Madagascar Warnings and Dangers

  • Antananarivo
    Antananarivo
    by lotharscheer
  • Antananarivo
    Antananarivo
    by lotharscheer
  • Antananarivo
    Antananarivo
    by lotharscheer

Madagascar Warnings and Dangers

  • That infuriating Air Mad Experience

    The finances of the inauspiciously (but aptly) named Air Mad have never been particularly robust, and are sicker than ever given the downturn in business since the coup in January 2009. So, if you're heading for Madagascar, be warned of the unwelcome additional randomness that this potentially brings to your travel itinerary.With cash being tight,...

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  • Beware of multiple place names!

    This is really more in the way of a caution than a warning, but the multiple names in use for a single place can make planning your Madagascar trip a real headache!As far as I can work out, there has been a push to 'indigenise' place names so that they more accurately reflect Malagasy culture rather than the colonial influence. This is nothing...

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  • Surviving the scrum for visas at Tana...

    Since we last visited Madagascar in November 2008, the tourist visa requirement has been waived. This is good news, as it was a fairly pricey addition to the holiday budget, and on the face of it, this would seem to simplify the immigration process.Sadly, not so! The unhelpful and apparently unconcerned air hostesses on the Air Mad flight that we...

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  • Night-service drugstores

    Please find below a website that lists names & locations of night-service drugstores (Pharmacies de garde). Seems it's weekly updated with the weekly rotation.Further down, ambulances to call in case of emergency.For hospitals, I'd stick to Clinique Saint-Paul.You could also find those in local newspapers.

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  • Tipping

    be conservative when tipping! To much will draw unwanted/excessive attention, and word of mouth does travel.

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  • Scorpions, Reserve speciale de...

    The natural park "Ankarana" is home to many scorpions. For some reason they like the smell of boots ect. Leave your boots outside the tend, and tjek for scorpions before going to sleap. I had a big fellow, in my tend when I woke up one morning.

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  • Berenty - Mosquitos

    There are many mosquitos in Berenty Reserve. The chalets, although they have mosquito nets, let in a lot of insects. We were constantly finding them inside our nets during the night and consequently got bitten a lot. This was November and I'm not sure if this is typical for other months in the year.Applying mosquito repellant was essential here and...

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  • Berenty - Watch out for Lemur Raids

    Although very cute, the Ring Tailed Lemurs of Berenty Reserve have learned that tourists take a siesta in the afternoons and that 3.30pm is the perfect time for room raiding. They wait until they think you are either asleep or out and, if you leave your window open the whole group will invade your room. They are looking for food but most of the...

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  • Hospitals & care units

    For sure, to get sick and stay into hospital are not the aims of your travel over here. Still, this is something to be known: Madagascar is not (yet) a country where to fall ill. I've heard so many bad (even lethal) experiences in my family & friends circle about care units & hospitals (esp. public hospitals) over here. For most of them, the danger...

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  • Don't drink from tap, rather have...

    Though locals drink water from tap (I do.. I am still a local over there...lol), just don't do it. Otherwise, you won't enjoy your travel in Madagascar as you will have to be stuck in the toilets most of times :-)) Also, in urban areas, to clean up running water, they use chloride & it smells & tastes... chloride.Be sure that if you are having a...

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  • Beware of Anila Transport in Diego and...

    O.K., let's say that one fine day you are looking through your Lonely Planet or Bradt guide and see that there is a company that provides a direct service between Diego Suarez and Nosy Be called ANILA TRANSPORT and you thinkthat sounds much more civilized than getting crammed into a taxi-brousse and sweating it out with the locals.... My advice is...

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  • Take your own creamer for your coffee

    If you are like me and like cream in your coffee, bring a small jar of creamer from home. They did not have coffee creamer (in 1996 anyway) in the hotels we stayed in. In some places they had milk or cream in a pitcher but it was questionable because of lack of refrigeration or which animals it came from! Some places had canned milk but you weren't...

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  • They'll find you!

    A good reason to go to Madagascar is to see wild animals. You sometimes have to do some effort to find them. However , lucky you!! There is one species of animal that will do an effort to find you. An all time favorite of many who traveled the tropical rainforest : LeechesAfter the rain , they are wainting for you to pass by and find a cozy spot...

