Visiting Madagascar Includes Risks
The US Department of State issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory when visiting the Republic of Madagascar.
This ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ US Travel Advisory was issued on July 17, 2019, and is related to crime in various areas of Madagascar.
This is unfortunate news since Madagascar is experiencing a rapid increase in tourism, which is up 19 percent in 2019, according to a new study.
Madagascar is an island country of 25 million residents, located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometers off the east coast of Africa.
And, the U.S. Embassy Antananarivo is located at Lot 207 A, Point Liberty, Andranoro, Antehiroka, 105 Antananarivo, Madagascar.
The area of concern for visitors on Madagascar are as follows:
- Antananarivo, Nosy Be, Toamasina (Tamatave), and Mahajunga
- Ankarana and Montagne d’Ambre National Parks adjacent to Diego
- General area surrounding Tolagnaro (Ft. Dauphin), south of National Route (RN) 7 and RN 27 (excluding the tourist area on the coastal roads between Ambovombe and Farafangana)
- Batterie Beach, north of Toliara (Tuléar)
Additionally, on July 13, 2019, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised visitors to Madagascar to be vigilant at all times and follow the advice of the local authorities.
Previously, the Canadian government issued a Travel Advisory on June 13, 2019, which said ‘Exercise a high degree of caution.’
If you decide to visit Madagascar this summer, the US Department of State suggests the following preventive actions:
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt, nor display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
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Regarding Madagascar’s health's risks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested on July 12, 2019, that visitors to Madagascar are current with certain vaccines, such as Routine Vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Madagascar is included in the CDC’s Global Measles Outbreak Notice, issued on June 10, 2019. Previously, the CDC issued a Level 1 Travel Alert regarding a measles outbreak in Madagascar, in November 2018.
Pre-departure vaccination services, related travel medications, and counseling appointments can be scheduled with a local pharmacy by visiting Vax-Before-Travel.
As of July 1, 2019, the CDC updated its private sector vaccine prices for general information.
And, the CDC’s Vaccines For Children program offers vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. Additional financial support programs can be found at Vaccine Discounts.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report vaccine side effects to the CDC.