Madagascar Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
The research for this website was carried out mainly in 2011 and 2012. Therefore there is a good chance that much of the information may now be out of date. This is particularly true of countries in the developing world, especially Asia and Africa where conditions can change often. Also, the political climate in many countries has changed a lot in recent years. Therefore the information on this website should be treated with caution. You should always check with your Government’s website or the UK Foreign office travel advice website before finalising plans to drive abroad.
Driving In Madagascar
Road conditions vary greatly. In the rainy season (December to April), most secondary roads are impassable (except by four-wheel-drive vehicles) and bridges are frequently washed away. Most main roads may have a few pot holes but are generally in Okay condition. Smaller roads will be in a poor state of repair so will be more likely to deteriorate in bad weather. Driving standards are variable- drivers will often drive in the centre of the road even when rounding blind bends or hills and may signal their presence by sounding their horn. You should avoid driving at night, even in Tana. There are many bandits (some in uniform!) who will stop cars and blatantly extract bribes or ‘Cadeau’s’. I have personal experience of this. Even when driving through the day, keep a pocket full of small denomination local currency in case you’re stopped. The last thing you want to do is expose a large wad of dollars or Euros which will inevitably increase the value of the bribe required.If you can, avoid driving in Tana at all- the centre is a series of winding roads built on a number of hills and its easy to get lost. If you must drive, ask a taxi driver if you can follow him to your destination or ask the rental company to meet you on the outskirts of town.
Madagascar Car Rental –
There seems to be some conflicting info on whether self drive is allowed in Madagscar. Budget say its not allowed. Europcar don’t say its not allowed but do say all their cars have to take their own driver. Avis, as usual on their website terms, say very little. However, Hertz and Sixt make reference to minimum driving age of 23, having an IDP and insurance terms which makes it pretty certain they do offer self drive from Antananarivo.Madagascar also seemed to be covered on the broker site Argus Car rental which I checked.
Madagascar Self Drive Rules-
International Driving permit is needed and cars can’t be taken out of Madagascar.Both the big companies only have offices in Tana so its likely any one way rental would only be possible if you get the company to come and pick up/drop off the car, which is often a possibility in Africa.