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  • Don't swim in stagnant water!

    There is a whole world of creatures and bacteria waiting for you....under the water level. They are just waiting for you to get in and it is the only thing why they are born. **sigh** I know you can get some serious deceases by swimming in Stagnant water. Bacteria got all the time in the world to develope here , zebus are willing(?) victims to...

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  • Eat salads!

    Most books will advise you not to eat salads. Why? Because a salad is washed with water and the bacteria in that water will cause travelers diarrhea. About 50 procent of all travelers in Madagascar are estimated to get travelers diarrhea during one stage of their journey in Madagascar. This inconvenient thing happens because of the change of food...

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  • Feeding wild animals!

    I feel a bit like the nasty aunt that spoils the fun writing this. But somebody has to do the job. There are tour operators , guides etc and independent travelers who feed wild animals in order to get them closer etc. And yes , I must admit , it is a fun idea and even I would buy 10 kilo of banana's and take them into the national parcs. BUT that...

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  • Potable Water

    Avoid to drink water except the one that cames in a CLOSED mineral water bottle. Avoid also drinks with ice, vegetables , etc. At some hotels and restaurants there is no danger. It's up to you to decide...

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  • If you are asked to send hand luggage to...

    While packing your luggage, pay attention to have a key for your hand luggage or other system that noone can open. This happened to me in 1995. While entering the plane, I was asked to send my hand luggage to the hold. Arriving in Tana, I was not able to pick my luggage the day I arrived (Friday).When I picked it on Monday, half of my hand luggage...

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  • Vola be

    Do not come to Madagascar unless you make sure that you bring enough cash, travellers checks, a Visa or Mastercard. Other bank cards are useless in Madagascar. There are some ATM's, mainly in Tana, where you can get cash with your Visa. To get money with your Mastercard you will have to go inside the bank. You will have to leave your card there and...

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  • False precious stones

    There are a lot of fake precious stones around. People come to you on the street offering you a "precious stone". 5 minutes after the "precious stone" lost 95 % of the "value". So, take care ...

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  • Child prostitution

    Child prostitution is a major problem in Madagascar and we found some disturbing evidence of this.Post cards for sale in certain hotels showing girls aged 9-10 with the words 'My name is...., I am 9 1/2 years old and I live in Tana' Picture cards of young boys in swimming trunks, again with similar wording.Bars with large pictures of children on...

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  • Ifaty - Muddy sea bottom

    Having been out in a pirogue, coming back to land is an unpleasant experience. With the tide being out, we have to abandon the boat and wade back to shore and as the bottom is covered with sharp shells, we are recommended to keep our sandals on. We sink to the ankles in horrible sludge and my feet become stuck. One of my sandals gets left behind...

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  • The track to Ifaty

    The sandy track is a hazard to any vehicles other than ox carts, and we get stuck in the dunes, having to get out and push. On one side of the path is the sea, the other the famous ‘spiny forest’. Small ponds give off an unpleasant aroma of stagnant water. Goats present another risk, they have no road-sense whatsoever and wander aimlessly as they...

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  • Road conditions

    Road conditions vary considerably, from smooth, tarmac’ed highways, to rutted tracks more akin to dried-up river beds. These turn into a muddy quagmire when wet, and can become impassable in places. We are very lucky when leaving Ranomafana – usually they have to allocate several hours extra travelling time to allow for being towed out of sludge...

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  • Beggers / robbers

    Walking down the street in Tana we were approached by an old and scruffy beggar holding out his hat for David to drop a few coins in. Having come across this scam before, we were ready for him when he covered David's bum bag with the hat and tried to undo the zipper with the other hand. Needless to say, he didn't get anything - other than a hard...

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  • Language

    Most people of Madagscar do not speak English! I had some problems to remember the little French I had learned 25 years ago at school. But French is the language you get around with. And when people discover, that you speak a few words French, they just happily talk to you.You need to know at least the number from 1 to 100 in French, so that you...

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  • Taking pictures of Malagasy locals

    A chapter in one of my pages about taking pictures in Mada.+++ Zébus, Lemurs, Ravinala Yes, Zébus, Lemurs, Ravinala and not that much pictures of humans neither homes. In my previous hp, I said that pictures of humans are not that usual here since Malagasy are not used to that. Jennifer (craic) asked me why and here was the copy-paste of my answer:...

