Air Madagascar operates four direct flights between the Charles de Gaulle international airport near Paris and the Ivato airport 12 kilometres from the Madagascan capital Antananarivo each week and two flights from Milan (via Nosy Be).
Air France also operates a frequent service from Paris to Antananarivo whilst Air Madagascar also flies between Nairobi in Kenya and Madagascar once a each week.
South African Airways operates flights five times a week between the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and Antananarivo, as well as twice weekly to Fort Dauphin at Taolagnaro on the south-eastern coast of Madagascar.
There are daily flights between Mauritius and Antananarivo.
Cargo boats from Mombasa in Kenya or Zanzibar (Tanzania) do travel to the Comoros island group from where you can hitch a lift with commercial boats to Toamasina in Madagascar. The services are, however, very infrequent and based on the luck of the draw. Negotiate your price before you leave.
The same rule applies to finding a boat from South Africa. Speak to port authorities or cargo agents for assistance.
The roads are challenging. So make use of Air Madagascar if you can. They fly to most centres on the island and offer great discounts. It may be worth your while to use Air Madagascar to fly to Madagascar because some of the discounts have been linked to some form of loyalty programme in the past.
A local bus company – MadaBus – offers a reliable and fairly frequent service from Antnananarivo to Toliara to the south and Toamasina on the eastern coast.
You will have to rent a car with a driver. Taxis called taxis-brousses these “bush taxis” are popular and cheap. They are something between a taxi and a bus and tend to be overcrowded. In towns a rickshaw will get you to where you want to be.