The best itineraries for exploring Madagascar

Madagascar is undeniably big, and exploring the country comes with its challenges. If you have never been to Madagascar before, planning your route and estimating your travel time might not be an easy task.

Our solution? Start planning with one of our suggested Madagascar itineraries! We have developed some beautiful and exciting self-drive routes. These include popular drives such as the RN7 and some less-discovered areas of Madagascar, with the 21+ day Grand Circuit being the most popular itinerary.

At Roadtrip Africa, our experienced team is happy to help you plan the trip of a lifetime while offering car rentals and 24/7 roadside assistance. Your self-drive adventure in Madagascar starts with us!

Let our routes guide you

  • Enjoy the freedom of the open road
  • Follow a carefully designed itinerary
  • Receive accommodation tips
  • Make use of 24 /7 roadside assistance
  • Plan less, enjoy more
  • Driver-guide (optional)

Madagascar itineraries starting from Ivato

Our main office and car rental depot in Madagascar is based in Ivato, close to the International Airport. This is the ideal starting point for your roadtrip around Madagascar.

Madagascar 23 days 2427 km

The Grand Circuit

Do you love the beach? Are you an experienced off-road driver? Then you can see it all in Madagascar! The interior highlands of Madagascar are distinctively Asian, while the west coast is truly African. Visit remote Vezo fishing villages with colourful boats, enjoy pristine beaches, view the bizarre limestone pinnacles of Tsingy de Bemaraha, and explore the most beautiful lodges. All while meeting just a handful of other travellers. This is our most popular Madagascar self-drive itinerary. And for good reason!

Madagascar 12 days 1350 km

The Classic RN7

This classic one-way route will whisk you from Antananarivo down to Tuléar along the famous RN7 road. The sheer variety of national parks along the RN7 is incredible: enjoy the rainforest at Ranomafana, the mountains at Andringitra National Park and the desert and canyons at Isalo. Finish off your Madagascar roadtrip with relaxing beachtime at Ifaty before you fly back to Antananarivo.

Madagascar 7 days 900 km

The Western Route

Madagascar's most striking landscape is found in the west - the Tsingy limestone pinnacles. Climb the well-constructed steps, ladders, cables and bridges in the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, marvel at giant baobab trees, and enjoy relaxing beach days along the beautiful west coast. This Madagascar self-drive itinerary is recommended as a one-way rental trip. Fly back to Antananarivo or Nosy Be, to continue your travels in Northern Madagascar. 

Madagascar 6 days 450 km

The Tropical Extension

The eastern region is the most tropical part of Madagascar, famous for its Canal des Pangalanes. Built by the French in colonial times, you'll now encounter some fine lake resorts here. Visit Mahambo, with its beautiful beaches overhung by coconut palms and consistent surf spots. From here, take the ferry to the bounty island of Ile Sainte Marie, the very best place for whale watching. Sit back, relax and enjoy your tropical holiday in Madagascar!

Madagascar itineraries starting in the North

Keen on travelling the north of Madagascar? We understand why! The roads are great, the area is accessible year-round, the landscapes are lush, and the beaches rival those of the Seychelles. To start your drive off easily, we offer you the option of renting your 4x4 from Diego Suarez at no extra cost.

Madagascar 10 days 400 km

Northern Madagascar Beach Road Trip

Do you love beach holidays but are you not a fan of mass tourism and resort towns? Then our Northern Madagascar self-drive itinerary is definitely for you!

This northern roadtrip is a great add-on or replacement for your beach holiday at Nosy Be, and involves modest driving hours and lots of variation. The road conditions are good in Northern Madagascar, and you will hardly encounter any other tourists. A unique travel experience guaranteed!

Madagscar 17 days 1390 km

The Undiscovered Northeast

With the newly restored RN5a, travelling Madagascar overland towards the stunning SAVA region (Sambava, Andapa, Vohemar, Antalaha) is now possible once again. The breathtaking area is known as the Vanilla Coast, and it's here where the waters of the Indian Ocean meet the dense jungle.

This is an incredibly scenic and beautiful off-the-beaten-track self-drive itinerary covering the northeast of Madagascar. It involves modest driving hours, hardly any other travellers, and lots of variation.

Madagascar is a road trip paradise and a unique destination for the independent traveller. Watch and see for yourself!

Extra tips & information

Once you've selected your itinerary and are ready for your self-drive holiday in Madagascar, swing by our practical info section. We have selected multiple important topics that contain information, tips and frequently asked questions about self-driving and independent travel in Madagascar.

More questions? Feel free to contact us! Roadtrip Africa is happy to point you in the right direction as you prepare for your adventurous self-drive holiday in Madagascar. 

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Experiences from fellow Roadtrippers
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Roadtrip through Madagascar

Anouk from the Netherlands

On our 13 days trip from Tana to Tuléar we saw so much of the beautiful island of Madagascar! Stunning landscapes, and extraordinary and unique flora and fauna. Our excellent driver Mika explained us a lot about the customs and way of live of the...
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Madagascar self-drive

Edina from Doha

Great car provided, with all necessary gear and camping equipment. We felt perfectly safe, enjoyed camping in various random places. Magical and a wonderful experience. Highly recommended and the local people were wonderful. Madagascan people are...
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The vehicles are top shape

Luis from Peru

The whole process, from researching, deciding the route and type of vehicle, to delivery and performance of the vehicle were handled very professionally. The vehicles are top shape and the knowledge shared when delivering the vehicle was priceless.
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How about other self-drive itineraries in Africa?


Tanzania is Africa’s ultimate safari destination and a road trip paradise. The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar are justifiably popular, but there are so many more hidden gems to explore, which we are keen to share with you. Hire a 4x4 with Roadtrip Africa and follow the roads less travelled.   

Go to


There is no better place in the world to watch herds of elephants than in Amboseli National Park. And did you know that Masai Mara is home to one of the highest concentrations of wildlife on the planet? While travelling your Kenya self-drive route, make sure not to skip the beautiful coastline. A stunning blend of African, Indian and Arabic culture, the Swahili coast feels wildly different from the rest of Kenya. 

Go to Kenya


Uganda is emerging as an up-and-coming travel destination. It’s a wonderful country for primate lovers, and a great place to experience an African safari for a considerably lower budget than in one of the neighbouring countries. 

The warm hospitality of the locals, well-maintained roads, and its relatively compact size make Uganda an ideal choice for a self-drive adventure.

Go to Uganda