Health, language, climate ...
Tourist entry visa is issued upon arrival at the international airport of Antananarivo or Fascene – Nosy Be.
The rate for a stay of less than 30 days is 115,000 Ariary (about 35 Euros at the current exchange rate, variable based on the daily exchange rate) – to be paid in cash upon arrival at the airport, in EURO or ARIARY.
In order to enter the country it is necessary to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the travel date.
Madagascar is GMT +3… + 2 hours compared to the Italy time zone (only +1 hour during the Italian summer time).
The official language is Malagasy. Being a former colony of France, French is the second spoken language of the country, most of the population speaks it correctly. English is not very widespread, but it is beginning to develop among young people.
The local currency is the Ariary (1 Euro = approximately 3,800 Ariary, variable).
It is possible to exchange currency upon arrival at the airport, at banks and at exchange offices in major cities.
It is advisable to obtain Euros for the trip, with a more favourable exchange rate and diffusion compared to the dollar.
Pieces of denomination equal to or greater than €50 will generally gain a better exchange rate.
Payment by Visa or Master card will not be possible everywhere, only in some hotels and generally a 3% or 4% fee is applied. It is possible to withdraw from banks located in larger towns.
General power outages are common.
To call Madagascar from Italy, dial the code +261 followed by: 020 for landlines or numbers without the initial 0 for mobile phones.
To call from Madagascar to Italy, dial the code +39 followed by the Italian telephone number.
Internet access is widespread in the best hotels in the country, the connection may be very slow in some cases.
Fauna and Flora:
The fauna of Madagascar has had a unique evolutionary history, which makes it different from that of continental Africa and the other islands of the Indian Ocean.
It is characterized by a high degree of endemism. Among the animal species stand out at least a hundred species of lemurs, over 260 species of frogs, numerous species of chameleons, turtles, birds and butterflies. On the island there is only one large predator, the fossa, a carnivore that according to scholars can be defined as a living fossil. The waters around the island are also home to a great variety of life; among other things, there are many species of sharks and whales and also the very rare dugong.
Like the fauna, the flora of Madagascar is also characterized by a high degree of endemism and differs significantly from continental Africa, a consequence of the isolation of the island, which broke away from the supercontinent Gondwana about 140 million years ago.
There are four different geographic-climatic macro-areas, each with its own characteristic vegetation.
• Rainforest along the east coast
• Dry deciduous forest and grassland in the central highlands
• Savannah in most of the western plains
• Thorny forest and desert to the southwest
There are about 170 species of palm trees, 8 species of baobabs of which 6 are endemic, 33 different species of bamboo, at least a thousand orchids of which 90% are endemic. Not to mention the wonderful Pachypodyum and the extensive mangrove areas which unfortunately are increasingly threatened by man.
The year is divided into two distinct seasons: the austral summer (November / May period) characterized by a hot and humid climate, and the austral winter (June / October) with a cool and dry climate.
However, the seasons in the highlands are different from those on the coast. The sun shines throughout the year in the coastal regions, except for frequent rains in the period from January to March; while in the highlands it is sunny during the summer and the climate is rather cold during the winter. So, don’t forget to bring light clothing during your stay in the coastal areas and warm clothing for a stay in the central part of the island or for excursions to the highlands.
Health and Vaccinations:
No mandatory vaccinations are required for travellers.
Anti-malarial prophylaxis is recommended by international health facilities, our consultants are available to recommend any natural and homeopathic prevention therapies. However, an injection of immunoglobulins against hepatitis and a possible antitification are recommended. It is also advisable to bring any basic medicines that may be necessary for your stay with you, contact your doctor before embarking on the trip to evaluate vaccinations.
Private hospitals and clinics are located in major cities. The villages have only basic health centers, mainly dedicated to traditional local treatments.
Monitor food hygiene and drink only bottled water to avoid various poisoning problems.
The craft market offers a wide range of souvenirs. Some items (wood carvings, stones) require a special export authorization, issued by the shops where the purchase will be made. The export of shells or plant or animal species from Madagascar is prohibited.