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  • If policemen ask for cash, ask for a...

    You will see, policemen in Madagascar use to check cars (they would "verify" if the driver has all its papers, meets all administrative, technical requirements to drive properly...).Vazaha (white men) and wealthy locals seem to be interesting cases for them :-). They would always nit-pick in order to justify a fine (even for a missing side mirror...

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  • Locusts

    Clouds of locusts were swarming over Madagascar, destroying crops.....At times, I found myself in the middle of a cloud. Locusts are really everywhere at such a moment, so if you are scared of insects, you might want to travel around the swarms, in so far as possible.

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  • Madagascar is one of the...

    Madagascar is one of the worlds top conservation priorities. Since the arrival of the first people (2500 yrs ago) more than 75% of the original forests (of all kinds) have been destroyed. Forests that are/were the home of a unique flora and fauna. All M's mammalspecies, 225 of its 257 (known) species of reptiles and almost 80% of the plants are to...

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  • Make sure you have proof of...

    Make sure you have proof of vaccination against Cholera. If not, the health officials will make you take antibiotic and you don't want that.In Holland you can go to the Travel Health Centre (GGD) and they will give you a very official stamp in you booklet. Just do it!

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  • Watch out for Zebu carts....I...

    Watch out for Zebu carts....I found this flat chameleon on the 'mainstreet' in Morondava. Fascinating how it still has all its characteristics. I thought it would be a great souvenir, so I picked it up.Some local 'working girls' were completely puzzeled. 'Il est mort, le Chameleon' (he is dead) they said. Well, yes, that was obvious... It is now...

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  • Mysterious flu

    Aug. 3 2002— ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - A mysterious flu-like illness has killed more than 150 people in Madagascar in the last two weeks, the Health Ministry said.The ministry said in a statement released on Friday that it had sent a team of researchers to villages in the south of the giant Indian Ocean island to identify the disease, which causes a...

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  • QUEENS PALACE burned out.

    QUEENS PALACE burned out. The Queens Palace that dominates the Antananarivo skyline, built on top of the mountain, was burned out a few years ago. Only the outer walls remain. Such a pity! It is usually named in the travel guides. You can still go and visit it.

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  • i hated spiders and creepy...

    i hated spiders and creepy crawlies before going to madagascar, now with the size of them there i don't mind them!!!

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  • ZOMA Market abolished

    ZOMA Market abolished! One of the most famous attractions of Antananarivo, the huge Zoma market, doesn't exist anymore. The 'central square' still has that part of the market that is in the little stalls but even the locals would not take us there.

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  • Luggage tip for internal flights

    For internal flights (Air Madagascar): just before you enter the plane, point out your luggage so as to make sure it comes with you on the plane!

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  • Watch ouf for officials in traffic

    Your car is likely to be stopped regularly by police officers. Especially if you are Caucasian. They will ask to see your passport and ask for money. We were rather well protected (being guests of a member of the presidential family has advantages), so I don't know what would've happened if we hadn't been. Unfortunately this is a warning without a...

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  • Be carefully in the capital...

    Be carefully in the capital 'Antananarivo', don't let them see your things of a certain value, certenly not when it is dark. It's better to leave it in the hotel.

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  • sanitary infoThere are no...

    sanitary infoThere are no compulsory vaccination; an antimalaric preventive treatment with Lariam, to begin 15 days before leaving and to continue till one month after coming back is strongly recommended. In US check even Malarone treatment. It is necessary to take particular care to nourishment, like in all african countries: eat only cooked food,...

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  • My friend in Tana wrote me...

    My friend in Tana wrote me (july 7th, 2002) : By us, the situation is good. We are all happy ! We are free. Ratsiraka and his supporters have hanged up white flags in Tamatave. According to the TV5 news, Ratsiraka was afraid of the coming to Tamatave the legal army. He did not have any solution apart from escaping. He and his family plus his close...

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  • do not swim in inland lakes -...

    do not swim in inland lakes - be careful with inland flights of Air Madagascar (safe, but often overbooked or not flying at all - got stuck for 3 days in Fort Daupin); pickpockets in Antananariov (Central Market);

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Madagascar Warnings and Dangers

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