Travel Advice for Madagascar
Madagascar
Capital: Antananarivo

Time Zone GMT + 3
Telephone
Services
Country Code: 261
IDD: International Direct Dialling is available to major towns
Outgoing Code: 16
Emergency
Telephone
Numbers
Not present
Tourist
Information
Direction du Tourisme de Madagascar, Ministry of Tourism, BP 610, Tsimbazaza, 101 Antananarivo, Madagascar, Tel: (2) 26298 Fax: (2) 26710.
Passport
Information
Valid passport required by all. Return Ticket required. Requirements may be subject to short-term change. Contact the relevant authority before departure.
Visa
Information
Visa required by all.
Health
Information
Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended.
Malaria : Exists in the falciparum variety all year and throughout the country. The highest risk is along the coast. Resistance to chloroquine has been reported.
Yellow Fever: A vaccination certificate is required from everyone arriving from areas considered by the Malagasy authorities to be infected. Other Health Risks: Bilharzia, Cholera, Rabies, Hepatitis A, B and E are endemic. Dysentery and many viral diseases have been reported.
Food
& Drink
Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption. Observe strict food hygiene to guard against cholera.
Currency Malagasy Franc (MGFr) = 100 centimes.
NOTE: Non-residents can not export local currency.
Credit cards are accepted in the capital's major hotels. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks and major hotels, French francs preferred.
Cost of
Living
Relatively inexpensive. Hotels vary from international prices to cheaper guest-houses.
Languages Malagasy and French. Local dialects are also spoken. Very little English is spoken.
Weather Generally hot and subtropical. Nov - Mar is the raining season and Apr - Oct is the dry season. The South and West are hot and dry. During Dec to Mar the monsoon may cause storms and cyclones. Mountainous regions are hot and thundery from Nov to Apr and dry; cool and windy the rest of the year.
Electricity Mostly 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs are generally 2 pin.
Post The Poste Restante facility at the main post office is the most reliable option. Airmail to Europe takes at least 7 days, and surface mail takes 3 to 4 months.
Transport FLIGHTS: Most of Madagascar can be reached by air. Air Madagascar's 'Air Tourist Pass' is available and allows unlimited travel for certain periods.
SEA/RIVER/CANAL: There are many coastal transport services.
RAIL: Services operate in the East, North and South.
ROAD: The road network is need of repair and many are impassable during the raining season.
BUS: Services are often unreliable. A flat fare is charged irrespective of length of journey.
TAXI / RICKSHAW / STAGECOACH: Available.
Special
Information
The locals are very welcoming and have a very relaxed attitude towards time. To offer money for board and lodging could be considered an insult; tact is required. Respect should always be paid to local taboos. Carry a photocopy of your passport and leave the original in a safe place.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Do not take photographs of military establishments or the police.