Foreign Government Travel Warnings
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At present there are no warnings against travel to Madagascar to areas that we travel to. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident. You can visit the FCO here - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/madagascar
It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.
Accommodation and Meals
Hotel Check-in Times
As a general rule most hotels will allow guests to check-in from 2pm. Please note that the price of your tour does not include guaranteed early check-in. Therefore please advise us if you would like to ensure that your room is available for an earlier arrival. This is particularly relevant on the first day of the tour and for early morning arrivals. One option is to pre-book and pay for an extra night at the beginning of your tour which will guarantee your accommodation is available irrespective of what time you arrive. Please contact us for information and costs.
Food & Drink
The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). Please note that lunch may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.
If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
Budgeting for your Tour
You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.
In general the costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more. The costs below are indicative to eating at the hotel restaurants and range depending on number of courses.
Lunch £5- £10 excluding drinks
Dinner £5- £13 excluding drinks
The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.
Bottle of Beer £1 - £2
Bottle of mineral water £0.50 – £0.75
A fresh fruit juice £1 - £1.50
Although not compulsory, tipping is customary in Madagascar.
ATM Availability: Madagascar’s larger cities are equipped with ATMs but they can be unreliable. We recommend you get your Ariary in Tana or at the airport.
Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Cards are not widely accepted as Madagascar is generally a cash economy, but those places that do accept them generally only take Visa
Local Currency: Ariary
Recommended Currency for Exchange: Euros, US Dollars, Pound Sterling
Where to Exchange: Tana Airport or your guide will advise you. Please note that the exchange counters at the airport will be available to change money for all arriving flights.
Our advertised prices do not include the cost of international flights. Please contact us if you would like a quotation to book a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
Internal Flights – Air Madagascar
Air Madagascar flights are subject sometimes to severe delay and cancellation. Our local team will do their very best to reschedule arrangements but your understanding in advance is appreciated. Therefore changes to the itinerary may be necessary.
It is a condition of booking that you have adequate valid travel insurance, the cost of which is not included in the price of the tour. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.
Visitors from most countries, including UK, EU and US visitors require a visa for entering Madagascar. This is currently available on arrival for EUR27 for most nationalities. However, visa regulations can frequently change and therefore we recommend that you check with your nearest embassy for the most up to date details.
When you arrive at Tana, do not join the queue for immigration, instead pass through the barrier and head to the visa counter located at the right hand side of the arrivals hall where you can obtain your visa. You then continue to the police desk and then to baggage reclaim area.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK. We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.
For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate.
Vaccinations & Protection
As with travel to most parts of Africa, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic around 6-8 weeks before departure for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid. We also recommend that you seek advice about malaria prophylactics.
Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. If you can’t produce a certificate, you will have to visit the Institut Pasteur in Antananarivo for vaccination.
Preparing for your tour
General Travel in Madagascar
Madagascar is not like safari destinations in Southern or Eastern Africa. It is one of the poorest countries in the world. Whilst tourists have been visiting the country for many years in small numbers the infrastructure is still not as well developed as tourist destinations in the western world or even some destinations in Africa. Things sometimes do not run according to plan. Travelling can be slow and tough going. Service at hotels and restaurants is not comparable to western standards. Please kindly travel with an open mind and if you experience any problems contact our local team on the telephone number on your tour voucher who will do their best to assist.
Madagascar is quite warm and so light clothes are generally a good idea. You should ensure that you bring warmer clothes for any cool evenings. When walking in the forest it is advisable to wear long trousers and sleeves. Madagascar has reasonably relaxed attitudes towards dress and shorts are acceptable throughout much of the country. You should bring a raincoat as although our tours run in the dry season, it can still rain in the forests, particularly Ranomafana, as well as a hat to protect yourself from the strong sun.
Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have. Please bring a torch/head-torch as electricity outage can occur from time to time and also to assist with walking around hotel/lodges at night. If you use walking poles you may wish to bring them for walks in the national parks. You may also wish to bring cycling/sailing gloves for use in the Tsingy.
Footwear is a main priority on this tour. Comfortable walking shoes/boots with closed toes and ankle support are recommended, as well as a pair of sandals for general travelling. In general when walking you will be sticking to trails/paths but there may be times when you will leave the main footpaths in the National Parks to see the wildlife which is when good grip is particularly necessary.
Luggage on tour
Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.
For the internal flights one piece of luggage at 18kg is allowed per person.
Taking presents/gifts to Madagascar
If you wish to take something with you to donate whilst in Madagascar then we recommend that you bring items that are useful for use in schools. This could be exercise books, paper (plain or lined), pens, pencils, post it notes, and English reading story books are also appreciated. Other very appreciate gifts are soccer balls (that you can bring deflated in your bag) and hair bobbles for girls. Your guide for the tour will facilitate a suitable place to donate your items on the tour. We do not encourage giving sweets or money to the local people.
Electric Supply & Plugs
Electrical supply is 220V/50 Hz and plugs have two round pins like most European countries.