Skip to Content

What a Trip to Madagascar Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

What a Trip to Madagascar Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

If you’ve never been to Madagascar, then your overwhelming images of it might relate to lemurs, the National Geographic specials with those giant trees, and the movie franchise with the happy-looking lion.

There is, of course, so much more to this majestic island country. Located off Africa’s Eastern shores, it is nearly 227,000 square miles in size. According to The Telegraph, that makes it bigger than Spain, Thailand, Sweden, and Germany.

Not only that, it weighs in as the world’s fourth-largest island after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo.

That’s not all. When it comes to Cool Madagascar Facts, we’re just getting started. Did you know it’s been inhabited for only a few thousand years, according to the most recent estimates, despite its proximity to the African mainland?

Or that it’s home to literally 70 different species of lemurs? (See, you were right about the lemur thing.) Or how about the fact that half the world’s chameleons can be found here?

It is, in other words, a place of wonders that any traveler will leave with many an unforgettable memory. Assuming, that is, you can afford the trip. Luckily, we’re here to help with that.

Average Trip to Madagascar Cost in 2024

Average Madagascar Trip Cost Table

An average one-week trip to Madagascar for two people will cost around $4,000:

  • Average Accommodation Cost: $75 per night
  • Average Flight Cost: $1,200 per person
  • Food, Drink & Activities: $60 per person, per day
  • Transportation: $200 total
  • Total Cost: $4,000

Madagascar is a poor country. According to statistics, the “United States has a GDP per capita of $60,200 as of 2020, while in Madagascar, the GDP per capita is $1,500 as of 2020.”

That means Madagascans “make 97.5% less money” than Americans. While its poverty is nothing to celebrate, of course, that does mean that traveling in Madagascar is very affordable for the traveler.

Indeed, its prices are some of the lowest in the world for food, drinks, activities, lodging, and transportation.

Your biggest cost in getting there is most likely to be your ticket – by a long shot. We’ll discuss how to keep that as low as possible in a bit, as well as the best tips and tricks for seeing as much of the island as possible.

Madagascar Trip Cost: Average by Item

A tropical resort integrated with native structures and palm trees, a large swimming pool as at the center of the property, an image for an article about trip cost to Madagascar.

Pierre-Yves Babelon/Shutterstock

Averaging trip costs for an international vacation is always difficult. When you fly, how many people are in your party, where you stay, how you dine, and what you do while you’re there can all change the total substantially.

However, everyone needs a place to start! The following categories will help give you a general idea of what you’ll pay so you can make a good budget today.

Accommodation Costs

Get ready to smile: a nice 4-star hotel in capital city Antananarivo will cost you only about $70. Cheaper accommodations can dip to $30 or $40 for a private room, while a 5-star experience is still only $100.

A beach resort is around $50, while a hotel in port city Mahajanga ranges from $20 to $70. All told, you can easily budget $75 a night and have a grand experience, no price-shopping needed.

Flight Costs

Flights to Madagascar vary pretty widely according to airline and time of year. A good average from New York City is $1,000, while flying from LA looks to be a little higher – more like $1,200 on average.

If you don’t live near an international hub, you’ll need to pay extra for the hop. Depending on how close you are, you might save money by driving to the airport and parking in the economy lot while you’re gone rather than paying for that domestic ticket.

I recommend you look into the prices for both before you purchase. The best way to save money on flights to Madagascar is to book well ahead of time.

International flights get more competitive the closer you get to the departure date, so 8-12 months in advance is not crazy. For domestic flights, you’ll almost always get a better rate by booking closer to departure, between 2 and 5 months or so.

If your regional airport is a significant distance from your hub and you want to save a hundred bucks or so per person, that’s a good (though riskier) way to go.

Using miles is a great way to reduce the out-of-pocket expense of international trips. While they don’t necessarily “go further” than they do for domestic flights, you will see a major price break on business or first class by using miles as opposed to dollars.

Overall, plan for a short domestic hop plus an average flight cost of about $1,100, for a total of $1,200 per person, per round-trip ticket.

Food, Drink & Activity Costs

People crossing and old hanging bridge in a natural park surrounded by pointy rocks, a section image for an article about trip cost to Madagascar.

Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock

Madagascar culture is pretty amazing. Although it is located just off the coast of Africa, right across the Mozambique Channel, its peoples are actually more closely related to Asian cultures.

The main language, Malagasy, has its roots in Malayo-Polynesia, whose peoples are believed to have first settled Madagascar thousands of years ago.

Therefore, while many foreigners assume they are visiting “just another place in Africa,” you are touching down on one of the most fascinatingly mixed cultures in the world.

While there are signs of African culture and descent everywhere, the Malagasy culture relies on both rice and cassava as staple products of its diet.

What this means for you (beyond respectfully not referring to local people as “African,” a moniker with which many/most disagree) is that you’ll experience an inimitable blend of continental cultures while you’re there.

We recommend taking on activities such as:

  • Visiting the national parks, which are often free to explore – most especially Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, which is a natural wonder no one should miss
  • Walking along the famous Baobab Avenue, which is particularly spectacular at dawn and sunset
  • Lemurs’ Park, which costs less than $8 to get into and boasts tons of lemurs on a preserve
  • Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, a fortified royal settlement and surrounding cultural landscape

Each of these activities is free or low-cost. However, getting there may pose more of a problem. We discuss how to get to places out in the bush in the next section.

