Can I drink tap water in Madagascar?
No, we recommend that you always drink bottled, boiled or treated water during your time in Madagascar. You can buy purification tablets or iodine to treat water during your travels, and vitamin C tablets are good for hiding the taste. If you are buying bottled water, ensure the bottle is sealed when it is handed to you. Always ensure that any ice in drinks is purified or made from bottled water rather than tap.
Which languages are spoken in Madagascar?
The official first language of Madagascar is Malagasy, and the official business language is French. Your guides and some hospitality staff in hotels and lodges will speak English but speaking some basic French could come in handy.
What money should I take?
The local currency in Madagascar is Malagasy Ariary, although most major currencies are accepted. US Dollars and Euros are usually the preferred currency. There are not very many opportunities to change money in Madagascar, so when you arrive at the airport (or before you depart) try to change enough to last you at least a week. Credit card use is very limited throughout Madagascar (the most widely accepted is Visa), but very useful as a back up.
What is the food like in Madagascar?
Malagasy food is heavily rice based, influenced by the many cultures of Madagascar, including Indonesian and European. The closer to the coast you are, the better the seafood. In Antananarivo, as with many big cities, there is a huge variety in international restaurants and cuisine.
For those who eat meat, there are lots of pork, beef and fish dishes, including a traditional dish made from pork and cassava leaves. Vegetarian and vegan options can be quite limited - often there will be a choice of omelettes or spaghetti and sometimes there will be some sautéed vegetables on offer with rice and noodles. Let us know your dietary requirements in advance and we will do our best to arrange something for you in destination.