Advisory Before You Travel To Unique Madagascar

Uniqueness

Finding a country endowed with much diversity as Madagascar is unusual. A trip through its lush jungles and breathtaking mountains is an experience of a lifetime. The forests teem with countless species of wildlife and plants that are not found anywhere else on Earth. There are the charismatic Lemurs, chameleons, unique bird species. There are spectacular, unspoiled beaches around the crystalline waters of the Indian oceans in which swim the humpback whales. You can sail or visit the dive sites to scuba-dive and snorkel to explore the abundant marine life and vibrant coral reefs.

Madagascar is unique in that it is an African country away from the real, mainland Africa. It was separated and set adrift to the east coast of the main Africa millenniums following a catastrophic earthquake. Its culture is also unique compared to other African cultures. Men and women wear the same cloths in Madagascar.

Size and population

It is the fourth largest island in the world. With an area of 364,770 square miles, it is the size of France. Madagascar has a population of 25 million people, half of which survive on less than a dollar per day.

Languages

The official languages are French (spoken by the educated) and Malagasy, which has acquired various dialects throughout the island. Many names are quite a mouthful and so hard to pronounce for newcomers. For instance, the Capital City is called Antananarivo. Other cities are Fianarantsoa, Antsiranana,

When to visit

It is best to visit Madagascar during the dry season between May and October when the temperatures are favorable. There are cyclones in the rainy season, and this can be a threat to your safety. The rainy season is between November and April.

Transport

To travel through the country, you will need to use shared taxis, here called taxi-be. Railways are not reliable.

Security

Compared with other African countries, Madagascar is relatively safe to visit. But you should avoid the following:

Demonstration

There is always some political confrontation taking place or about to take place in Madagascar; therefore civil unrest can be frequent. Avoid demonstrations and political rallies for your own safety, for fights between the opposing groups do occur or the police get in to stop the activities if deemed unlawful.

Taxis

Take extra caution when traveling in bush taxis, commonly called taxi-brousse. Statistics indicate that carjacking incidents are high, especially at night. Try to move around during the day, so you don’t become part of the statistic.

Do not show off

Madagascar is not a rich country. If you travel there, do not show off your wealth, as in wearing gold chains and watches as you sunbathe on the beach. The more you display these, the more a target for kidnapping you make yourself. Armed gangs have sometimes attacked and robbed tourists in the uninhabited areas like Montagne d’Ambre National Park and the region of Nosy Be.

Conclusion

The official currency of Madagascar is the Malagasy Ariary. There are agencies for currency exchange at the main ports of entry.

Have a safe trip.

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