The first inhabitants (these were the Indonesians who crossed the ocean 2000 years ago with their small boats) from Madagascar took rice from their homeland. They settled in the mountains to plant rice fields. Hundreds of years later came the Africans who brought the Zebu (this is a cow with a fat bump on his back). Because the mountains were already occupied, they stayed close to the coast. Nowadays it is still the case that the Africans are at the coast and the Indonesians in the mountains, but more and more of these groups blend into a Afrinasier or Indocan ;-).
Despite the abundancy of food, the locals have no money for clothing, good shelter, transport or health care. People wash themselves in the sewage, people drink from the river (which isn’t clean), a child from a puddle of water in the street (while the street is dirty with rubbish and mud) or people who have nothing but dirty broken clothing.
Madagascar is full of wildlife and nature. Ranomafana NP is the most popular park, with various walking routes that you can walk with a guide. You will find unique plants and animals. The golden half-lemurs, gray half-lemurs, ring-tailed lemurs and mouse lemurs are only a few of the makis species that live here. You can also spot the Fossa and more than 100 bird species of which 30 species only occur in this park. A stunning 90% of Madagascar’s flora and fauna are endemic, found nowhere else in the world. These are protected in National Parks where rugged hikes are needed to track rare species and in private reserves where, to appeal to the French market, the lemurs are fed from the table and almost tame. The highest mountain peaks of Madagascar can be found in the Andringitra Mountains. It is a rugged and rocky area, but a beautiful area for walking through rain forests, high mountains and prairies. Beach lovers are not too short in Madagascar. Drive to the coast, you will find beautiful white beaches.
“Happiness is only real when shared .”@Christopher mccandless
We are travelers that like to experience everything a country has to offer. In every country we visit there are also a few basics we value and that is comfortable sleeping and good food. Of course this has to fit within our budget, which isn't a backpacker budget, but we also don't have unlimited financial resources.
What we usually strive for:
Local food which is cheap and most of the time the best food you ever had.
Value for money accommodation where we focus on cleanliness and a comfortable bed.
A mix of must sees which are almost for nothing as it is a hard to reach place or yet unknown and must sees which are pricy as it is very touristy.
Madagascar can be traveled on 3 ways, by taxi-brousse which is the cheapest option, by renting a car or by car with private driver. We have chosen for the later option as the car will be a 4x4 and the driver can translate for you and help you along the way. We slept mostly in hotels and varied between cheaper and more expensive hotels. The driver took care of his own room which mostly was being arranged by the hotel. Foodwise we had dinner in the hotel, but breakfast and lunch was bought in the supermarket. Our costs for activities where high due to the lessons we took to learn kitesurfing.
FOOD & DRINKS
EUR 69,86 per day per person
on the basis of 26 days and excl. fly ticket
You can stay in Madagascar for up to 90 days without needing a visa. You must be in possession of proof of a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months). The passport must contain at least one empty visa page. For travel up to 30 days you pay 35 Euro per person for a visa when you arrive at the airport in Antananarivo. If you stay longer than 30 days, you must purchase a visa at 40 Euro per person.
Madagsacar has a lot to offer. But before you go you need to know what the hotspots of the country are. Beneath, we have selected a few of our finest moments. Of course there is much more to explore and if you want to see more, please click on the button below. You will not only find our highlights, but also from fellow travelers. Are you also one of these travellers that takes the unbeaten path, leave us a message.
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The Avenue of the Baobabs is a group of baobab trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region of western Madagascar. The road is one of the most popular and visited places in the country. It's also the most accessible place to see the Baobab trees in Africa.
Ambalavao hosts the largest zebu market in the country. Tough, wizened herders walk from as far away as Tuléar and Fort-Dauphin to sell their cattle. It is quite a spectacle, especially as the animals make their way up the bluff where the huge enclosure is located. The market reaches fever pitch around 10am or 11am. It's located about 1km south of Ambalavao.
The admirable geology of the secluded Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park has the status of UNESCO World Heritage. Over the centuries formed by wind and water and often tens of meters in the air, the jagged limestone peaks are a unique sight. The impenetrable park with the sharp dark gray rock points, the famous tsingy, are a highlight in a journey through Madagascar.
In Isalo NP you see strangely formed sandstone massif with grass plains, old tombs and canyons. There are many natural pools, plants and the temperature is hot and dry. Piscine Naturelle is simply worth a walk.
