The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that Antananarivo traditionally sees an increase in crimes as the prices of goods rise and certain products become less readily available during the holiday season. In addition, traffic becomes extremely congested in Antananarivo leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The U.S. Embassy notes there have been steady reports of certain types of crimes throughout 2014. In the past year, pick-pocketing, in particular, has been a problem in downtown Antananarivo. The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to take proper personal and vehicular security precautions, especially during this time of the year.
The holiday season in Antananarivo is not unlike Christmastime in the United States: people are Christmas shopping and out visiting friends and family. This can lead to elevated traffic levels. The entire city tends to get extremely congested during the month of December, especially downtown Antananarivo. Allow extra time for traveling throughout this month.
The U.S. Embassy also reiterates that caution is required when encountering large crowds. We remind U.S. citizens that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Madagascar enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov/, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Madagascar at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html.%0d