JENMAN African Safaris is an expert tour operator in Madagascar, and we’ve compiled tips to guarantee you a safe and memorable vacation. It’s important to pack smart for Madagascar: limit your baggage to 15 kg and use soft bags.
Remember, extra clothes will end up becoming a burden because most of your time is spent outdoors exploring the wild terrain.
1. Malagasy phrase book
Learn essential Malagasy words before your trip or in the time you have on the plane. Malagasy is a difficult language to speak but learning simple words like hello, goodbye and thank you will make it easy for you to communicate with the locals.
2. Rain jacket
One of our recent clients to Madagascar mentioned this valuable tip, “When I was in Madagascar in May the highlands were quite cold. Fleece is a good idea.
A waterproof jacket is essential if you are planning on hiking in the national parks. If not, a normal rain poncho will be fine.”
3. Warm clothes
Depending on the time of the year, Madagascar can be quite cold. It’s warm and thundery between November and April; it’s cool and windy between May and October. Remember, the mountainous areas such as Antananarivo are colder during the night. Just to be on the safe side: include a light jacket or sweater in your luggage.
4. Loose change
Sound crazy, but it’s not! With so many different places to visit and activities to do, the coins will come in handy when tipping the locals or paying for activities.
You might ride on a dhow, go on a community tour, or go shopping at a market. Be prepared for every unpredictable activity
While this is not a physical thing, curiosity for cultural exploration is something you need to bring along! The Malagasy have an interesting, rich history and culture. Their customs are different from the norm and that of western society. This makes Madagascar an ideal destination for those who love to learn about new cultures and history.
6. Digital camera or binoculars
It comes as no surprise that a camera or binoculars are a must-have item for the many endemic animals such as lemurs, chameleons and bird species!
Then there’s the epic scenery of the islands of Nosy Be and Sainte Marie, as well as the national parks of Andasibe National Park, Isalo National Park and Lake Tsimanampetsotsa National Park.
7. Mosquito repellent
You should bring your own mosquito repellent and net – especially if you’re camping! These are not always readily available in Madagascar.
8. A quick-drying towel
A quick-drying towel would be useful, especially when there’s a transition from one destination to another.
9. Solar charger
Not only are they cost-effective and environmentally friendly but a solar charger can come in handy for your camera and batteries when travelling. It’s also useful to bring a spare memory card and batteries for your camera.
10. Water bottle
Travelling in a warm climate can dehydrate the body. Make sure that you only drink water that has been imported and is safe. It’s also good to carry some rehydrate powder with you on hiking or kayaking trips.