulate can be influenced by weather and environmental conditions. In some countries, this results in seasonal outbreaks.
Travellers to areas where plague routinely occurs may be at risk if they are camping, hunting, or in contact with rodents.

Plague is spread by:

  • bites from fleas infected with the plague
  • direct contact with body fluids or tissues from an animal or person who is sick with or has died from plague

Overall risk to travellers is low. Protect yourself by reducing contact with fleas and potentially infected rodents and other wildlife.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  


Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited in Antananarivo and extremely limited outside the capital.

Immediate cash payment is expected in private clinics. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation will be necessary. Medical transport is very expensive, and payment is often required up front.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety


Some prescription medications may not be available in Madagascar. 

If you take prescription medications, you’re responsible for determining their legality in the country. 

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you 
  • Always keep your medication in the original container 
  • Pack them in your carry-on luggage 
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.


Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Dress and behavior

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively, including on some beaches
  • avoid kissing in public
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions
  • seek advice from locals on customs and traditions, as they can vary from one area to another
  • seek permission from locals before photographing them

Camouflage clothing

It is an offence for civilians to dress in camouflage or other military-style clothing. Wearing military-style clothing can lead to detention and fines.

Child sex tourism

It's a serious criminal offence to have sex with minors in Madagascar.

Travelling for the express purpose of having sex with children or prostitutes in Madagascar is punishable by prison sentences of 5 to 10 years and heavy fines.

Canadians may also be subject to criminal proceedings in Canada for acts of this nature committed while abroad.

Child Sex Tourism: It’s a Crime


An export permit is required for the following items:

  • precious or semi-precious stones and gold
  • jewels
  • wooden sculptures, including funerary statues
  • hewed stones
  • vanilla
  • rare fossils
  • food
  • protected plants and animals, including butterflies and crocodile products

If you need more information on customs requirements, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Madagascar

Articles to declare – Madagascan customs (in French)

Foreign Representatives in Canada


Photography of military and government installations is prohibited.


You must carry your passport on you at all times. If you are stopped by police, they will not accept certified copies.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Madagascar’s law doesn’t prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not socially tolerated.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Madagascar.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Madagascar.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Madagascar, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Madagascar.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Madagascar by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Madagascar to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links


You can drive in Madagascar with your Canadian driver’s licence or with an international driving permit (IDP) for up to 3 months. For stays longer than 3 months, you can apply for a local driving licence at the Ministry of the Interior. To do so, you must present an IDP or Canadian driver’s licence.

Traffic drives on the right.

Yield the right of way to vehicles coming from the left.

Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are severe.

An accident causing injury or death leads to a mandatory court case. The losing party is required to pay all costs. If you are involved in such an incident, you must stay in Madagascar at your own expense until the case is resolved.

International Driving Permit


The currency is the Malagasy ariary (MGA).

Euros are widely accepted. United States dollars are sometimes accepted in Antananarivo, major cities and tourist areas.

Madagascar has a cash-based economy. You can make cash withdrawals from a limited number of ATMs in Antananarivo.

Some credit cards are accepted at major hotels, some restaurants and shops.

There is a shortage of foreign currency in Madagascar due to an ongoing economic crisis. Some banks will not reconvert local currency to hard currency.

Upon arrival, you must declare your foreign currency in excess of 10,000 euros. You may not export MGAs.

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Natural disasters and climate

Climate change 

Climate change is affecting Madagascar. Extreme and unusual weather events are becoming more frequent and may affect your travel plans. Monitor local news to stay informed on the current situation

Rainy season

The rainy season extends from November to April. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce provision of essential services. Some roads may become impassable during this period.

  • Monitor local news and weather reports
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

Madagascar General Direction of Meteorology – Government of Madagascar (in French)


The cyclone season occurs from November to April.

If you decide to travel to Madagascar during this time:

  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator

Useful links

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 117 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

The Consulate of Canada in Antananarivo has temporarily suspended its operations. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the High Commission of Canada in South Africa, in Pretoria.
Pretoria - High Commission of Canada
Street Address1103 Arcadia Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0083, South AfricaPostal AddressPrivate Bag X13, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0028, South AfricaTelephone+27 12 422 3000Emailpret-consul@international.gc.caInternet Commission of Canada in South AfricaTwitterCanada in SAConsular district

South Africa, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in South Africa, in Pretoria, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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