Madagascar offers some of the most interesting destinations in the world where you can explore and learn about its civilization and endemic flora and fauna. It has very nice people, beautiful landscapes, various traditions, biodiversity, etc. Whatever your reason for visiting Madagascar, one aspect of traveling to this country is universal: you will have the experience of observing, seeing and tasting, an experience that cannot be found or reproduced. nowhere.
To have a nice stay and above all, by choosing ORTOUR for your trip to Madagascar, you can find simple but useful advice on our site that will allow you to get to know this wonderful island better.
As soon as you arrive at the airport, be careful and beware of unofficial agents who will approach you to help you with your luggage. Only entrust your luggage to the ORTOUR representative who will bring a sign to welcome you and take care of you and then accompany you to the said Agency.
Do not exchange your currencies at the unofficial money changers at the airport as they will give you the most unfavorable rates. Your guide/driver would give you necessary directions or advice, if needed. So don’t hesitate to ask him.
If you have a Visa credit card, we advise you to make a withdrawal from the ATM from which you will receive money in Malagasy currency called “Ariary”.
Regarding catering, you can find all kinds of cuisine, other than Malagasy in restaurants. We suggest you taste the cuisine of the country which also has its particularity and its worldwide fame. There are restaurants that offer excellent services, delicious meals and affordable prices, such as “La Varangue”, “Le Sakamanga”.
In general, hotel and restaurant staff speak and understand English and French.
Shopping in Madagascar would definitely suit you if you go to the right places. Payment by credit or debit card is accepted in large areas. The purchase of handicrafts is done in cash. All markets are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. while supermarkets and shopping centers are open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The local currency FMG is replaced by the Ariary. 1 Ariary = 5 FMG.
The Visa Card is the most accepted credit card.
The ATM is available in major cities.
Banks and all offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They close on weekends and holidays.
The time zone: GMT + 3 hours.
The official languages are Malagasy and French.
PLEASE STAY HEALTHY
The whole trip all over the Big Island, maintaining proper health will not only ensure a pleasant vacation, but also a trip out of danger. Therefore, please bring all necessary medications and your insurance card in case of a medical emergency. Your doctor will likely advise you to take antimalarial prophylaxis such as mefloquine (Lariam) or Malarone. Nevertheless, unlike other African countries, with regard to malaria or yellow fever, Madagascar is not a country at risk. However, tourists are recommended to take anti-malarial and mosquito repellent with them.
Vaccinations are not necessarily required. Tap water can cause diarrhea due to widespread bacteria; thus, the water bottle is highly recommended as your drinking water. Avoid ice for your drinks as some hotels serve ice from tap water. Also, make sure that raw vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, or cucumbers should be washed with bottled water only.
In the bush, you will need a small first aid kit, especially if you plan to hike, such as bandages, insect bite cream, diarrhea medicine, etc.
If you need medical help, you can see the following private clinics, equipped with X-rays and laboratories:
Soavinandriana Hospital, the military hospital, the best equipped and most efficient.
St. Paul Clinic
There are several good pharmacies in the capital:
Pharmacie Métropole, near Hôtel Colbert
Pharmacie de l’Océan Indien
Pharmacie d’Ambohibao, open 7/7 days
If you need help from the police station, please call the number 00261 (20) 22 227 35 ou 00 261 (20) 22 357 09
In case of emergency, call 032 ou 07 801 22 10 487 47
For the firefighter, call line 18
If you need an ambulance, call 00261 (20) 22 200 40
Traveling to Madagascar is safer than to any other country even some incidents related to insecurity or crime / misdemeanor can occur in big cities, namely theft, pickpocketing, etc.
Therefore, we strongly advise you not to let your valuables shine or expose them too much outside such as the iPhone, camera, wallet or other goods.
Avoid walking alone during the late evening if you are dining at certain restaurants, bars or nightclubs.
Do not leave your luggage unattended. Keep large amounts of cash, jewelry, cameras and phones out of sight when walking in city centers.
Do not leave your items exposed.
Watch out for your belongings in congested areas, such as markets and airports.
Use a bag with a strap that goes around your neck and across your body.
Make sure you have your CIN always with you everywhere as the police are checking day and night.
Plan your route in advance to minimize looking at your map at all times.
If you are going somewhere in the evening, let someone know (your guide/driver).
Store budget surpluses and other valuables in the safe at your hotel or please ask at reception.
