A touristic visa is necessary for any foreigner of any nationality to enter and stay in Madagascar. You can obtain it either at the Malagasy Embassy / consulate in your country, or directly at the airport when you arrive. In both cases, you will need to present:
- Your return or continuing plane ticket
- A valid passport for six months at least, after the departure date from Madagascar.
For 2012, touristic visa is FREE for less than one month stay.
It is the ARIARY which is currently around 2800Ar for 1 euro.
For your travel expenses, we recommend you bring cash (Euros or dollars). Credit cards are accepted in very few hotels and only in the major cities’ banks. We recommend you change money at the airport upon arrival, all banks use the same rate more or less. Do not change your money on the black market !
The population speaks more or less French all over the island. Few people speak English or German yet. However, the tourism's sector professionals speak more and more these three languages.
At Boogie Pilgrim, we have English, French, German, Italian, japanese and Russian speaking guides.
No vaccinations are requested by law to enter Madagascar. However we highly recommend people to come in with up to date vaccinations against:
- B hepatitis
- Typhoid fever
- Diphtheria / Tetanus / Polio
* Anti-malaria treatment
In spite of stronger risks on the coast than in the highlands, and during the rainy season more than during the dry season, Malaria is present all over the island all year round. As a consequence, an anti-malaria treatment must be taken before, during and after your stay in Madagascar.
Best season to come to Madagascar is during dry season, from April to mid November. Peak season is July to October : book ahead!
Mid June to mid September is winter on the highlands (Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa, Andringitra, Andasibe...) : during the day, temperatures are cool, approx. 18°C; but at night, temperatures can drop down till 5°C. On the coast, it is always nice and warm.
Cyclonic season (mid December to mid March) is to be avoided.
Casual, comfortable wash and wear clothing is recommended. A warm jacket is useful during the winter months on the highlands (June to September). Hiking boots are highly recommended as long as some walks are included in your itinerary.
Keep luggage to a minimum for your own comfort and ease of transport.
Don’t forget : Mosquito repellant, Sun protection, flashlight or headlamp for night hikes
The national telephone company, TELMA, covers quite well almost the entire territory. It is possible to call anywhere in the world from most of the main towns. Average cost of an international communication is: 2,50 USD / minute for Europe.
Imported mobile phones are fine in Madagascar. Iridium is in service, and most of big providers do works with Madagascar already: your cellular phone from home might work here !
Otherwise, the main mobile phone operators existing n Madagascar are: TELMA, ORANGE, ZAIN.
The country is connected with the World Wide Net. Funny Cyber Cafés are all over the island, most of good standard hotels have internet Wifi connection.
* How to call Madagascar from abroad?
? TELMA : 00 261 + 34 + 7 numbers
? ORANGE : 00 261 + 32 + 7 numbers
? ZAIN : 00 261 + 33 + 7 numbers
* How to call abroad from Madagascar?
00 + international code of your country + your number
* Drinking water
You should not drink tap water anywhere in Madagascar. Bottled mineral water is sold all over the country.
220 volts is provided in all main towns. Same plugs as in France. However in smaller villages or isolated accommodations, electricity is often produced by generator. We suggest you travelling with a torch anywhere you go.
GMT + 3 hours all year long
* International flights :
AIR MADAGASCAR has flights to Tananarive from Paris, Reunion island, Mauritius, Comoros, Johannesburg and Nairobi.
CORSAIR and AIR FRANCE have flights to Tananarive from Paris.
AIR AUSTRAL has flights to Tananarive and several provinces from Reunion, Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros.
KENYA AIRWAYS has direct flights from Nairobi.
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRLINK connects Johannesburg to Tananarive.
AIR MAURITIUS connects Mauritius to Tananarive
* Domestic flights :
The National Airline AIR MADAGASCAR has a dense domestic flight network, which covers the whole island.
Regarding Madagascar's size (as big as France + Benelux) and the short time visitors usually have, the plane is probably the best way of travelling in Madagascar.
BOOGIE ADDS: Tailormade Charter flights with bushpilots to the most exceptional places of the island.
* The car :
Recommended for people who have more time, It will make you discover the deeper Madagascar, crossing fabulous landscapes... However it is not recommended during the rainy season. All car renting includes the driver.
BOOGIE ADDS: we choose all vehicles with care and check them regularly. According to the demand, we use sedan car (2-3 passengers), 4 WD (2-5), mini-busses (6-8 passengers) and busses (9-20 passengers).
* The train :
The national train company has been taken over by Madarail.
The eastern railway from Tananarive down to Toamasina is operating regularly with the TransLemuriaExpress and a historical Micheline Train since January 2010 !
A second line exists, Fianarantsoa / Manakara for more adventurers, on a less regular basis but very scenic !
* Restaurants : service is generally not included (when included, it is clearly mentioned on the bill), should add about 5% to the total bill if the service has been satisfactory.
* Porters : 1000 ariary / piece of luggage.
* Guide and/or driver : the average is about 5 000 to 10 000 ariary per person per day.