Madagascar is the world's fourth-largest island. Lying 400 kilometers from the coast of Mozambique in Africa, Madagascar is home to endemism. Travel to Madagascar promises to be an amazing and unforgettable experience. The wildlife in Madagascar is probably one of the most fascinating in the world in terms of diversity, abundance and accessibility and it purpose the best rewarding travel on it. Madagascar also presents stunning landscapes, spectacular rainforests and incredibly fascinating geological formations within its expansive National Parks and Reserves, white sandy beaches, an unusual history, and countryside full of naturally wonderful and friendly people. Go trekking or hiking in the heart of lush tree canopies for a close-up view at Madagascar's most famous creatures, walk through colorful towns filled with markets and European or African-influenced architectures, and enjoy relaxing holiday moment on magnificent Indian Ocean or Mozambique Channel beaches. Combining friendly locals, fascinating wildlife and idyllic island way of life, the Madagascar experience is a unique part of paradise.
It's essential to have a travel insurance policy to cover loss, medical problem and theft.
There is no obligatory vaccination before coming to Madagascar but special precaution are strongly recommended for Malaria, tetanus, typhoid, indigestion. Don't forget to take insect protection measures such as wearing repellent, sun cream. Don't drink from taps. Brush teeth with bottled water also.
Madagascar currency is the Ariary (MGA, symbol Ar).
For the credit card: Visa is common accepted at some hotels in the main cities and there are ATMs.
American express, Diner Club, Master Card aren't very used. However it's better to have cash during the tour, outside the main cities.
Few banks and only the top hotels can exchange travelers' checks.
Banks and ATM are available in all major cities of the country
Only banks and exchange agencies in town or in airports, shopping centers and large hotels are authorized to exchange currencies. Don't change in black market!
Even If you are keen on exotic items, you have to be careful not to become traffickers by ignorance.
Several live species is forbidden among which lemurs, tortoises, and chameleons.
Items classified as National Heritage such as aloalo, Zafimaniry shutters and ancient manuscripts couldn't be taken out of the country.
A traveler is allowed to take out the country:
- 2 kg of vanilla
- 250 g of stamped gold jewelry. Allowance can extend to 1 kilo, should the holder prove sufficient foreign currency to buy the items
- 1kg Pepper corn
- 1kg coffee
- different crocodile skin items, bought from certified sellers; the holders must present the purchase receipts and the authorizations signed by the forestry administration.
The country code for Madagascar is +261
To call out of Madagascar, dial +00 before the country code.
The main mobile networks are Telma starts with 034; Airtel start with 033; and Orange start with 032;
Mobile phone coverage is pretty good across Madagascar, but a number of remote areas only have coverage from one network instead of the three available.
Madagascar is wired with high-speed Internet and access is available in all big hotels. For public internet access, cybercafés are widely available.
The unilingual "Malagasy" distinguishes Madagascar from several other countries. French is used for administration languages widely spoken than English.
Electrical current is 220 volts AC; 50Hz. Plugs are generally two-pin (adapter type C). Bring battery-powered appliances for emergencies! In remote areas there is still no electricity, hotels have their own generator which runs in the late evening and early in the morning. It's better to take a torch with you.
Three hours ahead of GMT (GMT/UTC + 3). Compared by the Western Europe + 1 hour during summer and +2 in winter. (One hour more for UK).
Malagasy people are very hospitable and welcoming people meanwhile. It's highly recommended to request permission from individuals before taking photos of them.
If you are professional shooter it's compulsory to have a written authorization from Madagascar National Parks for shootings inside National Parks and Reserves.
Nowadays, Madagascar is home to more than 300 species of amphibians and 400 species of reptiles in which over 90% are endemic. This rate increases continually due to discover of new species in different places that have not been explored before.
Madagascar is the fourth biggest island of the world from its size and the origin of this unclassifiable land is in itself a travel. From Africa, from which it separated 165 million years ago, it kept the red earth. From Asia, where a large part of the population came from, it inherited the rice fields. However, Madagascar is neither truly Asian nor totally African; its original culture makes it the only "Afro-Asian" land on the planet. Eighteen populations share this territory of tropical forests, spiny deserts, and beaches with white sand, lateritic soil, lagoons and rock formations. This ethnic mosaic has forged over the centuries a system of authentically Malagasy values. Rites associated with the cult of ancestors such as famadihana, or the presence in the same country of African agrarian tools, and words of Asian origin, are found only in Madagascar.
Welcome to the country of endemism! Madagascar is home to a unique flora and fauna found nowhere else: 85% of the 12,000 island plant varieties live on its soil. The Malagasy territory has distinct natural environments that correspond to as many types of vegetation. The east coast, resolutely tropical, is characterized by vast rain forests and a wide range of palms, bamboos, ferns and orchids. The drier west is the country of baobabs. Seven of the eight different species of baobabs in the world are found in Madagascar. One specie (Adansonia digitata) exists in Africa, another species (Adansonia gregorii or gibbosa) is found in Australia and the other 6 endemic species (Adansonia grandidieri, Adansonia madagascariensis, Adansonia perrieri, Adansonia rubrostipa, Adansonia suarezensis, Adansonia za) in Madagascar with one who is present in Africa (Adansonia digitata).
Madagascar was separated from the rest of the African continent 160 million years ago. This results in the country's unparalleled biodiversity and endemism. Ninety-six percent of the fauna and flora is endemic in Madagascar and is found nowhere else. Covering an area of 587,000 km2, the country is the 4th largest island in the world (after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo), so its environmental diversity rivals that of an entire continent (rainforests in the east, deciduous forests in the north and west, dense xerophytes' forests in the south, and forests of the high mountains inside the island). Madagascar is home to one of the most unusual collections of mammals in the world and has a remarkable diversity in terms of habitat and associated flora.
South-East exploration by train (12 days/11 nights)
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