Don’t bring all your money in one place. If you are traveling as a couple or in a group, split the money between you.
Do not bring more money than you will spend during the day.
For any valuables, cash, etc., use an inconspicuous money belt under your clothing.
Be careful when withdrawing cash from ATMs.
Keep the doors locked when seated inside the car.
If you want to take a picture of the interior while driving, do not leave valuables or luggage visible and do not open your windows to prevent theft.
Again, despite precautions, or proper planning and drastic measures being taken, things can sometimes go wrong. If you are a visitor to Madagascar and you are the victim of a crime or traumatic incident, please report this incident to the nearest national police station where the incident occurred. Get an incident report and ask the officer about things you need to do next.
You can use the phone / fax / e-mail.
Cancel your credit cards in case of loss/theft.
Note that ORTOUR is still there as a “facilitator”, but cannot offer financial assistance, or provide replacement of stolen items or insurance or give legal advice.
The number of pieces of luggage to bring depends solely on your excursion. If you are staying in a city during your stay and you do not plan to stay at different hotels, you can bring a lot of luggage. A 20 kg piece of luggage would be sufficient for each traveler, plus a 5 kg hand luggage. For the international flight, it is 30 kg plus 10 kg for hand luggage. Excess weight will be subject to an additional charge. The small luggage allows you to keep your belongings with you during the flights and which would reduce the theft or loss of your belongings.
TIPS FOR USING CELL PHONES
Most African countries including Madagascar use the GSM network for the proper functioning of cell phones. Modern cell phone companies do offer service in foreign countries. You can buy a local prepaid credit card to make calls to avoid your mobile bill going up when you get home.
The country code is 00261 plus the mobile operator code and subscriber number.
Telma Fixé es 20, par exemple: 00261 20 xxx xx
Telma Mobile 34, par exemple: 00 261 34 xxx xx
Rtel 33, par exemple: 00 261 33 xxx xx et
Orange 32, par exemple: 00 261 32 xxx xx
Madagascar is one of the best places in the world to visit due to its rich biodiversity, endemic fauna and flora unique in the world. However, obstacles remain, particularly in terms of infrastructure as a whole.
Thank you for your understanding knowing that traveling to Madagascar is inconvenienced by road infrastructure that does not follow the international standard. Thus, it is important that you are well prepared before leaving for Madagascar.
Below you will find some suggestions/advice on what you can bring on your trip. Keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive – it’s just things you should think about before you travel.
Short/long pants, light pants, long-sleeved shirts or T-shirts, sandals (thongs), raincoat, tennis shoes, a good pair of walking shoes, swimsuit, sunglasses, flashlights, cream sunscreen, spare batteries for your camera, binoculars, insect repellent, sprays or creams, hand wash lotion or germ repellent lotion, first aid kits, useful medicines, cash (money) or credit cards, CIN, etc.
Travel with light luggage, if possible; backpacks are very practical, especially when taking public transport.
For bivouac enthusiasts: Swiss Army knives, first aid kit, flasks, water, sleeping bags during camping.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS INCLUDE
Passport valid for more than 6 months
International flight ticket (round trip)
Airfare for domestic flights when traveling within the country
Your insurance contract
During the hike, make sure you are in good physical shape.
In fact, normal hiking hours are between 4 to 8 hours a day.
Very moderate walking is recommended finally to avoid injuries, cuts, or falls.
Bring at least one large 1.5 liter bottle of water daily.
Never forget to bring a sun hat, sunglasses if necessary, sunscreen, and walking stick with spring for the elderly.
In the group, do not move away from each other to avoid confusion.
During camping, mineral water will be provided free of charge (small bottle).
A pair of walking shoes that hold the ankle.
A pair of flip flops for the beach and/or light footwear.
2 large plastic bags to protect your belongings/items from rain in the bag.
Toiletries, toilet paper
Biodegradable shampoo / soap to preserve the environment
Torch / lamp with batteries and bulbs
Personal first aid kit
Always bring repellent (mosquito repellent), malaria pills, etc.
When you are in the tents while camping we provide:
Large tents made for 3 people or for a couple.
Or small tent for the single traveler.
Equip yourself with your own sleeping bag if necessary.
For the months of June, July and August, the southern winter, bring a warm bag (-5°C / 0°C).
Bring your self-inflating mattress for long days on the trail.
