Frequently asked questions about Madagascar

What currency should I bring for Madagascar?

The official Malagsy currency is the Ariary. The current rate (8/1/2013) according to is €1 = 3,003.95.

Antananarivo (Tana) is the only place to exchange currency. You can do this at the airport, hotel (rate not so good) or official bureaux de change outlets.   Travellers cheques can be swapped in Tana, but you have to show your passport and your proof of purchase and it is a time consuming affair! There are some ATMs in Madagascar where you can withdraw Ariaries, again these tend to be in the larger places.

We would advise you to bring sufficient cash, preferably in Euros or US Dollars and change this when you arrive into Tana.

What is the best time to travel in Madagascar?

It is difficult to have a ready answer to this question, since Madagascar has many climate zones, which of course gives the advantage that there is a great diversity of flora and fauna in Madagascar. However, as regards the weather, it may be that one place has perfect weather, whilst elsewhere there is a lot of rain. In general we can say that from April to October there is a relatively dry period in Madagascar. The months of November and December are wet months, but even then, when it rains there is generally not too much and it is still possible to travel. February and March are the months with the heaviest rainfall.
From about the beginning of July to the middle of September, there are whales in Ifaty and Île Sainte-Marie, so if you hope to see whales, you can take this into account.

How heavy are the walks in Madagascar?

Often you can decide whether you want a long or short stroll. The parks are also at different heights and the relief is different. There are paths, but keep in mind that the more difficult trails are not passable if there has been rainfall, moreover you may need to leave the path to see an animal, then you need shoes with a good tread, such as hiking boots. To get the most out of the walks, a reasonable condition is an advantage.

Is mineral water available in Madagascar?

Yes, basically you can get bottled water everywhere.

Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?

Yes you can book transfers (on arrival) and extra nights with Shoestring. You can add this on your booking form.

Do i need a visa for Madagascar?

You should check with your nearest Malagasy embassy as information can change and differ depending upon your own nationality. For most tourists a visa is required and can be obtained free of charge (subject to change) upon arrival. You must also present your return flight details, as per local law, when you arrive.

What plugs do they use in Madagascar?

Plugs are generally two-pin and mostly 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

How are communications from within Madagascar?

Telephone:  Country code: 261. For cheap calls its best to buy a telephone card and use a public telephone booth. Cards can be purchased at post offices and most hotels. Mobile coverage reaches major cities and roads only.

Internet:  Public Internet access is available in large cities; there are a few Internet cafés in Antananarivo but the connections tend to be slow.

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