TRAVEL TIPS AND ADVICE

When is a good time to travel to Madagascar?

The best months are between May to October with cooler temperatures and little rain. However, traditional weather patterns are no longer reliable due to global climatic changes. You can have plenty of rain during the dry season and vice versa, so be ready for anything!

The tourist season begins in April after the cyclones. The rainy season is almost over but some areas are still hard to reach because of the terrible roads after the rainfalls. Until June it is “low season”, so prices are cheaper than during the following months. This is the season of the rice crops on the highlands, a real impressive event to see. July and August are “high season” If you are planning to visit Madagascar during “summer” you should book in advance. This is also the start of the whale season.

September to December are also very popular periods to visit Madagascar. It is the best time to enjoy beach holidays and to observe the rich wildlife. This is when chameleons, lizards, snakes and rodents become active. The only time you should avoid is January to March, when heavy rain can make many roads muddy and impassable, and when there’s a high risk of cyclones in the east and North-East.

Currency

Ariary Ariary (AR) is the local currency in Madagascar. Credit cards are generally accepted in the bigger hotels, restaurants and some shops. Don’t rely on ATM machines as they are often out of order, it is good to keep some cash (in Euro) for emergency. It is better to carry Euro rather than US$. SA Rand are not accepted.

Visas

A visa is required to enter the territory of Madagascar: you can get a visa on arrival at the airport and the cost is approximately 30 euro or R500 per person. Please ensure your passport is still valid (at least 6 months before expiry date). No photo’s required.

Mosquitoes & Malaria

No immunizations necessary for the North West, however please check with your local GP should you be travelling to other areas of Madagascar. Malaria prophylactics are recommended, but this is a personal call.

Insurance

It is compulsory for all travellers to have travel insurance covering their personal requirements, medical expenses and personal possessions. This is to be arranged before leaving your home country. Request a quote from us with great rates.

Luggage

Maximum baggage allowance on the plane will be 20 kg. One main bag and a small carryon bag.

First Aid

The dhow is equipped with a very basic medical first aid kit. Please bring anti histamine tablets and cream (sand fleas and stinging coral) anti-inflammatory, plasters, Imodium and valoid.

Cost of meals

A good meal in a local restaurant costs about R60 and in French run restaurants about R90. A coke costs about R8 and a beer (a quart) about R12. On the Dhow trip an honesty bar is provided on the boat. You can bring wine, spirits etc. and local rum is free.

Suggested packing list

  • Shorts
  • Walking shoes
  • Light trousers
  • Swimming costume
  • Sandals
  • T-shirts
  • Wide-brimmed Sun hat
  • Windbreaker
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Torch
  • Small day-pack
  • Camera
  • High factor sun block
  • Insect Repellent
  • Pillow and Duvet cover (for the Dhow trip)
  • Snorkel and goggles
  • Sarong / Towel
  • 2 prong chargers
  • Rash vest

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