Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, and it is a vast magical land just begging to be discovered. Madagascar, often referred to as “the island continent”, “the red island” or the “eighth continent”, which is part of the African continent and the African Union. The country is home to nearly 12,000 plant species, 70 to 80% of which are endemic, making the Malagasy flora one of the most diverse in the world. The international profile of Madagascar’s endemic wildlife has resulted in the development of accommodation, tourism services and tour guiding at wildlife hotspots such as Nosy Mangabe, Masoala National Park, Kirindy Forest, Berenty Private Reserve and Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.

Read our blog and find out why you should travel here on your next vacation.

About the country:

This extraordinary island was created during the break-up of the Gondwana supercontinent 165 million years ago. The latter provided a shipment of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. There are of course the famous lemurs – at least 100 species of these alluring primates. But that’s not all: about 80 percent of Madagascar’s plant species are endemic, as are 90 percent of its reptiles. The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa. It has an area of ​​581,795 km2 (224,632 square miles) and a population of 27,691,018 inhabitants known as “Malagasy” with a local currency called “Ariary” MGA “whose capital is named Antananarivo.

Friendly & Welcoming People

Madagascar was first settled by humans between 350 BCE and 550 AD by Austronesian peoples, who arrived from Borneo on crude outrigger canoes.  Now, there is over 20 different tribe’s origin, with different dialect and cultures. In general, Malagasy people is friendly and welcoming people, so, if you will travel to Madagascar you are bound to experience their kind and generous hospitality.

Great weather

The climate here is varied depending on the regions you want to go. The Highlands have a cool temperature, the West is hot and dry, the East coast is rainy, and the North is hot – humid while the south is semi-arid. The dry season extends from April to October. Summer is the rainy season, from November to January. The ideal time to visit the country is between March and November.

Money and expenses.

We recommend that you take euros or dollars and then change them to local cash upon arrival. When exchanging money, use large bills (50 or 100 US dollars, the same in euros). The exchange rate for small notes is much lower than for large notes. Make sure the banknotes are not damaged, they will not be accepted in the same way as US dollars printed before 2004.However, if you want to change the Ariary to British pounds or dollars at the end of your trip, the only way to do that is at Ivato Airport, but the exchange rates are poor.

ATM and credit cards

ATMs: In all towns you will find ATMs at different banks. Most accept Visa and MasterCard. The maximum amount you can take is around $ 150, but you can make further withdrawals if necessary. Also note that ATMs may be empty or not working due to power outages. Make sure you always have enough cash on you for backup!

Credit Card: Credit cards are common in Madagascar, so in some hotels a credit card will be possible. Be aware of an additional charge when making credit card payment at a hotel or restaurant.

Taxi & Tuck-tuck

Taxis or Tuck-tucks, of which there are many, facilitate the movement of tourists in the city. As there is no meter, the price must be negotiated before departure. The minimum average price is 10,000 MGA up to 40,000 MGA for a ride depending on the scope of your services. Taxis are an essential means of transport to move safely in all the cities of Madagascar.

The wonderful Beaches

Madagascar is therefore full of beautiful beaches that can make you forget the worries of life, taking advantage of pleasant moments of relaxation. It is also home to some of the best and most underrated beaches in the world together with some breathtaking nature and scenery, making it a perfect travel destination. With over 5,500 km of coastline spanning more than 14 degrees of latitude, Madagascar boasts a diversity of marine and coastal habitats that is unrivalled in the Indian Ocean. You can choose between Nosy Be and RAMENA on the north also ANJAJAVY on the northwest of islands, Sainte Marie is on the East, Manafiafy is on the south east, and the southern beaches near Ifaty /Anakao or Fort Dauphin. All will offer you miles of palm-lined beach, snorkeling and diving and taste the best seafood around

Chosen destination for Snorkeling and diving

If you are traveling to Madagascar for underwater adventures, the easiest diving and snorkeling is around Nosy Be Island. The best options come less from the main island itself and more from some of its smaller neighbors – Nosy Tanikely, Nosy Mitsio and Nosy Radames are particularly good. The reefs of southwestern Madagascar, between Andavadoaka and Anakao, are also spectacular, and the waters around Diego Suarez have plenty of wrecks to explore.

Adventure enthusiast are welcome.

Walking is the default way in which to explore the national parks dotted across the island. Multi-day park hikes, with a private friendly local guide and porters, are not difficult to arrange, especially in the national parks of Andringitra, Marojejy and Masoala. Madagascar is full of excellent climbing opportunities as well. Stand out areas include the Montagne des Français near Diego Suarez, and the ISALO and Andringitra national parks

Adventure enthusiast are welcome.

Known as the bottle tree, the baobab is also called ‘Reniala,’ which means ‘Mother of the forest’, and the “Baobab’ is means as “Fruity tree” in the Malagasy language. Six out of eight existing Baobab species can be found in Madagascar, where they form a vast forest in semi-arid regions in the southwest. Some Baobab can reach 29.52 ft. (30 meters) high and 98.4 ft. (9 meters) in circumference. Many people from far country come just to hold  also photograph this amazing tree .Enough to remind how small you are regardless of your size, these natural jewels will leave you mesmerized.

Taste the Natural flavor of foods.

Rice is the main food of the local people. The most fascinating food in Madagascar can only be discovered at local homes. But there are best “Hotely” local restaurant, which is a best place to have a good meal at a lower price. Generally, the cuisine is truly a reflection of the African, influenced by France, Arab and Indonesian peoples that have settled here. The vegetarian people will not have problem to find a great menu and there are also restaurant for luxury option.  The local dishes also feature a variety of vegetables along with fresh seafood and meat. There are different drink, Beer «Three –Horses –Beer”, and win.

Tipping

Between us, as a local of origin in Madagascar, we do not tip and if we do generally quite small amounts. We like to discuss the price, and the agreed amount is included with tips. However, tips are more expected from tourists. In restaurants and for hotel workers, 5-10% of the total bill amount will be fine. For a local guide, a tip of 20,000 to 50,000 Ariary is common, depending on the service and the distance of the hike / visit. Regarding your driver / guide, 10,000 to 20,000 Ariary per person per day is a common appreciation for his good work. Tipping the taxi driver in Madagascar is not common but make sure you agree on the price before getting his services.

“After all, the tip is not obligatory with us. Because for us it is the amount of your appreciation, whether big or small, it is not really necessary, but your heart which offered it with Love.”

Need more information?  We invite you to read our Frequently Asked Question or Contact us directly.

OUR CONTACT

Below you can find emergency contacts to reach Friendly Tour Guide.

We request you to use the office phone for all regular questions.

Please use the emergency numbers only for a real emergency.

 

E-mail: friendlytourguidemada@gmail.com
Office phone: (+261) 34 74  405 45   – Me: Micheline
Emergency phone: (+261) 34 16 137  57– Mr. Danielos Tony
(+261) 34 35 739 48 – Mr. Mamy Fabien