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Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. It is south east of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The island lies off the coast of Mozambique and to the North West lie the Comoros and the the Seychelles are to the North.
Generally all the sites are small islands in the vicinity of a larger island called Nosey Be which is off the North-West coast.

Informaton and Requirements

Best time to go
Strong monsoons bring rains and winds between the months of December and April. The rest of the year has fine weather interspersed with rainy days. The whales come to calf between the months of June and September offering a unique diving experience.

WATER TEMPERATURE AND VISIBILITY
Water temperature is, on average, in the mid-twenties. Visibility on the inside channel is affected by the currents, which churn up sand and sediment and can vary between five meters and over 20 meters.

On the outside of the island, visibility seems to average 20 meters or more.

CLIMATE
Hot subtropical, but comfortable during the nights. Rainy seasons, December - April. Dry season, May - November. Monsoons from December - March in the north and east and May - October it is windy.

CLOTHING
Light comfortable wear and protective gear for the tropical sun and rain. Warmer clothes for nights and in winter in the mountains. Rainwear.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
Malaria precautions should be taken. Please take first aid kits. Only Antananarivo has an adequate hospital. Immunization for cholera and yellow fever is recommended. Yellow fever vaccinations must be had at least 10 days prior to departure.

VOLTAGE
110 or 220 Volts AC, also 380 Volts AC, 50Hz. 2 pin plugs.

AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX
Prepaid as part of the international air ticket, approximately R580-00 from South Africa. 

VISA REQUIREMENTS:
SA passport holders require visas. Requirements include: Valid passport, passport photo, completed application form, employment letter, itinerary. Cost is R200-00 for a single entry tourist visa. Delay is one working day.

MISCELANEOUS:
The local currency is Malagasy Franc (MGF). Take USDollars and exchange at the airport for the best exchange rates. Approximate exchange rate is ZAR 1-00 = MGF 1542-00.

Madagascar guidelines:

  • Be wary of pickpockets in Antananarivo. Wear a money belt and leave valuables with hotel reception or in your room safe. Do not leave your belongings on breakfast tables unattended!
  • Currency: As soon as you have cleared through customs, change some money into Ariary at the airport bank. The monetary unit is the Ariary though the Malagasy Franc is largely in use. Please be warned that the newer Ariary is five times worth the Malagasy Franc amount. Ariary/FMG can be converted back into hard currency prior to leaving Madagascar.
  • Do not take South African Rands to Madagascar. Credit cards are not widely accepted. Best currency to take is the Euro. There are some ATM machines in Antananarivo and Fort Dauphin where you are able to use your visa card.
  • Breakfasts in almost all hotels are continental. Should you want something else, please advise the hotel’s restaurant staff in good time.
  • Health: No immunisations necessary. Malaria prophylactics are essential. Drink only bottled water or take water purification tablets. Travel insurance is essential
  • A new law has been passed, which stipulates, that S.A citizens who hold dual passports, cannot leave the country on their foreign passports anymore. They now have to use their SA passport when departing and entering South Africa.
  • Visas: All visitors need visas. Visas can be obtained on arrival (€ 15, US$ 15 or Ariary 30 000 - approximations). Please make sure your passport has a blank page and is valid for at least 6 month.
  • Language: Malagasy is the first language; French the business language and English is spoken in the tourism industry. It is advisable to take a French-English phrase book with you if you are unable to speak French.