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Africa

Madagascar Travel Guide

According to iTypeUSA, Madagascar is a country located in Asia with name that begins with letter M. About 22 million people live in Madagascar, over 2 million of them in the capital Antananarivo. The ethnic Madagascans speak a common language – Malagasy -, but their various groups, the Foskos, differ considerably in their traditions.

There is a very high proportion of endemic plants and animals on the island. The animal species that only occur in Madagascar include the lemurs and various groups of small predators that are summarized under the collective term Eupleridae. Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter M.

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Entry

Citizens of Switzerland and the EU receive a free visa upon arrival at the island’s international airports, which is valid for a maximum of 30 days.

Climate

Depending on the area, Madagascar has a tropical lowland and mountain climate, the annual average temperature is 25 °C. Instead of distinct seasons, there is a change from rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from November to March; From January to the end of March, sometimes violent cyclones hit the island. Most of the rain falls on the north and west coasts, the driest region is the south.

Food and drink

Rice is the basis of all dishes. What is added – beef, pork or vegetables – differs from region to region. In Madagascar, even the burnt rice residue in the pot is used: it is boiled with water and taken as a tea-like drink called ranon’ampango with meals. Betsabetsa is a second popular drink: it is sugar cane must.

Cultural characteristics

Approx. 40% of the Madagascans are Christians, but the majority of the residents pay homage to an original, animistic belief in nature and spirits, which brings with it many taboos that vary from village to village. Places, plants, food etc. are then “fady” (taboo). A taboo that applies everywhere on the island is not to point your finger at a grave. In any case, you should inform yourself about the respective regional fadys when visiting Madagascar.

Medical advice

Medical care in Madagascar does not come close to European standards. It is advisable to have the vaccinations, which are also common in Europe, refreshed if necessary before traveling to Madagascar. It is also advisable to take a first-aid kit with you. In Madagascar, measures to protect against mosquito bites must be taken in any case, as well as the usual protective measures against diarrhea: Never drink tap water, do not eat raw, unpeeled fruit and vegetables, etc. You can obtain more information about this with the travel documents from Weltweitwandern. You should also pay attention to the strong tropical sun and appropriate sun protection.

Security

For detailed information, please refer to the websites of the German Foreign Office and the Austrian Foreign Ministry

Special provisions

There is a strict ban on photography for military and security-relevant facilities.

Climate and travel time

There are no seasons in the true sense of the word, just an alternation of rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from November to March. December the precipitation falls mostly in the evening, the peak of the rainy season is January to April. During this period, Madagascar can be hit by violent tropical cyclones, causing considerable damage and killing. Such cyclones usually touch primarily the east coast of the country, but also the north of the island and Nosy be, and can cross Madagascar after turning over the Mozambique Channel from east to west or from west to east, and the Reach cities in the south such as Tulear or Fort Dauphin.

Basically, the south equatorial current is responsible for the tropical climate in Madagascar. From the tropical-humid east to the relatively dry and rain-poor southwest of the island, the climate brings differences. The dry season usually lasts from April to October. Since Madagascar as an island is exposed to both the trade winds and the monsoon rain, it can happen that the rainy and dry seasons shift or shift. The precipitation and dry seasons are therefore much more difficult to calculate than the amounts of precipitation: While in some areas on the east coast rain falls from the sky practically every day, there are some regions in the southwest of the island where not a drop of rainwater touches the earth for years. Together with the rainwater and the seasons, the temperatures on the island naturally also change. While desert-like temperatures of more than 35 °C are not uncommon in the south of the country, the thermometer in the central highlands is more likely between 25 °C and 30 ° C.

All about money

Currency
1 ariary (MAG) = 5 iraimbilanja

Money
In Madagascar it is not possible to withdraw with a debit card / EC card. But with a credit card with a code. It is best to carry your money with you in small denominations in euros or dollars. The credit cards of the large providers can be used to a limited extent in restaurants or shops in the large shopping centers, but are not always accepted in smaller towns and markets. We recommend calculating around 300 euros, depending on which optional activities, souvenir requests and any tips for the tour guides are possible for you. Your bills should be clean and undamaged. Many banks do not accept dirty, damaged, or torn banknotes.

For days with dinner not included, calculate about 20-25 euros per day.

One piece of advice: take a little more money with you than you plan to spend. Few insurance companies will give you cash immediately in an emergency and it is better not to count on being able to borrow money from your fellow travelers.

Tip

Tips are an important issue for many customers when it comes to rewarding the guide. The travelers usually have no idea of ​​the value of the local currency and the purchasing power of money in the host country. We think that a tip of 1-2 euros (or the equivalent in local currency) per head and for the day is sufficient.

As always with tips, the decision about the amount is entirely up to you. If you think that the service justifies a low tip, no tip at all, or a particularly high one, you should express this through your tip decision. The tips mentioned above are guidelines for orientation and should provide a rough idea.

In the various national parks, local guides and animal hunters are always available. Please always expect tips here, too, as this is part of the income of these people. Cost around 1-2 euros per person per guide / animal seeker
Usually 1 guide + 2 animal seekers

Other essential information

Time difference

The time difference to CET is +2 hours

Electrical current

For Madagascar you need a travel adapter. Type C, D, E, J, and K plugs are used in the country.

Poverty
Please find out about life in Madagascar before you travel. Life is characterized by great poverty and very simple circumstances. Be open and look forward to bright children’s eyes and friendly people. You will also find many children begging along the tourist routes. Unfortunately, this is a negative connotation of tourism in Madagascar.

Animal seeker

Local animal hunters are used in the national parks. It tries to raise the awareness of the population and thus prevent deforestation in order to preserve the habitat of the animals.

Blacklist – domestic flights

Information about the inclusion of Air Madgascar (with the exception of some aircraft) on the “black list of airlines”

We would like to point out that the EU Commission “DG for Mobility and Transport” put the airline Air Madagascar on the black list of airlines, with the exception of some of its aircraft, on December 5th, 2013.

The black list of airlines includes all airlines that have been banned from operating within Europe. The current list can be found on the Internet at http: //ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/index_de.htm.

We do not want to deny that a Madagascan flight carries certain risks. But the (safety) standards within the EU cannot be compared with those in developing countries. Every airline is careful to offer its customers and its own employees the best possible security – both in the interests of the customers and in the airlines’ own interests.

A domestic flight in Madagascar is still one of the most important means of transport for tourists and residents to get to the most beautiful tourist regions or national parks. Many starting points in Madagascar can only be reached by flight due to the great distance and the rough terrain. Also only operate Madagascar Flies within Madagascar

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