Visa and entry requirements Madagascar:
German citizens need a visa to enter Madagascar, which will be issued on arrival at Antananarivo International Airport, but also at any other international airport for stays up to 90 days.
Information from the Foreign Office on her trip to Madagascar:
Madagascar is an island off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean with about 26 million inhabitants. It is the second largest island country in the world after Indonesia and the fourth largest island in the world.
The two official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French, the national currency is the Madagascar Ariary, with 1, - Euro corresponding to around 4.000 MAG.
The island's largest cities include Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Toamasina, Mahajanga, Fianarantsoa, Antsiranana, Toliara, Ambovombe, Antanifotsy and Mananara Avaratra.
The central interior consists of a plateau with an average height of 1.100 meters. The highest elevation of the island nation is the Maromokotro with its 2.876 meters. Madagascar has a tropical climate, so the island is often hit by cyclones.
Madagascar is home to a unique flora and fauna due to its long geographical isolation from the mainland, 90 million years ago. The most common lemur species, ring-tailed lemurs or the well-known special Madagascan baobab tree, for example, only occur here. Other typical species of fauna are Madagascar frogs, fossa, tenreks, mongooses, fanaloka, elephant birds, giant lemurs, fanaluk and little grebes.
Madagascar is a developing country and one of the poorest countries in the world. High population growth is much faster than low economic growth and thus lowers per capita income. The main exports of Madagascar are fish, coffee, vanilla, cloves, sugar, nickel and graphite.
The capital and largest city of Madagascar is Antananarivo with about 2,2 million inhabitants. The city lies at an altitude of around 1.400 meters above sea level and is also the geographical, industrial, economic and administrative center of Madagascar.
The main attractions of Antananarivo include the old royal palace Rova, the lemur park, the pirate museum, the Croc Farm, Ambohimanga, the Antsirabe cathedral, the Lily waterfall, the old main train station - Gare de Soarano, the Analakely market, the catholic cathedral Andohalo, the Church de Faravohitra, the Tribes Monument, the Art Gallery, the Street of Independence, the Madarail, the Tsimbazaza Zoo and the open-air market.
In September 2018 I visited the island of Madagascar for the first and only time. My three day stay was packed with two outstanding tours.
The first day we went to Andasibe's Zahamena National Park, four hours away. To do this, I booked a private day trip on the Internet at “Tripadvisor” for EUR 200 in a relatively comfortable car, with a driver and an English-speaking tour guide. About an hour before the national park we stopped at a chameleon farm. This small zoo was very impressive and had almost 30 different types of these exciting specimens to offer.
Arrived later in the national park, I had to walk around seven kilometers on foot, with light rain, through the park's not always paved paths. My shoes were obviously not prepared for such a weather and I tried to protect them from the wet as much as possible with every step. You could see some climbing lemurs at a height of around 20 meters, various types of birds and a very interesting chameleon. Actually this specimen was really world class camouflaged, but apparently not good enough and was promptly discovered by my tour guide. For me it was actually a normal thin tree trunk and I would have guaranteed to have continued without this exciting discovery.
Next to the national park was the country's largest private lemur park. The many creatures typical of Madagascar were represented in the park with a total of ten different species and mostly super tame and funny. At the end, this visit was a lot of fun and provided lots of nice photos before the long return trip.
All in all, it was a very successful 15-hour excursion, which in the end also absolutely justified the price.
For the following day I booked a city tour of Antananarivo to see all the major attractions of the capital. I originally planned to visit the city alone, but I was strongly advised against it in my hotel.
Despite the unique landscape and the impressive wildlife of Madagascar, the country looked extremely poor and it was unfortunately practically impossible for me to walk through the capital alone due to the high crime rate.
After everything had gone perfectly during my stay in Madagascar, despite some concerns, the bad end came at the end. After a very exciting two-hour drive through the heavy traffic to the airport of Antananarivo, with many beautiful final photos from the roadside, I was shocked briefly after arriving at the departure counter.
My flight to St. Denis on the island of Reunion, with its local airline "Air Austral", was canceled for the evening and postponed until the next morning. The only problem is that the next day at 9 a.m. my next flight to the Seychelles was planned, which only operates once a week and I originally only wanted to spend a few hours overnight on the French island. Since I definitely could no longer reach this flight to the Seychelles, I therefore no longer needed to go to Reunion.
Now, however, the real difficulties began, because nobody spoke English at the airport and, despite all attempts, there was no internet connection for travelers. I was therefore unable to explain to any airline employee that my entire trip was now broken and that I no longer needed a flight to St. Denis.
At that moment, proverbial advice was really expensive and I was completely on my own.
First I sat down in the only airport bar and started thinking about an oversized bottle of beer. After this almost drinkable local drink, I asked on the large display board about all outbound departures over the next 24 hours. Of the total of eight flights for the next day, two flew to France and Reunion, one to Mauritius, one to Johannesburg, one to the Comoros and one to Nairobi.
So in my opinion the only sensible flight to get to the Seychelles as quickly as possible was via Kenya and so I immediately went to the "Kenya Airways" counter.
After waiting about two hours in front of this counter and realizing that this office might never be occupied, I had to come up with a new plan. In any case, there was no "Kenya Airways" employee to be seen, even though the next flight on this line was ready in three to four hours.
In the meantime, I was on the phone with a friend in Germany and asked about a possible connection from Nairobi to the Seychelles. After only a three-hour stay in Kenya's capital, the next day would actually start a flight to the Seychelles island of Mahe, what a stroke of luck in this situation.
Still without an idea how I could book this darn flight, I next ran to the night flight departure counter and waited for it to open. After waiting around an hour again, I was the first to check in and somehow tried to buy a ticket there. But I was immediately referred to the airline's office, only there you could allegedly buy a flight. So I went to this "Kenya Airways" office again and it was closed again.
In the meantime I was really annoyed by this whole process, but nevertheless I tried to keep my head cool because I wanted to get away from here and slowly, the less and less time was playing against me.
After further consideration, I realized that the flight to Kenya at two in the morning and a flight with “Air France” to Paris, shortly after midnight, started in a relatively short period of time.
I also knew that "Kenya Airways" and "Air France" work together with the same frequent flyer program "Flying Blue".
The Air France counter was now open and even occupied by one person. My last hope was that I would be able to book my flight there without the internet using the worldwide booking program "Amadeus".
So I visited the English-speaking woman at the Air France counter and briefly described my problem with the question whether she could book my Kenya Airways flight in her system. After she answered yes to my question without hesitation, it was a real moment of happiness and a great relief for me.
The nice lady booked my flight from Antananarivo to the Seychelles for a somewhat unexpectedly small amount of "only" 330 euros, with a stopover in Nairobi.
After thanking for the friendly help and support hundreds of times afterwards, I was in the end glad to finally be able to leave the country of Madagascar.