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WorldIndian OceanAfricaEast AfricaMadagascar
18°55.000'S, 047°31.000'E Chart icon.png
Capital Antananarivo
Language Malagasy, French. English also spoken.
Currency Malagasy Ariary (MGA)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
Calling code +261

Madagascar, or Republic of Madagascar (older name Malagasy Republic), is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The main island, also called Madagascar, is the fourth-largest island in the world, and is home to 5% of the world's plant and animal species, of which more than 80% are endemic to Madagascar. They include the lemur infraorder of primates, the carnivorous fossa, three bird families and six baobab species. At 587,041 km² (226,657.8 sq mi), Madagascar is the world's 46th-largest country and the fourth largest island. It is slightly larger than France and it also is one of 11 distinct physiographic provinces of the South African Platform physiographic division.

Madagascar's varied fauna and flora are endangered by human activity, as a third of its native vegetation has disappeared since the 1970s, and only 18% remains intact.

The eastern, or windward side of the island is home to tropical rainforests, while the western and southern sides, which lie in the rain shadow of the central highlands, are home to tropical dry forests, thorn forests, and deserts and xeric shrublands. Madagascar's dry deciduous rain forest have been preserved generally better than the eastern rainforests or the high central plateau, presumably due to historically low population density and scarce water supplies.


British Admirlty charts that cover Madagascar are
BA4701 - Maputo to Muqdisho
BA758 - Northern approach
BA3873 - Nosy Be to Iharana
BA3872 Nosy Be to Bembatoke
BA3871 - Bembatoke to Cap St Andre
BA3868 - Cap Kimby to Cap St Andre
BA3855 - Cap Kimby to Morombe
BA760 – South coast of Madagascar
BA1064 – Plans on the north east coast
BA1116 – Baie Diego Suarez
BA1002 – Detail Baie Diego Suarez
BA2871 – Nosy Be southern anchorages
BA706 – Iles Mitsio to Baie d'Ampasindava
BA704 – Moramba
BA701 – Baie de Bembatoke
BA2461 – Plans in the north west islands
BA692 – Rade de Tulear and Baie de St. Augustine

Note: Some of these charts may now be out of print or have changed numbers.


The Madagascar climate is tropical. The rainy season spans from November to March. The Southeast trade winds (which can be fairly strong at times) prevail until the end of October and thunderstorms can occur at this time. The cyclone "season" is from December to March on the east coast.

Weather links



Also see the Mozambique Channel


Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Any navigation notes here. If this section does not apply, remove it.



Initial entry into Madagascar must be made at a point of entry which are:

Hell-ville on Nosy Be is probably the best port to arrive at if arriving from the north, and Toliara (Tulear) if arriving from the south. If possible, have a prior Madagascan visa before arriving. However, a visa can be acquired on arrival. On clearing customs and immigration, have plenty of copies of boat and crew papers. One must leave your ship's papers, or preferrably a copy, at customs, immigration as well as the harbour master, although the situation may vary from place to place and time to time.

On arrival at a port of entry, you must visit the Port Captain, Police, Immigration, Customs and Health offices for clearance into the country. The following is required:

  • Detailed crew list
  • Passports
  • Port of call authorization - issued by nearest office of the Service de la Marine Marchande
  • Itinerary
  • Dates of entry and expected exit from Madagascar territorial waters
  • Point of departure



Customs and Immigration


LEMUR. Photo: David Dennis
  • Firearms and ammunition MUST be declared on arrival and these may be held in custody until your departure.
  • PETS: Animals are NOT allowed ashore.


Madagascar requires visas by all nationalities. These are best obtained in advance from Malagasy embassies or diplomatic offices (see the official website for their locations). A 90 day visa is usually granted. If sailing to Madagascar from neighbouring countries, there are consolutes in the Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion and Tanzania. Visas can be extended for up to two months by timeous application to the Ministry of Interior at a charge of 1500 MFr per month (July'08). You can download the visa application form HERE

Fees and Charges

  • 3 month multiple-entry visa = US$80 (July 2008).


Health and Security


  • While the AIDS epidemic has not reached the devastating level found in many southern African countries, it is widely assumed that the incidence of AIDS is underestimated and rising. You should take no risks and avoid unprotected sex in all cases.
  • If arriving from continental Africa, valid yellow fever and cholera vaccination certificates are required.
  • High risk of Malaria - Resistance to chloroquine is reported - Mefloquine prophylaxis is recommended.
  • Immunisation against typhoid and poliomyelitis is recommended.
  • Hepatitis A, B, and E are endemic.
  • Boil all water before use for any purpose.