Lemur Island is privately owned, operating as both a lemur and tourist trap. Take a extremely short canoe ride to Lemur Island and see hello to these lovely animals.
CAMPSITES & HOTELS
BEST KITS SPOT ever! Hôtel de la Plage is a beach hotel located at the southwestern coast of Madagascar at Ambolimailaka, about 40 kilometres north of Tulear. You can do scuba diving, whale and bird watching, kitesurfing, diving and quad riding. House with thatched roof on the beach what do you want more?Go to link
TIPS & TRICKS
In Madagascar the voltage is 220 volts. European plugs with two pins are used, so a world plug is not necessary.
FOOD & DRINKS
Avoid drinking from the tap and only drink water from bottles. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are available everywhere, but the quality of coffee is not always good. In addition, there are fresh fruit juices. With regard to alcohol, the most popular beer brand is Three Horses Beer.
In a journey through Madagascar you make use of private transport with your own guide / driver, giving you the freedom to stop wherever you want. In Madagascar you drive on the right side of the road. The main roads are paved and have a reasonable condition, mainly from Antananarivo to Tulear and to Tamatave. The remaining roads, the largest part in Madagascar, are unpaved and in a bad state so that they can only be ridden with a 4WD.
Especially in the rainy season.
Public transport is typified by the taxi brousse, overcrowded and uncomfortable local buses that do not take it so closely with punctuality. In some places such as Antsirabe, colorful rickshaws, the pousse pousse, determine the cityscape. Taxi transport is only well arranged and cheap in the capital Antananarivo. Talk a price in advance before you get a taxi. During a journey through Madagascar you have to take into account long travel distances of regularly 3 to 5 hours before arriving at the next destination. Local flights with Air Madagascar can significantly shorten travel time, but they are not cheap. At least one to two flights are often required to discover the country well.
Learn some French – but don’t get too fluent. The Malagasy are generally friendly but open up once they realise you’re not from France: most cordially dislike their colonial overlords. Only the young have had the opportunity to learn English and – unless you’re prepared to tackle one of the 18 regional dialects – communication relies on a broad-vowelled version of school-room French.
BEST TIME TO GO
Madagascar has, due to the large size, different climate zones with varied temperatures, depending on the altitude and geographical position. In general, there is a mild climate in the highlands. The south and west are warm and dry and the north and east have a tropical climate. The pleasant dry season, the winter in Madagascar, runs from May to October and the warm rainy season runs from November to April. In the rainy season the temperature on the coast fluctuates between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius and between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius in the dry season. In the highlands the temperature is around 18 degrees Celsius all year round, however the nights with 5 degrees Celsius (or even night frost) in the winter can be quite cold. In the east with rainforests you can expect rain throughout the year, with the wettest months from July to September. The best travel time for Madagascar is from April to December, where there are usually more travelers in the destination between July and October. September to November is a good time to see the flora when the many flowers are in bloom and the fauna with newborn animals become active again. The rice fields are beautiful in May. From January to March a tour is not recommended, because many national parks and roads are inaccessible because of the rain. This is the period when heavy rain showers and cyclones can occur. Good to know is that both the dry and rainy season each have its highlights, depending on your preferences.
Rainfall (mm) Temperature (°C)
29th of March Memorial Day, 26th of June Independence Day, 30th of December Day of the Republic.
A positive travel advice applies to Madagascar. There are security risks, this has mainly to do with crime, political unrest and the plague that here and now still prevails. Check the current travel advice for Madagascar before departure.
We advise you to consult your doctor or the National Coordination Center for Travelers Advice (www.lcr.nl) in good time before departure.
Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
Dengue and Chikungunya occurs in this country. You should be well protected during the day against mosquito bites.
You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Madagascar. It is recommended to take this vaccine, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
Yellow fever - possibly mandatory from risk area There is no yellow fever in this country. However, if you come FROM a yellow fever area, vaccination may be REQUIRED.
A Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for all travelers to this country, because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Madagascar, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Hepatitis B is advisable if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
Malaria occurs in some areas. You should be well protected against mosquito bites in the evening and at night. Also the use of tablets to prevent malaria is sometimes necessary. The drug that is recommended is personal. Let yourself be advised by an expert.
Rabies can occur in mammals in this country. Avoid contact with mammals. .