Travelling in Madagascar with kids

Travelling in Madagascar with kids


What does responsible travel recommend?

Kids love wildlife – but Madagascar is not a zoo. Extreme temperatures, long, horrendous roads, basic conditions and possible stomach upsets and bug bites will test any child’s sense of adventure – even if there is a fluffy lemur at the end of the trail. For this reason, tour companies rarely accommodate children under eight – and you should consider their curiosity and energy levels before travelling in Madagascar with kids. Active teenagers, on the other hand, will have a blast – there are incredible hikes for all abilities, plus camping, kayaking, river expeditions, snorkelling and even kite surfing… as well as fluffy lemurs. Additionally, stopping in a village to see development and conservation projects in action gives youngsters a real education about Madagascar.

Activities for families in Madagascar


What to do with little ones

Stay in a treehouse: Every kid’s fantasy accommodation; go all Robin Hood with truly unique jungle cabins, high in the trees and accessible via ladders and rope bridges. Family-sized cabins cater for up to five people… but you’ll have to venture down to ground level if you need the loo in the night!
Get on the water: Madagascar has 5,000km of coastline, plus numerous rivers through its forests. Sea kayaking and river canoeing are great activities for budding explorers – they’ll see wildlife and local villages up close, and can even paddle from deserted island to deserted island.
Scramble around the Petit Tsingy: While the Grand Tsingy trail is notoriously tough, the Petit Tsingy is much easier to tackle, with a short hike to get there followed by a trail along rope bridges and iron ladders, before scrambling round the unusual rock formations. A fun challenge for energetic teens – keep an eye out for lemurs, too.
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Family travel advice in Madagascar


responsible travel asks the experts

Mark Jacobs, from our supplier Azafaday, shares his tips on keeping healthy in Madagascar:
"Take your health seriously, with appropriate insurance, inoculations and taking professional advice so that you are as prepared as possible. Madagascar is desperately poor with a very poor infrastructure, and there are numerous common diseases which you can avoid very easily if you have the right jabs and decent insurance. People are used to going to sanitised places, but Madagascar will shock them."
"There are numerous common diseases which you can avoid very easily if you have the right jabs and decent insurance."
Derek Schuurman is a Madagascar specialist for our supplier, Rainbow Tours. He has been to Madagascar 20 times and is the co-author of two guide books. Here's his tip for travelling in Madagascar with kids:
"Madagascar is great for kids and teenagers, although they should preferably be over ten, and be outgoing, adventurous and like the outdoors. If they have an interest in wildlife they will love Madagascar."
Laurenne Mansfield, from our supplier, Pioneer Expeditions, shares her advice on travelling in Madagascar with kids:
"Sometimes Madagascar suits families better than groups of adults. Families have different expectations; the children have the innocence of discovering a place and parents will appreciate seeing them interacting with local kids."
Photo credits: [Children in sand dune: Pioneer Expedition] [Family kayaking: Pioneer Expedition] [Chameleon: Rebecca Elliot]
Written by Vicki Brown
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