Food is very inexpensive in Madagascar. You can eat well on $30 a day. If you want to whittle that down, avoid drinks, stay out of restaurants and eat on the street, and check out their supermarkets.

It’s nothing like you’ve seen at home, that’s for sure! Note that the water is not safe to drink, so you must buy bottled water.

It’s about 60 cents per bottle, and you’ll need eight a day, so that comes to around $5. Add that to the $30 for food, and maybe $20 a day for activities (not including a driver), and you can get by on about $60 a day per person.

Transportation Costs

Madagascar offers several types of transportation. Public transport includes bush taxis taxi-bes, both of which are frequent and pretty reliable. They travel between the cities (bush taxis) or through the urban centers (taxi-bes).

The names are a bit misleading, as both of these use large vehicles more akin to vans or buses than what we might think of as taxis. They load people on and off like buses, stopping frequently and taking on folks, luggage, goats, chickens, and everything else.

The experience is bound to be unforgettable and for less than 10 cents a ride (yes, really), it certainly won’t break the bank. The other way to get around is to rent a car.

This is a bit untraditional as well, since renting a car in Madagascar often comes with a driver – and it should. This is someone who knows the roads, can keep you safe in bad weather, and will keep you out of dangerous areas.

For about $100 a day on average, you will have a private driver to get you anywhere you need to go. This might seem expensive, but keep in mind that it’s a good way to avoid paying for the cost of a tour.

We recommend budgeting about $200 for your Madagascar trip.

That will pay for two days of private touring and unlimited bush taxis. Pro tip: the cost is good for four seats, so you don’t need to increase the price if you’re traveling with friends or family.

Things to Consider

A coconut tree bent towards the shore of a beach with calm emerald waters, captured during a clear afternoon for a piece on an article about trip cost to Madagascar.

Pierre-Yves Babelon/Shutterstock

Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Madagascar:

  • The best way to see more of the island is to hire a car and driver. Because it is such a big place, it’s hard to get to the stunning spots – for instance, wildlife viewing areas – with all your luggage on a crowded bus. Spend a couple days with a personal car and you’ll get much better photos.
  • Check out the beaches. Madagascar is famed for its pristine white-sand beaches, and you’re missing out if you don’t set foot on them several times while you’re there!
  • Don’t overpay for safari. The definition of “safari” is simply “journey” in Swahili. It doesn’t need to involve a giant group or exorbitant fees. You can go on safari in a hired car, with a knowledgeable guide, for $100 a day for 2-4 people.
  • Check out the Botanical and Zoological Garden of Tsimbazaza. Located in Antananarivo, the capital city, it’s a nice stop for couples and families alike, giving you a taste of the endemic species that populate the island.

Frequently Asked Questions

A local wearing pink while carrying a straw basket over her head, smiling for the camera, and the Baobab trees in background, an image for a travel guide about trip cost to Madagascar.

MORONDAVA-MADAGASCAR-OCTOBER-7-2017:The woman in Malagasy life style,she ‘s usually carrying basket on theirs head in the country road with baobab tree background/
Nok Lek Travel Lifestyle/Shutterstock

Here are some frequently asked questions about budgeting your trip to Madagascar:

Do people speak English in Madagascar?

The official languages of Madagascar are French and Malagasy. In major tourist areas, you will find some English speakers. However, you should not assume you’ll be able to converse in English everywhere you go, especially out in the countryside, where even French is a rarity.

Your best bet is to have Google Translate on standby for first French, then Malagasy.

Is Madagascar expensive?

The most expensive part of a trip to Madagascar is the flight to get there. While that will run you around $1,000 per person, everything else is pretty cheap once you’re inside the country.

Lodging, food and drinks, and transportation are all quite affordable. The only thing you’ll want to set some real money aside for is a safari.

Is it safe in Madagascar?

The US Department of State advises you to exercise increased caution when traveling to Madagascar. According to their website, “Most criminal activity is non-violent petty theft, pickpocketing, and other crimes of opportunity predominately in urban areas and in crowded markets.”

That’s good news, but it means you should stay vigilant in crowds. However, “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.”

Never walk alone or drive alone, especially if you’re female, and stay away from areas that are currently experiencing unrest. If you stick to the main tourist areas, you should be fine.

When is the best time to visit Madagascar?

Madagascar has an extensive rainy season from November through March, which can put a damper on activities. Plan your trip between April and October for the best chance of viewing wildlife, hiking, and heading to the beach.

Is it easy to get around?

It is easy to get around Madagascar if you hire a car and driver. This costs more money than taking taxis or buses, but it’s a more reliable way to get everywhere you want to go, especially out into the bush.

Over to You — Book Your Trip to Madagascar Today!

🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost$75 per night
✈️ Average Flight Cost$1,200 per person
🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities$60 per person, per day
🚕 Transportation$200 total
💲 Total Cost$4,000

The average cost of a one-week trip to Madagascar is around $4,000 for two people.

With extremely affordable hotels and resorts, cheap and easy personal safari options, and delicious island food, you’ll lack nothing during your week in Madagascar – so why wait any longer? Book your trip today!