Practical informations

MADAGASCAR western land drifted from Africa, and the eastern part split from a mainland which became probably India, 100 millons years ago.

The first settlers of the island arrrived around the beginning of the first millenium, from Indonesia, and gradually mixed with Arabic and African traders.

MADAGASCAR  represents that way the genuine crossroad between Africa and Asia.

The island’s isolation developed an explosion of biodiversity found nowhere else over the planet, that offers an unique wildlife sanctuary.

MADAGASCAR features inlude the fascinating culture result from an endemic spirit and traditions blend, scattered through 18 Malagasy tribes.Madagascar

THE LAND:

Madagascar, the largest island in the Indian Ocean, situated between latitude 12°and 30° South and between longitude 45° and 51° East, is surrounded in the north by the Comoros islands and Mayotte, in the east by the Reunion and Mauritius and in the west by South Africa across the Mozambique Channel.

It covers an area of 587 041 sq. Km, (1580 km long and 580 km wide). It compares in area to about the size of France and Benelux together. Madagascar with Nosy Be in the north (325 sq. km), Sainte Marie in the east (200 sq. km) is the world’s fourth largest island after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo.

The center of the island is dominated by mountains and hills with 1000m to 1500m average altitude, usually called the highlands.

The humid eastern coast is covered by a thick rainforest.

The southern and western are dry.

The capital city is Antananarivo or Tana , about 3 million people live in.

THE POPULATION:

The population of Madagascar referred to as Malagasy, is estimated to be 20 million.

In spite of the number of the ethnic groups in Madagascar which are in general 18 a national language of Malayo-Indonesian origin was formed. French is practically used all over the island.

There are some FADY or taboos specific to each tribe and area. They are well respected by the locals, and foreigners are also expected to do the same .

SEASON:

Two distinct seasons:

  • The dry season or the southern winter, between June and September.
  • The rainy season or the southern summer, between November and April.

Rainy season and cyclones occur generally from January to March.

Temperatures vary from 1°C to 25°C during winter and 25°C to 35°C on summer in the highlands.

Climate is warmer seaside, about 20°C to 40°C the whole year.

RELIGION:

49% of Malagasy are christians with 26% catholics and 23% protestants. 4% of population is muslim, 49% follow ancestors cult. 1% remained practise other religions.

MONEY:

  • Local currency: Ar (Ariary)
  • Coins: 1 Ar to 50 Ar
  • Banknotes: 100 Ar to 10 000 Ar

There are banks and change companies in big cities and they accept credit cards and travellers’ checks as the case with some places. It is best to always have some cash with you. To exchange Ariary into foreign currency is possible after your stay.

VISA Card and Mastercard are accepted by the ATMs, but keep in mind that most of hotels and restaurants accept only cash or voucher from local Tour Operators

TIME ZONE:

From March to October: GMT + 01 hour

From October to March: GMT + 02 hours

PHONE CALL CODES:

From Madagascar to abroad :

00 + country code + number

From foreign country to Madagascar :

00 + 261 + number

FORMALITY:

Visa: mandatory, issued by the Malagasy embassies or consulates abroad or upon arrival at IVATO international airport.

Required documents:

  • A valid passport with at least 6 months of validity after the planned date of departure.
  • A round trip ticket.

The visa fee is free for the stay less than 30 days

For the stay more than 31 days till 60 days the visa fee is 45€

For the stay more than 61 days till 90 days the visa fee is 57€

HEALTH:

There is no mandatory vaccine. However, it is recommended to see your consulting doctor before departure.

Visitors use to get some prophylaxy against Malaria before their departure.

All big cities and villages have hospitals, health centres, drugstores, doctors. A general practitioner is easy to find, but it is not the case for all the medicines prescribed on the prescription. It is advisable to come with your own first-aid kit.

Health facilities are very basic on country side.

INSURANCE:

It is better if you will subscribe to an individual guarantee insurance and repatriation insurance.

ELECTRIC CURRENT:

220 Volts with eurpean standard outlet.

TRAVELLING SCHEDULE :

The North is warm and humid the whole year.

In the Highlands, temperature is cooler from  June to September, with moderate rains.

The East is wet and warm all along the year, and exposed to cyclones from January to March.

The West is dry from june to november, tracks are not suitable for cars durins rainy season.

The South is almost dry from January to December, with moderate rains from january to march.