To make your stay in Madagascar as peacefully as possible, we have listed a whole list of tips to understand Malagasy habits and customs. Food, clothing, culture, visit to the national parks … find here the practical information for a pleasant stay.
For your treks and hikes, we recommend you to provide appropriate clothing and equipment: walking shoes, mosquito and insect bites repellents, survival cover … For your bivouacs, keep in mind to bring sleeping bags, flashlight, emergency kit, water purification bottle and tablets, and a Swiss Army knife. During your visits to Madagascar national parks, you will be required to respect the visitors code of conduct, or you’ll risk sanctions. For example: do not leave waste behind you, do not leave paths traced, camp in only authorized areas, do not take anything from the forest and do not feed the animals.
Here are some tips to avoid an awkwardness regarding a Malagasy. Never despise the Fady (forbidden). Being on first name terms with somebody does not exist in the Malagasy grammar, prefer the formal form of address before having woven ties of proximity with a person. Do not photograph anyone without their consent. Avoid talking loudly or showing nervousness. Sliding a few words of Malagasy into a conversation is always appreciated. In addition, bargaining is a very common practice in Madagascar, whether it is for rickshaws or for taxis that do not have counters. As for the tips, they are left according to the appreciation of the customer.
Very few sites or hotels, and transport facilities have facilities reserved for children, or allowing to accommodate people with reduced mobility. Tell your agency in advance so that all arrangements are made upon arrival.
The Malagasy are generally modest, and it is better to cover your skin in the spiritual places. In winter, on the HighLands, don’t forget some warm clothes.
International cuisine is present in all hotels and restaurants. If you want to taste the local cuisine, romazava and ravitoto are its specialties. However, some dishes may strike some unusual organisms. Note that you should not drink tap water.