Know Before You Go To Madagascar

We call this write up the practical things you should know before you go to Madagascar

Do I Need a Visa for Madagascar?

Do I need a Visa for Madagascar? This is one of those frequently asked questions. Everyone must have a visa to travel to Madagascar. If you are traveling as a tourist and plan to stay for fewer than 30 days, you can obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport. This can be paid in US$ or Euros. But, for business must obtain your visa in advance (airport visas cannot be extended). This is also for stay of a period of time that is longer than 30 days, you

Travelers who have visited countries during the past six months in which yellow fever is endemic must also have proof of having received the yellow fever vaccine.

What Types of Materials Support My Madagascar Visa Application?

To apply for a Madagascar visa, you will need:

  • Valid Passport
  • Passport Photos
  • Proof of Travel Arrangements
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
  • Properly Completed Madagascar Visa Application Form

Currency 

The national currency of Madagascar since December 2004 is the “Ariary”. This replaced the old currency “Malagasy Franc (Fmg)”. When buying something in Madagascar ask the sales person if they are charging you in the old Malagasy Francs. This is because the new Ariary and the old franc exchange rates differ. If you’re not careful of the Madagascar exchange rate you could end up paying more!

A 10 000 Ariary note is approximately US $ 3.

You can only obtain Ariarys while in Madagascar. Travellers are advised to change their currency according to their needs. The best currency rates in Madagascar come from bureau de change offices. These are the ones located in Ivato airport. The major international currency in Madagascar is Euros. You will hence receive a better exchange rate for Euros than US $.

On arrival at Antananarivo-Ivato airport steer clear of people who approach you to exchange your currency. They will propose a more attractive rate than the change offices. More often than not they are scams, which leave you with less money.

Make sure you carry lots of smaller currency denominations for your everyday purchases. This is because people won’t always have change (especially in more remote areas).

Tipping

Tips are usually expected for some services: restaurant services, small purchases, taxis etc. We often recommend US $ 5 to $ 10 per person per day but often leave it at your discretion. If I receive a bad service, I definitely wont tip. But, if the service is superb, why not.

Credit card 

If you have a credit card be aware that the Visa sign is better known than Maestro for example. And even if you have a Visa card, the use of credit/debit cards are generally limited. This is to upscale hotels and restaurants frequented by tourists. The better option is to carry enough cash. Only use your card for bigger value purchases or for ATM/cash point withdrawals. Note, not all atm points will work especially when out of the big cities. So, plan well.

Entry requirements to Madagascar 

Most nationalities need a visa to enter Madagascar. There are two ways of obtaining a tourist visa. You can get one in advance. This is from your country’s Malagasy diplomatic representation. Or, at the airport on arrival. For both methods you should check in advance the fees and documents. This is from your country’s Malagasy diplomatic representation. Your passport should be valid after 6 months from the departure date.

Madagascar Health precautions

Travellers to Madagascar require no vaccination. This is if coming from countries with low risk of Malaria and other tropical diseases. yet, it is wise to check with your local Madagascar embassy. This is for a comprehensive list of health requirements from different destinations. We advise travellers to consult with their doctor about precautions against malaria. There is also, cholera, yellow fever and hepatitis 6-8 weeks before departure.

Do not forget

  • Your normal medication and the prescription for renewal (in case you run out of supplies)
  • A first aid kit containing medicines in case of:
  • Diarrhoea, intestinal infection, vomiting (antispasmodic, gastric dressing)
  • Pain or antipyretic fever and analgesic (paracetamol is good)
  • Allergy (antihistamine)
  • Anti-mosquito sprays etc.

Time difference

+3 GMT

Electricity 
220V. Some Madagascar regions have no electric network. Take battery powered appliances and dispose of them environmentally.

Packing list

  • hiking shoes and sport shoes. Any light shoes with good grip works), flip-flops/ adventure sandals
  • tank tops (5), t-shirts (5), sweaters (2)
  • shorts (3), long pants (3)
  • rain jacket/ poncho (1)
  • underwear (7)
  • socks – moisture-wicking athletic (5)
  • bra (1), sports bra (4)
  • swimsuit (1)
  • pyjamas (1)
  • minimal jewelry and a pair of simple earrings (you still got to be a lady on adventure)

Toiletries

  • minimal makeup, makeup remover, cotton swabs, cotton pads
  • shampoo, conditioner (which works as shaving cream in a pinch). have minimal hair products (curl enhancing cream, hairspray), comb, hair elastics
  • deodorant, solid perfume
  • facial wash, moisturizer, lip balm
  • ·soap leaves, personal wipes, hand sanitizer
  • detergent
  • tampons (a few for emergencies)
  • floss, interdental piks, toothbrush, toothpaste
  • nail file, razor

Gadgets

  • Your Camera (what will prove that you were in Madagascar)
  • Phone and portable power bank, charging cables, adapters
  • Headphones

Miscellaneous

  • sunscreen (2), insect repellent (2)
  • Some prescriptions, Advil, Benadryl, Imodium, Midol, Tums, Polysporin, BAND-AIDs®
  • silk sleep sack, pack towel
  • guidebook, one novel (to reduce the drain on the phone battery)
  • journal, pens
  • eye shade, earplugs
  • sunglasses, hat

Essentials

  • passport, ID
  • local currency
  • travel wallet, credit cards
  • travel documents
  • photocopied passport and ID, stored elsewhere