Madagascar

SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY AND SECURITY

BATTERIE BEACH

Violent attacks have occurred on Batterie Beach, north of Toliara. Some of these attacks have resulted in fatalities.

Risk level for Batterie Beach

ANOSY REGION

Violent incidents involving cattle rustlers have occurred in the Anosy Region of southeast Madagascar. Tensions remain high.

Exercise extreme caution and maintain a high level of personal security awareness when travelling here.

DEMONSTRATIONS

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to 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

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

CRIME

Crime is widespread in Madagascar. Armed gangs are known to commit home invasions and kidnappings, and to stalk areas where foreigners congregate.

Robberies and break-ins, often violent, occur, especially in and around Antananarivo, but also in rural and isolated areas. Muggings, purse snatchings and pickpocketing also occur. 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
  • the Café de La Gare
  • 67 Hectares
  • Itaosy
  • Antaninarenina
  • Tsaralalana

Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times, especially in airports and crowded places.

Keep valuables (such as electronic devices, jewels and expensive sunglasses) out of sight. Do not use your cell phone while walking or while driving. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

ASSAULTS

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

Violent assaults have been reported on the island of Sainte Marie (also known as Nosy Boraha), at Pic Saint Louis in Tôlanaro (formerly Fort Dauphin) and on Batterie Beach. Avoid visiting these areas alone.

ON THE ROAD

Armed attacks occur on main highways, especially at night and particularly between Fianarantsoa and Toliara in the south. Avoid driving on Route nationale 13 (RN13), where there have been attacks on vehicles; the portion of RN13 between Ihosy and Fort Dauphin is particularly dangerous. Flying is recommended over driving. Theft from vehicles occurs frequently. Thieves target cars stuck in traffic for smash-and-grab robberies. When driving, windows should be closed, doors locked and valuables out of sight.

NATIONAL PARKS AND BEACHES

Be extremely vigilant when visiting national parks. Armed gangs are known to assault tourists in isolated areas, such as beaches and national parks.

Do not visit parks alone.

Seek advice from your tour operator or the park administration to enlist the services of a national guide accredited by the Ministry of Tourism. They must show you their badge.

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

There are no decompression chambers in Madagascar.

PIRACY

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

Live piracy report – International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

ROAD SAFETY

Exercise caution when driving in Madagascar. Most rental agencies only rent cars with drivers. If you must drive, do so only during the day and in a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Road conditions vary throughout the country.

Rural roads are poorly marked. Bridges are frequently washed away. Pedestrians and roaming animals, as well as slow-moving and poorly maintained vehicles, pose hazards.

Road conditions may get worse during the rainy season, especially in the northern provinces. Before setting out, confirm with local authorities that the chosen route is passable.

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.

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 and carry your passport with you at all times.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Public transportation (including small buses known as bush taxis or “taxis brousse”) is unreliable and should only be used during daytime hours. Vehicles are poorly maintained. Urban transportation in regional towns generally ceases operations in the early evening. Taxis can be used for short distances in Antananarivo but are scarce outside of the capital, where local alternatives such as “taxi be” and “taxi brousse” are the primary means of public transportation.

Rail services are extremely limited and unreliable.

AIR TRAVEL

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

General information about foreign domestic airlines

GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not walk around after dark. Tourist facilities are available but vary in quality.

Travel outside of Antananarivo at night is not recommended.