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// SEPTEMBER 2017
Such stuff as dreams are made on...

In general (Smile & Say Hello, Keep in touch, Don’t be afraid, Eat local food, Take many photos)

 

Money

Currency exchange is possible at banks in larger cities (Bank of Africa, BNI, BFV Société generale, BMOI) or at special exchange agencies (e.g. SOCIMAD). Some hotels offer to change money, too, but mostly at worse exchange rates. You can change Ariary back into Euro or Dollar exclusively at the airport of Antananarivo and some banks of the capital.

Cash is king! This is valid for Madagascar even more. You generally pay everything with cash money.

Credit cards are accepted hardly anywhere in Madagascar – and if, Visa is more useful than Mastercard.

 

Transports

We chose to self drive in Madagascar, but we do not recommend it, unless you have with you a local driver/guide. We didn’t hire one, we covered the routes without any local assistance and were faced with several unexpected adventures. Do not rely on google maps_ some roads are completely damaged, not asphalted and some of them are just sandy dirt trucks. You will definitely need a 4x4 vehicle to face all the challenges on the roads of Madagascar.

Here there are some road tips from our own personal experience:

RN4: Ivato to Moramanga. Asphalted, but badly maintained and with heavy traffic. Too many big trucks.

RN2: It is the most important road of Madagascar and led us to Manambato. The last 7 kilometers is just a rough dirt truck.

RN24 &RN35: asphalted roads , led us to Morondava.

RN7: Leads to Antsirabe. Amazing, famous route, asphalted, windy roads through rice fields and idyllic highland villages.

RN8: from Morondava to  Belo’ni Tsiribihina and to the Avenue of Baobabs. Unpaved and difficult.

The remote sandy corridor, which we took to reach Belo sur Mer does not appear on the google maps and moreover is turned into a toll road by the locals!

RN5: Road to Tulear (a challenging 4x4 muddy track, said to be the worst road in the country. It includes several river crossings by boat or ferry. With sections of sand, solid rock and even worn-down bridges that drivers must inspect before crossing, the 200km road takes nearly 24 hours to drive. It turns especially treacherous during the rainy season (December to March), when the lack of asphalt or concrete paving leads the road to become impassable in many spots).

 

Sights

Madagascar is an amazing country with unique fauna and flora and is considered the hottest spot on earth for its biodiversity. Do not miss the chance to watch its famous lemurs and to visit some of its famous parks under the name Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Site of Universal Hertage, UNESCO). Go to the opened air markets and buy for yourselves and friends colourful hand woven “lambas”, the colourful, unique national dress of Madagascar. Visit the Hosotra opened air exhibition and buy local paintings. A must too is to buy famous Zafimaniry hand made wood crafts (their woodworking were inscribed on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008).

 

Food

Try the yummy street food of Madagascar and discover the multi-culti influence in its Cuisine. India, Middle East, Africa, China, Europe, all of them have contributed to the famous world widely dishes of Madagascar. Don’t forget to taste the famous chocolates produced at the Chocolaterie Robert, which was established in 1940 and enjoy of course the emblematic beer of the country, the Three Horses Beer.

 

Μentality

The Malagasy people have based their way of life upon the values of solidarity and the honoring of the ancestors. They still follow the local traditions and are quite superstitious, since they believe in magic and in astrology. In general, they are joyful, pleasant and friendly to the visitors who come in Madagascar. They will not hesitate to allow you to take photos of them, they are charming and also very much interested to hear what has brought you to their island. They are very enthusiastic, when you try local street food sold at the open markets of their villages and they very helpful and quite capable as drivers and guides.

 

 

 

Country: Madagascar
Date: 2017
Route: Madagascar
Cities: Ivato, Manambato, Antsirabe, Morondava, Morondava, Belo sur Mer, Manja, Toliara
Duration: 7
Difficulty:
Population: 25.054.161
Rating:
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Country: Madagascar
Date: 2017
Route: Madagascar
Cities: Ivato, Manambato, Antsirabe, Morondava, Morondava, Belo sur Mer, Manja, Toliara
Duration: 7
Difficulty:
Population: 25.054.161
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Madagascar
Date: 2017
Route: Madagascar
Cities: Ivato, Manambato, Antsirabe, Morondava, Morondava, Belo sur Mer, Manja, Toliara
Duration: 7 days
Difficulty:
Population: 25.054.161
Rating:
comments
VIEW