Detailed self-sufficient Madagascar travel experience 2019

Onetour Not only is the name of an animated movie, the Republic of Madagascar is also an interesting tourist destination. Located in southern Africa, this lovely country has an amazing ecosystem and landscape. But because the cost of tourism is quite high, this place does not attract many tourists. We had a wonderful trip here, and can’t wait to share our detailed 2019 Madagascar travel experience.

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Madagascar is more than just an animated movie title. It is an island located off the east coast of Africa, with an area nearly the size of France with a population of more than 20 million people, but Madagascar tourism only has about 325,000 tourists per year. I spent two weeks exploring this land and was amazed by the number of tourists here. Not to mention the roads are terrible too – it can take up to 8 hours to travel 250km, which is still on their pretty good road.

Like other African countries, there are many giant baobab trees in Madagascar
Like other African countries, there are many giant baobab trees in Madagascar

But then gradually it became clear why there are so few tourists here: moving here is very expensive, Madagascar tourist information on the internet is very little, tourism activities are not diverse, and hotels, tourist centers are few. Traveling to Madagascar as if it were only for the elderly to vacation in expensive resorts or go on service tours, I did not meet many self-sufficient tourists across the country.

Madagascar is a wild and almost original place, untouched by the giant hands of the tourism industry, so now might be the right time to go exploring. The whole country is very cheap, and interesting animals like lemurs are everywhere amidst the majestic natural scenery, why not try to come here and refer to these detailed Madagascar travel experiences.

Content List [Show]

1. How to get here?

2. Madagascar travel experience

3. Is it safe to travel to Madagascar?

4. Madagascar travel expenses

Madagascar's nature is almost original with pristine forests
Madagascar’s nature is almost original with pristine forests

1. How to get here?

Getting to Madagascar is not easy: There is only one flight departing each day from Johannesburg, Air France has only one departure from Paris, and Turkish, Kenyan and Ethiopian Airlines only have flights. transfer.

If you’re looking for a flight to Madagascar departing from Johanneburg, it will cost around $500 for a return ticket. If you go to Air France, round trip is 800 USD. It should be noted that these fares can only be found during the low season (October to April). During the high season (and also the dry season in Madagascar), fares from the Americas fall around 2000 USD, and 1200 USD if departing from Europe.

There are not many direct or connecting flights to Madagascar
There are not many direct or connecting flights to Madagascar

2. Madagascar travel experience

In this country, available tours are very popular. A tour guide once told me that more than 80% of tourists come here by tour, and the remaining 20% hire private drivers to go around and guide the tour. Most of the visitors to Madagascar are elderly, and I guess young people don’t come here because the tour is expensive and there’s not much information to find online.

A 14-day tour costs about 2500 – 4000 USD. You will be staying in average hotels with private bathrooms, hot and cold water, breakfast and maybe even swimming pools. You will be transported by bus with a local guide, to each park they will introduce you, show you interesting animals and maybe tell a few more side stories. Most Madagascar tours follow the same schedule.

Most people who travel to Madagascar go on a tour
Most people who travel to Madagascar go on a tour

If you want to go on your own, then Madagascar is not an easy choice. Hotels and motels are sparse, tourist information is limited, and public buses don’t go to many cities and parks. Madagascar travel experience is that you need to know a little basic French, because English is not common here.

So can we travel to Madagascar by ourselves? Sure, although it will be difficult, you absolutely can. But you probably have to be a person with a lot of experience, completely comfortable with getting out of your comfort zone, and especially not in a hurry, because getting around here takes time. If you take public transport (which is a small van full of people), you will move very slowly. Buses only go when there are enough passengers on the bus. Sometimes they show up, sometimes they don’t.

Traveling to Madagascar is special in that you can comfortably admire the amazing nature
Traveling to Madagascar is special in that you can comfortably admire the amazing nature

Madagascar travel experiences when you want to go fast self-sufficient, you can rent a car manned for $ 50 / day, and you can go everywhere without having to wait for the bus. Although you can absolutely drive yourself, companies require a driver to accompany you.

You can also fly around the island to see the scenery, but there is only Air Madagascar, and the cost for flights is at least 250 USD one way.

3. Is it safe to travel to Madagascar?

During my travels, most of the time I am curious about everything and rarely feel unsafe. There are a lot of beggars, especially children, on the street, so you have to actively say no and walk away. The drivers here will only answer yes or no to you, so you have to be tough.

Madagascar landscape on a cloudy day
Madagascar landscape on a cloudy day

I read somewhere about whether it’s safe to travel to Madagascar given the crime rate across the country. The locals barely go out after dark, and many hotels in Antananarivo even have people escorting customers from hotels to bars and restaurants.

During the day, especially in small villages, you can walk around comfortably. In the evening, be more cautious, especially in big cities like the capital.

4. Madagascar travel expenses

Eating in Madagascar is mainly rice and zebu meat dishes
Eating in Madagascar is mainly rice and zebu meat dishes

Although the cost of moving to this country is very expensive, but once you get here, everything is very cheap. The cost of traveling to Madagascar will not make it difficult for you, specifically with my experience is as follows:

  • In one time I went to the market, I bought a spring roll for 100 ARY. After noticing the exchange rate difference, I realized I had just spent a few cents. And since I was still quite hungry, I bought 15 of them.
  • Even if you want to eat in a hotel restaurant, most meals are as little as $4. In local restaurants, the price is less than half.

Eating in Madagascar is mostly chicken, zebu (a type of cattle meat), pork, stews and rice, lots of rice. There are also many excellent pizza shops here as well. You’ll need some French if you want to shop or eat in non-touristy areas.

In Madagascar, there are both mountains and a diverse marine ecosystem
In Madagascar, there are both mountains and a diverse marine ecosystem

Madagascar is a very beautiful, wild and enchanting country that is rarely found anywhere in the world. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to come here and share my Madagascar travel experiences with you. This is definitely a place you must visit at least once in your life.

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