There will be porters for heavy luggage, but you must take your own valuables with you and any other luggage you consider bringing with you.
These porters/guides themselves will be the cook’s team who prepares your full board meals.
For breakfast, it includes hot drinks, tea and / or coffee, bread, jam or honey, fruit, sugar, etc.
Picnic lunch includes starter, main course and dessert.
Note that your meal would always be kept clean, as these porters have been trained and competent in the matter.
Dinner includes a starter, main course and dessert.
Local Malagasy cuisine will be served.
Our tours offer you different choices, namely the hotel option ‘TOP or MEDIUM’, with a provision of services mainly on ‘Room + breakfast (Bed and Breakfast or BB)’ because we understand that the expense of each customer is not the same.
The hotels mentioned in the itinerary are for information only and we have chosen the best.
Reservations will be made from your choice. Your room can be double with 1 double bed or twin with 2 single beds.
There are some useful abbreviations:
BB : Bed & Breakfast (Room + breakfast)
HB : Half board
FB : Full Board
The vast majority of our services typically provide hotel and breakfast for the following reasons:
- Reserving the client’s free will to choose the right catering by allowing them to take different hotel choices, either Top or Medium;
- The food expenditure of each client is not the same related to their meal schedule.
Also, we do not include breakfast on an early morning flight as some hotels do not provide this due to their house rules.
However, there are some hotels that require a half-board reservation such as Setam Lodge in Ranomafana, Jardin de la Reine in Isalo, Andilana Beach in Nosybe, Ifaty Beach and Paradisier in Ifaty.
- Or full board (breakfast + lunch + dinner) during camping
- The price of a meal varies between 8 and 15 € for TOP hotel or between 4 and 5 € for Medium option.
Tipping is not compulsory. You may leave a tip based on your satisfaction with the service you received.
We recommend some notes based on the service rendered below to help you organize your budget:
For the hotel porter is about 1,000 Ar (0.50 euros)
For the porter in the park during the camping is 5000 Ar per day (less than 2 euros)
In the restaurant, the tip is more or less 10% of the bill.
For the driver, it’s 10,000 Ar per day (less than 4 euros)
For a local guide in the park, it’s 10,000 Ar per day (less than 4 euros)
For the accompanying guide, it is 20,000 Ar per day (a little more than 7 euros)
WILL YOU NEED A PASSPORT / VISA TO TRAVEL TO MADAGASCAR?
Entry to Madagascar would require a passport valid for six months after the date of entry and is required of all foreign nationals.
Visas for Madagascar are compulsory for all foreign nationals.
You can obtain a visa valid for 30 days free of charge upon arrival at the airport.
If you want to extend your stay, we suggest you go to the Ministry of the Interior, and bring your passport, 02 photos and fees.
Most of our vehicles are equipped with air conditioning, luggage racks and SUV / 4×4 type (4WD), bus, coach, minivan.
Additionally, you can charge your camera and/or phone batteries in the car.
We are Tourism Managers
Our motto is: (‘Pack it in, pack it out’, i.e. you can bring (a few things/foods like cookie etc which will become rubbish) into the park but please throw them outside )
Always keep the preservation of the ecosystem.
It is strongly advised to contribute to the cleanliness of the park you are visiting.
Do not (clandestinely) buy or take endangered protected animal species.
The photo is the only best memory.
Note that according to the International Convention on Trade in Animals, there are many prohibited/protected animals that tourists should be aware of including lemurs, turtles, sea turtle, boa, and Antongil red frog, vertebrates , fossilized fish and plants, dinosaur bones, Aepyornis eggs, orchids, Euphorbia, Didieraceous, Pachypodium species, etc.
The skin of animals and plants are prohibited for export.
In addition, respect local traditions, the elderly, the elders, and in particular the “fady” or taboo.
Before taking photos of a person or group of people, please ask their permission first.
Finally, nudism is prohibited on the beaches and sex tourism is strictly prohibited and the tourist may be liable to imprisonment with a huge amount of fine.
Any object of prohibited exports is seized by customs to protect the national heritage requiring a permit or authorization to do so and which is issued by the following services:
For plants: Department of Forestry, at Nanisana.
Vegetables, fruits and dried plants: At the plant service (At Tsaralalàna station or at Ivato airport)
Precious stones: at the Ministry of Commerce, Department of Economic Control Affairs in Ambohidahy.