So, have our Madagascar vacation articles given you wanderlust? Are you planning a trip to the Madagascar? If that’s true, listed here are our best tips for Madagascar independent travel, to assist you plan your individual adventure!
At the Airport - $$$, visa and transfer
So, you’ve landed at Ivato Airport! Woohoo! Welcome to Madagascar! There are a few things you must know before going through immigration. As of August 2014, one month visas to Madagascar are free of charge. If you’re staying more than a month, you’ll must pay a visa fee (45€ for a few months) with the desk for the right-hand side since you come in.
After you’ve cleared customs, we suggest exchanging some money into Ariary, Madagascar’s currency. Unlike most places where airport exchange bureaus charge exorbitant rates, Ivato Airport supplies the most convenient rates in the united kingdom. So, replenish - but bear in mind, you’ll be left using a gangster style pile of money, since the highest Ariary denomination is 10,000, a lot less than 3€. To enter into town, verify that the Adema shuttle bus is running. This bus stops at various hotels out and leaves whenever there’s a world plane landing, although service at nighttime is irregular. In any case, transfer first person costs 10,000 Ariary. Taxis charge 30,000-50,000 Ariary.
Going Retro using a Renault 4
Are that you simply fan of driving? Are you not brave enough for taxi brousses, or do you wish to experience a few of Madagascar’s retro mood with the very own Renault 4? Despite most guidebooks hinting it’s impossible, you can easily rent an automobile without a driver. Although we didn’t try that for ourselves, we heard he most reliable person to attend is Coen Oldenhof, a Dutchman moving into Tana. Here are his email contacts firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting Around - Meet the Taxi-Brousse
If you wish to travel about the country independently, taxi-brousses will be the best bet. These shared minibuses, packed in ways that you didn’t believe was possible, run essentially everywhere in the nation. On one hand, they cost peanuts, but around the other, rides may be long, uncomfortable and perhaps dangerous. Report this ad We always used taxi-brousses to search around Madagascar and lived to see the tale (just!). ’For an extensive guide to taxi brousses, weve written this information for you.
Use local travel agencies
Now, in Madagascar independent travel may be the way to go for me, but even I can’t deny that some destination require extra planning. Experiences like climbing Pic Boby along with the Tsiribihina River descent can’t be organised independently. Western-owned agencies (whether they are Madagascar-owned) have a tendency to charge limited simply because they’re Western-owned.
The ins and outs of National Parks
National Parks will be the reason why you’re visiting Madagascar, pure as well as simple. But they don’t come cheap. The reason is that it’s compulsory to check out Malagasy parks having a guide, whose fare isn’t in the park entrance fee. To give you a perception of costs, to get a day-long (8 hour) tour of Ranomafana National Park, the guide fee is 90,000 Ariary, plus 25,000 each for entrance - 140,000 Ariary, about 40€.
There are two techniques for finding the most bang from a buck. First, don’t book helpful information through your hotel (who might charge a commission) but hire one at park headquarters for the day. If you’ve got your heart set with a specific guide, at all cost contact him/her upfront, but reimburse them at park headquarters. In most parks, guides accept groups of as much as 4 people so it’s smart to team up for some other travellers to split the guide fee. As always, request information from, or loaf around park headquarters asking others as long as they want to share the tour. We did that twice, at Anja Reserve and Isalo National Park, rather than had to wait in excess of fifteen minutes. Visiting a national park in Madagascar might be pricey, but it’s totally worthwhile. Madagascar wildlife is exclusive and totally weird - have a look with the aye aye, one on the world’s weirdest animals!
Hotels and Guesthouses
In Madagascar, hotels could be divided by 50 percent groups; those quoting prices in Euro, plus the ones quoting in Ariary. Euro hotels usually are midrange to first class, often Western-owned or a part of large hotel chains, and is usually an amazing deal in the event you’re willing to pay a bit more. To give you one example, beautiful Grand Hotel des Tsingy de Bemaraha cost only 30€ per night, along with Anakao, about the southern coast, we’ve seen top-end beach bungalows for 60-70€. If you’re an affordable type, go for hotels and guesthouses quoting prices in Ariary. Generally locally-owned, these hotels cover anything from dingy dives to beautiful colonial mansions, by having an air of faded grandeur. More often than not it will have nothing to write home about; a bed, your bathroom with warm water (in case you’re lucky) and that’s concerning this. Average price is 30,000-50,000 Ariary (10-15€).
Hitching a lift using a 4×4
A 4×4 with driver is certainly the best transport option on Madagascar’s unreliable roads. Trouble is, it doesn’t come cheap - prices begin at 50€ on a daily basis for the automobile, nearly 150€ on notoriously bad roads. But there are ways to go by 4×4, for a fraction from the price. Ask around at hotels, guesthouses and traveller hangouts for virtually any 4×4 making your way to your destination with spare seats. You could be lucky to discover some drivers which will let you share the ride to get a little in excess of the taxi-brousse fare. It’s quite simple to hitch a ride from Tulear to Tana, because so many tourists travel south by 4×4 and fly back. Drivers relocating the auto to Tana could be happy to help you share the ride as little as 100,000 Ariary per person - the gruelling 30 hour taxi-brousse ride costs about 60,000.
Food in Madagascar
Madagascar food is usually divided by 50 percent groups; utterly disgusting and mouthwateringly delicious. Budget eateries these are known as hotely, in case you’re travelling by taxi-brousse, feel comfortable you’ll visit one. 3,000 Ariary (a lot less than 1€) will get which you mound of rice that has a couple of bony pieces of meat. It’s usually style of gross.
Our local guide Mario cooking - Most restaurants in cities will give you French dishes alongside tasty Malagasy fare, a measure above hotely slop. Think green peppercorn zebu steak, fish with meuniere sauce and garlic prawns, usually costing about 4€ per dish. Malagasy favourites include romazava, constructed with meat and also a spinach-like veg, and ravitoto, sort of ginger stew. They’re commonly a bit less expensive French offers.You will even get real haute cuisine for the steal in Madagascar; by way of example, excellent Mad Zebu (run using a Parisian-trained chef) inside dusty capital of scotland- Belo-sur-Tsiribihina, supplies a three course meal for 45,000 Ariary (about 12€).
Our dinner cooking for the Tsiribihina river - Street food is usually alright, but it’s usually snacky stuff like sambo (samosa), nem (spring rolls) and my fave, bonbon de pistache (peanut brittle).
Get a Visa Card
Pretty much all towns in Madagascar employ a Bank of Africa branch, however the ATM only accepts Visa. In larger towns including Tana, Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa and Tulear there is also other banks, accepting Mastercard. Maestro is merely accepted at Société Générale that is even rarer. So, save a hassle and obtain a Visa card in the event you haven’t got one yet!
What’s the sale with Malaria?
Malaria tablets yes, malaria tablets no? Better to be safe than sorry, for me. Malaria isn't just present in Madagascar, it's a high risk through the entire country all climates and seasons. Dengue fever is usually present, so don’t take this lightly.
However, as being the risk DOES indeed exist, we recommend actually talking to a travel doctor, or booking an assessment with Mike Huxley’s Travel Clinic service - being a trained nurse and experienced traveller, Mike definitely knows in excess of us about health problems while travelling!