Trip to Madagascar
January 12, 2010 8:08 AM   Subscribe

I am beginning to plan a trip to Madagascar set for November of this year. I am hoping to spend about 11 or so days actually traveling around the country. Any tips or information I should know when planning my vacation?

I have been lucky enough to have extensively traveled, but have only been to Africa once (Tanzania). I plan on getting a guide book and maps, but figured I'd query the hivemind as well. My current thought is to spend about 75% of the time in the south then flying to the beaches in the north for a couple of days before heading back to the US. Also, my girlfriend who would be going on the trip with me speaks French, so we would be able to communicate fairly well with local folks.
posted by Falconetti to Travel & Transportation around Madagascar (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Just in case you didn't find it in the archives, I asked a question about a possible Madagascar trip a while back. We didn't wind up going, but I did also get some useful advice there and on the Thorn Tree Forums.
posted by googly at 8:52 AM on January 12, 2010

Whoa - I'm planning a trip in May doing pretty much the exact same itinerary.
posted by JPD at 8:56 AM on January 12, 2010

Brush up on your Malagasy.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 9:32 AM on January 12, 2010

I've been to all 7 continents and nearly 70 countries, and Madagascar had the worst roads I've ever experienced. Every single flight we were on were delayed for hours. Tourism infrastructure is shaky at best, but the people are fabulous. Just be patient.

Kirindy - one of the hotter versions of hell on earth. Bring lots of water - more than you think you'll need. Snakes were, um, prevalent.

Tsingy - leeches! I didn't mind that much (I came prepared with lots of ointment / bandaids to help speed up healing for the itchiness / bleeding), but other people were totally freaked out.

I brought my 300 lens for my DLSR and was grateful - I got some fabulous wildlife photos.

Madagascar vanilla - in hindsight, I wish I had bought more! Didn't realize how much good vanilla is in demand until my foodie friends back home cried when they saw I only brought back a few limp sticks back.
posted by HeyAllie at 9:59 AM on January 12, 2010

I've been there twice to do research (on lemurs) in Ranomafana National Park and was lucky to travel around the south a good bit. Ranomafana is the best place for wildlife viewing, in my opinion, and should not be missed. The beaches in the southwest are the most gorgeous I've ever seen--crystal clear water and awesome snorkeling. Get out of Tana as fast as you can.

French will be really useful in the cities, but any attempts to speak Malagasy will be really appreciated. It seemed to me that most tourists relied on French and English. Ten or thirty words of Malagasy go really far though.

Be ready to eat lots of white rice if you don't go for the ritzy French restaurants. Drink lots of THB (Three Horses Beer), eat Bolo cookies, try not to freak out about leeches, and don't buy rosewood goods. If you see these guys, tell them I said 'hi.'

Feel free to mefi mail me with any questions. Have fun!
posted by bergeycm at 10:00 PM on January 12, 2010

« Older MacBook Voice Recording that's iPhone Playable?   |   Please help me fix my ride without being taken for... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.