Tucked away off the coast of Africa, Madagascar doesn’t make it on many American tourists’ life lists — at least not yet. That may change as the country more fully develops its eco-tourism industry, assuming logging companies and assorted other extractive industries don’t “harvest” all of Madagascar’s pristine rainforests first.
Right now, while it’s somewhat difficult to get around the country, there’s enough of a tourist infrastructure to make it doable as long as you’re willing to deal with occasional inconveniences like delayed flights and rough roads, and more than enough gorgeous wilderness and exotic wildlife to make it worth your while.
In a recent article, New York Times’ travel writer Jeffery Gettleman explained the charms of Madagascar:
“Cut off from the mainland 160 million years ago, Madagascar is host to some of the rarest and most unusual flora and fauna in the world. There are hissing cockroaches, giant jumping rats, pygmy chameleons, moths as big as dinner plates, along with various kinds of lemurs. You’ll see odd, wavy plants growing out of the desert that look as if they belong underwater. In fact, there is so much uncharted life here that scientists are constantly discovering more…And there are also beaches, really good ones.”
Lemurs, beaches and a pirate graveyard? I’m in!
Before you go to Madagascar, you’ll need to do 2 things (not counting making travel reservations, packing, etc). First, check your passport. It must have an expiration date that’s at least 6 months after you plan on entering the country, plus at least one blank page in the back. Before your trip, renew your passport or add passport pages as necessary.
Second, do yourself a favor and get a visa ahead of time. Madagascar visas are available at the airport, but you should expect substantial delays. Mr. Gettleman of the New York Times described an excruciating wait at passport control, and offered the following advice to fellow travelers: “Get the visa ahead of time, even though Madagascar gives free tourist visas at the airport. We saw other tourists who had done this; they breezed right through.”
For instructions on how to get a Madagascar tourist visa, check out the instructions at the Madagascar Embassy’s website. Keep in mind that you may have connections in other countries and that they may also require you to have a visa. RushMyTravelVisa can research your itinerary and assist you in getting any transit visas you may need for your trip.
Need help getting a visa? Contact our visa experts today!