Key to symbols: |Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data ||
Islands, Ports, & Anchorages
Diego Suarez (Antseranana)Diego Suarez (Antseranana)/wiki/Diego_Suarez Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data |
Europa IslandEuropa Island/wiki/Europa_Island Island icon – island |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Juan de NovaJuan de Nova/wiki/Juan_de_Nova Island icon – island |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Majunga Majunga /wiki/Majunga Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Nosy Be Nosy Be/wiki/Nosy_Be Island icon – island |
Hell-ville Hell-ville/wiki/Hell-ville Port of entry icon – port of entry |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Nosy Boraha Nosy Boraha/wiki/Nosy_Boraha Island icon – island |Needs data icon – needs data |
St Marie or AmbodifotatraSt Marie or Ambodifotatra/wiki/St_Marie Port of entry icon – port of entry |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data |
Russian Bay Russian Bay/wiki/Russian_Bay Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data |
Taolanaro (formerly Port Dauphin)Taolanaro (formerly Port Dauphin)/wiki/Taolanaro Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Needs data icon – needs data |
Toamasina Toamasina /wiki/Toamasina Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Needs data icon – needs data |
Toliara (Tulear)Toliara (Tulear)/wiki/Toliara Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Needs data icon – needs data |


Water port or marina name/wiki/Madagascar#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3Eport_or_marina_name.3C.2Fspan.3EWater icon port or marina name [[Madagascar#port or marina name|port or marina name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +xx (xxxx) xxxxxx
Electricity port or marina name/wiki/Madagascar#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3Eport_or_marina_name.3C.2Fspan.3EElectricity icon port or marina name [[Madagascar#port or marina name|port or marina name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +xx (xxxx) xxxxxx
Toilets ?
Showers ?
Laundry ?
Garbage ?
Fuel port or marina name/wiki/Madagascar#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3Eport_or_marina_name.3C.2Fspan.3EFuel icon port or marina name [[Madagascar#port or marina name|port or marina name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +xx (xxxx) xxxxxx
Bottled gas Give details on cooking gas (Camping Gaz, butane, propane, etc) suppliers. If there are no suppliers in the island just enter "None"
Chandlers chandler or marina name/wiki/Madagascar#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3Echandler_or_marina_name.3C.2Fspan.3EChandler icon chandler or marina name [[Madagascar#chandler or marina name|chandler or marina name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +xx (xxxx) xxxxxx
Repairs Service shop or marina name/wiki/Madagascar#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EService_shop_or_marina_name.3C.2Fspan.3EService icon Service shop or marina name [[Madagascar#Service shop or marina name|Service shop or marina name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +xx (xxxx) xxxxxx
Internet WiFi in ?
Mobile connectivity Is there mobile telephone signal such as G4, G3, GPRS on the island? How strong is the signal? Are there any blind spots?
Vehicle rentals Rental outlet/wiki/Madagascar#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3ERental_outlet.3C.2Fspan.3ECar icon Rental outlet [[Madagascar#Rental outlet|Rental outlet]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +xx (xxxx) xxxxxx


Give the names and locations of supermarkets, grocery stores, bakeries, etc..

Store name1/wiki/Madagascar#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EStore_name1.3C.2Fspan.3EProvisions icon Store name1 [[Madagascar#Store name1|Store name1]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +XX XXXX XXXXX.

Store name2/wiki/Madagascar#.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EStore_name2.3C.2Fspan.3EProvisions icon Store name2 [[Madagascar#Store name2|Store name2]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, location, tel. +XX XXXX XXXXX.

Eating out

Give the name of recommended restaurant, tavernas, pastry stores, etc.)

  • Location1
Name/wiki/Madagascar#.27.27.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EName.3C.2Fspan.3E.27.27Eatingout icon Name [[Madagascar#Name|Name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, tel. +XX XXXX XXXXX.
  • Location2
Name/wiki/Madagascar#.27.27.3Cspan_style.3D.22color:magenta_.22.3EName.3C.2Fspan.3E.27.27Eatingout icon Name [[Madagascar#Name|Name]] DD.dddDD.ddd description, tel. +XX XXXX XXXXX.


  • International flights to Madagascar generally either go to Antananarivo (TNR IATA) or Nosy Be (NOS IATA). Air Madagascar ("AirMad") is the national carrier and offers flights from Paris , Marseille and Guangzhou, Several other airlines servicing Madagascar
  • There are four rail lines in Madagascar
  • Madagascar's roads are almost all of very low grade (with the exception of 2 routes leading out of Tana). Many roads are studded with potholes and are quagmires in the rainy season
  • Taxi-brousse, or interurban shared taxi, is the way most natives travel around the country



For details see Madagascar at the Wikipedia.

Places to Visit

Most people visiting Madagascar do so for the wildlife, and there are a number of national parks and private reserves scattered throughout the country. Some are easier to reach than others - the dual National Park area is a few hours from the capital via a paved road, while other parks require days of driving and trekking to explore.

Scuba diving and snorkelling is exceptional in Nosy Be and is also possible in other areas like Toliara. Be aware that the nearest hyperbaric chamber lies across the Mozambique Channel, and that outside of Nosy Be scuba equipment may not be up to expected standards, so exercise caution and be careful to minimize risks when diving. The condition of corals varies from pristine at Nosy Tanikely to completely destroyed elsewhere, and depending on the time of year the visibility may exceed 30 metres or may be reduced to zero by the outflow from rivers, which, due erosion caused by deforestation, can turn the ocean brown. In the far north near Diego kitesurfing and windsurfing are exceptional between April and November when a constant 30 knot-wind makes the area one of the best surfing spots in the southern hemisphere. Kayaking and deep sea fishing are always rewarding water activities.

The WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg|UNESCO World Heritage site Rainforests of the Atsinanana is made up of six national parks along the eastern coast of Madagascar; Marojejy|National Park, Masoala National Park, Zahamena National Park, Ranomafana National Park, Andringitra National Park, and Andohahela National Park.


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