The ultimate guide to navigating the Routes of Madagascar

A dream destination for travellers, Madagascar is a great place for those in search of unique adventures. However, understanding the road infrastructure is essential. A virtual trip to Madagascar brings with it the challenges of the roads. How can you travel safely? Know the destination’s roads, see the realities, and know the challenges and wonders around it.

See the state of Madagascar’s major roads before your trip.

The main roads are generally concentrated around the major cities such as Antananarivo, the capital, and Antsiranana, Tamatave and Majunga. Work zones and unpaved stretches are common.

The national road 7 :

The RN7, linking the capital to Toliara, offers a fascinating driving experience, passing through picturesque landscapes. A large section of this road is deteriorating. Currently, in September 2023, total rehabilitation work is being carried out by the company COLAS, which is likely to disrupt regular road travel times.

The national road 4 :

The RN4, linking the capital and the north-west of Madagascar, is one of the roads that requires the most maintenance and prudence these days. The distance takes around 14 hours to cover. In the past, it took between 8 and 10 hours.

The national road 2 :

Linking Antananarivo and Tamatave, the RN2 is in very poor condition. A 110 km stretch between Antananrivo and Moramanga takes more than 4 hours. After Moramanga, traffic only drives in one lane, creating a traffic jam. However, a rehabilitation project is currently in the pipeline.

An unforgettable trip by negotiating the Challenges of the Road in Madagascar.

Travelling in Madagascar presents its share of road challenges :

  • Road conditions can deteriorate rapidly, particularly during the rainy season. Flooding can make some roads hazardous. Dirt tracks occur frequently. These conditions slow your progress considerably.
  • Construction sites and unpaved stretches are usually to be expected. Travellers should therefore be prepared for sometimes messy journeys. However, this determines the Malagasy adventure.
  • What’s more, driving in Madagascar can come as a surprise to foreign visitors. Drivers sometimes interpret the rules of the road flexibly. If you hire a car yourself? Be careful, and adapt to the local way of driving.

How to master The Art of Navigating Difficult Roads Safely

It is possible to travel safely in Madagascar. Here are a few tips to ensure you have a pleasant trip.

  • To avoid precipitation, allowing extra time for the journey is like planning your trip. The journey may take longer than expected due to road conditions.
  • Hire a qualified driver or local guide. They’ll make your trip so much easier, and know the routes to help you discover hidden places.
  • During the rainy seasons, the weather conditions and forecasts affect your trip.
  • Renting a 4×4 vehicle gives you the edge when it comes to tackling difficult trails.
Travelling with complete peace of mind means selecting the ideal type of car.

A trip to Madagascar will depend on the condition of the roads leading to your destination. Generally, a 4×4 car is required for the following places:
– Crossing the roads mentioned above.
– Mountainous regions and unpaved tracks.
– Exploring national parks

In the cities of Antananarivo, Toamasina, Antsiranana, Majunga and Tuléar, a standard passenger car will suffice.

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