Security and health

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Madagascar. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.

It is also recommended that Australian travellers register your travel and contact details, before travelling, on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.

Security

Madagascar is a very poor country, where over 60 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. The security situation has deteriorated as people explore all ways of making money, including sponsored muggings, kidnappings for ransom and cattle rustling.

Expect beggars to swarm around and some people may accost foreigners with wide ranging services and then demand payment, especially in the urban areas.

For meetings it is advisable to book a car with a driver from a reputable agency and avoid walking on the roads unaccompanied after sunset.

Health

Water quality country wide is likely to be contaminated, so it is preferable to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice. Vegetables should be cooked, fruit peeled and ensure all food is well cooked, especially meat and fish.

Possible health issues:

  • Food or waterborne diseases – bacterial diarrhoea, hepatitis A and typhoid fever
  • Vectorborne diseases – malaria and dengue fever
  • Water contact disease – schistosomiasis  
  • Animal contact disease – rabies (occasional cases).

Vaccinations need to be taken for some of these and other conditions prior to travel. Consult your health care provider or the World Health Organisation.

When travelling to remote and rural areas ensure you pack medication for stomach upsets, those prescribed by your doctor and mosquito repellent, as could be limited.