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By No owner — last modified May 22, 2015 01:49 PM

 Madagascar - Formalities

Clearance

On approach, fly the 'Q' flag. Do not bother to call via VHF as the officials usually do not have working radios.

Officials do not come to the yacht and it is necessary to visit the relevant offices (Port Captain, Police, Immigration, Customs and Health) for clearance. Speaking French may be an advantage. However, some officials do know a little English.

On entry, the following information will be required: point of departure; itinerary; crew and passengers; a port of call authorization issued by nearest office of Service de la Marine Marchande; date of entry in and exit from Malagasy territorial waters.

It is necessary to both clear in and out at each port visited.

On leaving a port; ensure that you have an outward Clearance document and also a "Permis de Circulation."

Officials, apart from being slow and not always reliable, are normally not a problem. However, see the fees section on dealing with payment requests.

No agent is required.

Last updated November 2017.

Immigration

Passports must be valid for 6 months beyond your departure date.

Private yachts will need to present information about the vessel to the Port Authorities, including:
• port of previous departure
• itinerary (with specific dates)
• crew (and/or passenger) list
• port of call authorization issued by nearest office of Service de la Marine Marchande
• date of entry in and exit from Malagasy territorial waters

It is no longer possible to get a free 30 day visa on arrival.

For stays of up to 90 days, visas are available on arrival. Fees are as follows:
Ariary 91,000 (US$28.70) for a stay not more than 30 days;
Ariary 114,000 (US$35.88) for a stay between 30 days and 60 days; and Ariary 160,000 for a stay between 60 and 90 days.

After 90 days no visa extensions are possible. You will have to check out and do a run to Mayotte (or elsewhere). On return it is possible to reset the clock.

For those sailing to Madagascar from neighbouring countries and wanting to stay longer than 90 days, a visa in advance is required. The most convenient places to obtain a visa from a Malagasy Embassy are the Seychelles, Mauritius, Réunion or Tanzania. (There is some confusion that some Consulates are not authorized to issue certain types of visas, including long-term tourist visas. Contact the individual Consulate for more information.) The visa application form and more specific information is available at the Malagasy Embassy website.

Last updated November 2017.

Madagascan Embassy
Magoret Street 135 - PO Box 5254 , Dar Es Salam , Tanzania
Tel:+(255) 51 412-92
Madagascan Embassy
Avenue Queen Mary Floreal , Port Louis , Mauritius
Tel:+(230 ) 6 50 15
Madagascar Consulate
39 Angles rues Macaulife et Juliette Dodu , 97461 Saint Denis , Isle Reunion
Tel:+(262) 210521
Madagascar Embassy
B.P. 68 Plaisance , Mahe , Seychelles
Tel:248 3 40 30
Madagascar Embassy
90 B Tait Street, Colbyn, Pretoria 002 , P.O. BOX 11722, Queenswood 0121, Pretoria, South Africa
Tel:+(27) 123 42 09 83 Fax:+(27) 123 42 09 95

Customs

Firearms must be declared and may be impounded for the duration of the stay.

Foreign fruit and vegetables will need to be declared.

Non-residents may take up to one kilogram of precious and semi-precious stones out of the country provided proper receipts are produced.

You may only take 100 grams of vanilla out of the country.

Last updated November 2017.

Health

Update October 2017: There is currently an outbreak of pneumonic and bubonic plague in Madagascar. See the CDC website for more information.

Update August 2016: An outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Reunion and Rodrigues has resulted in strict food import restrictions. See this Noonsite report
Any meat or dairy products may be destroyed.

If coming from continental Africa, yellow fever and cholera vaccination certificates will be required.

Immunisation against typhoid and poliomyelitis is often recommended.

Malaria risk, predominantly in the malignant falciparum form, exists all year throughout the country and is highest in coastal areas. Resistance to chloroquine has been reported. The recommended prophylaxis is mefloquine.

All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated and should be boiled before its use in any form.

Hepatitis A, B, and E are endemic and precautions are advised.

It must also be noted that Madagascar has the highest number of cases of bubonic plague in the world (500 annually) including some fatalities.

Last updated October 2017.

Documents

If visiting another port in Madagascar, ensure that you have a "Permis de Circulation" as well as an outward clearance document.

Fees

There may be a charge of 35,000 Ar (~US$10) for your exit papers (Maritime Clearance). Ask for a receipt.

Bribed are sometimes a part of life in Madagascar. For advice on how to deal with other requests (bribes) for payment see the Noonsite report.

Last updated November 2017.

Restrictions

Military and police establishments must not be photographed.

There are random police vehicle checkpoints throughout Madagascar, so all visitors should carry photo identification in the event of police questioning. These check points are routine in nature, and should not result in vehicle and/or person searches as long as valid identification is shown.

Walking at night, whether alone or in a group is not considered safe in urban areas, including in tourist areas.

It is now possible to get authorisation to visit the Glorieuses Islands, which are administered by France as part of the îles Eparses (Scattered Islands).

Last updated November 2017.

Local Customs

In some parts of Madagascar, aspects of daily life are regulated by taboos, known as fady. These vary from one region to another. Fady can range from forbidden foods to restrictions in clothing. Some areas subject to fady may be forbidden to foreigners, but these are mainly in remote parts of the country. If you intend to visit remote areas, seek advice first.

Pets

Pets must have fully updated vaccines and an official record must be shown on arrival. Even with all arrangements made, pets may not be allowed to land.

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 22, 2015 01:49 PM

The Madagascar relay station for the Peri-Peri net has now closed. Although no longer resident in Madagascar, Ex-Net Controllers Des and Nell Cason of SY Gambit are happy to offer advice to cruisers visiting the country. They have sailed this area extensively and welcome the opportunity to stay involved in the well being of fellow sailors. Contact them by E-mail at sygambit(at)gmail(dot)com

Paul Rae
Paul Rae says:
Aug 21, 2014 05:57 AM

Just a word of caution, we are in Deigo Suarez, Madagascar in the commercial port anchorage and had an intruder on our boat around 0200. He was trying to steal our portable generator. He had a knife and was able cut the lines securing it, before he was scared off the boat. He had a friend waiting for him in a small dugout outrigger. He also stole lines off the boat. So please be very careful here.

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