It’s important to exercise caution and stay informed when traveling to any foreign country, including Madagascar. While Madagascar generally has a lower crime rate compared to some other African countries, it’s true that political instability can contribute to certain security challenges. While it’s important to be aware of potential risks, it’s also worth noting that many travelers visit Madagascar without encountering any major issues. By staying informed, using common sense, and taking necessary precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in this unique and beautiful country.
Most criminal activity is non-violent petty theft, pickpocketing, and other crimes of opportunity predominately in urban areas and in crowded markets. Violent crime, such as armed robbery and assault, occurs throughout Madagascar, particularly after dark, in remote areas, and along major national roads in the south and western areas of the country.
If you decide to travel to Madagascar:
- Avoid walking alone, especially after dark.
- Do not travel on the roads between cities after dark.[SJ3]
- Be aware of your surroundings. Thefts of items from vehicles is common and may involve ruses or distraction, particularly when stuck in traffic.
- Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.
- Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Country Security Report for Madagascar.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
Violent highway robberies and car thefts have been reported, especially on major roads like RN7, RN27, RN10, and RN1B. When traveling by road, avoid stopping in isolated areas, and do not leave your car unattended.
Reconsider travel to the following areas due to violent crime and banditry:
- The area in and around the city of Tsaratanana in the Betsiboka Region;
- The area along the unnamed road connecting the city of Tsiroanomandidy in the Bongolava Region with the coastal city of Maintirano in the Melaky Region; and
- The area in and around the city of Betroka in the Anosy Region.
Madagascar has experienced periods of political turmoil, which can lead to economic instability and higher unemployment rates. These factors can indirectly contribute to crime rates. Stay updated on the political situation through reliable sources before and during your visit.
As you mentioned, there was a plague outbreak in Madagascar in 2017. While such outbreaks are not common, it’s essential to stay informed about any potential health risks before traveling. Check with your healthcare provider and consider getting relevant vaccinations or taking precautions as needed.
Regardless of your destination, it’s a good practice to follow common safety tips, such as avoiding walking alone at night, securing your belongings, and using reputable transportation services.
When you arrive in Madagascar, it’s wise to seek advice from local authorities, your accommodation providers, or experienced travelers about specific safety concerns and areas to avoid.
Consider purchasing comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and theft. This can provide peace of mind during your trip.
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