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Health and advices for Madagascar



Few rules to remain in good health :

  • Be careful with fresh vegetables. Only eat those cleaned in good conditions. Best is to eat cooked vegetables.
  • Don't eat Fruits already prepared. Take off fruit skin yourself with clean hands.
  • Wash you hands before each meal and before manipulating any kind of food.
  • Try not not drink big fruit juices, especially at the beginning of your travel, often sou they can perturbate your stomach. Don't ask for ice, except in few hotel where you can trust the owner.
  • Keeping tongs while taking a shower is good to escape from staphilos.
  • Think to have few common medicines near you.

Malaria :

Tuléar – Ambolimailaka area : Risk of malaria is weak ( dry area ).
Madagascar is classified in zone 2 ( on a scale of 3 ).

Here are some advices to pevent from malaria :

  • The evening, wear clothes covering your entire body.
  • On uncovered parts of your body use mosquito repellent as soon as the sun shine..
  • Always use a mosquito net ( often present in hotels ).
    Water :
    Always drink bottled water, even when cleanning your teeth. Be careful with ice and fruit juices not prepared in front of you.
    For trekking in isolated areas, small caps for cleaning water are highly recommanded.

    Bilharziose and other parasitoses :
    Can catch them when swimming in stagnant water.
    Sun :
    Cover your head, wear sun glasses and use solar cream. Think about drinking ofter.


    Good to know ...

    Few general rules :
  • Never think it is your home country. Respect local way of life and traditions.
  • Ask your guide for things you can do and things prohibited ( called "fady" ).
  • Don't show to local people that you have money.

    Sexual tourism :
    Malagasy discotheques are most of the time places where prostitution is present. Sexual behaviors with young under 18 is highly punished in Madagascar.
    Narcotics :
    The "khat" leaf, used mainly in the noth is prohibited. The rongony, local canabis, is strictly prohibited. Using it, you risk strong penalties and going to jail for a long time...


    Geography, weather, fauna and flora of Madagascar



    From north to south, the country is crossed by a long central spinal column called the High Lands. Closer of the Indian Ocean than the channel of Mozambique, it falls roughly in cliff on a slim band of coastal lowland. On the Mozambique channel side, it goes down more slowly into the Ocean.

    The center or "hi lands"

    This region covers about the three quarters of the island. from north to south you can distinguish three main chains of mountains.

    The eastern coast

    From Fort-Dauphin to the coast of Vanilla, on a band of 50 km broad next of the Indian ocean and mostly watered by rains, alternate rain forests, channels of navigation and some rare beaches protected from the sharks.

    The western coast

    Vast lowlands taking down gently from High Lands. Beautiful coast with plenty of incredible beaches. One of the biggest coral reef in the world with more than 400 kms long. From the north top in the region of Majunga (Boina), very arid, to the region of Morondava (Menabe), where baobabs grow as mushrooms, the west coast, protected by the channel of Mozambique, knows a very dry climate.

    The south

    In a triangle Ihosy / Tuléar / Fort-Dauphin, it is the reign of the prickly bush, which accepts only 500 mm of water a year and develops an original vegetation, completely adapted to dryness. 



    We have two climatic seasons: the dry season (including the Austral winter ), from april to october, and the rainny season, from november till march. The ideal season to see everything everywhere all at once is the period between september and october. . The period from april to june is also a good season.
  • The High Lands (region of Antananarivo) : the dry season runs from april to october, with period of Austral winter from june till august, cool and windy. Rains are strong but short from mid-november till march and sometimes in june. 
  • The western coast : it is the driest and the sunniest coast of Madagascar. The south is subjected to a blazing sun almost all year long with some rains of weak intensity from december till march.
  • The eastern coast : two seasons, the rainny season, from december till dpril, and the season when it is raining !!! from june till august! The coast is subjected to least rains in may, september, october and november.
  • The cyclonic season : officially from mid-december to mid-april, but especially from january till march.



    Madagascar owns a big diversity in fauna and in flora, that we find, for the great majority of kinds, nowhere else (80 - 90 % of endemism). 
    Consequence of its insularity, the fauna of Madagascar marks its difference. There is no big earth mammals as in Africa. Here, the king of animals is the lemur.
    Among the inhabitants of forests, lakes and jungle, we find chameleons, geckoes, removed torments (or radiata), the fosa, l 'angonoka ( a kind of turtle ), the crocodiles, snakes, frogs... The country also proliferates in insects and butterflies.
    Among the see inhabitants, we meet sharks, dolphins, fish, crustaceans, see turtles and humpback whales.



    As Madagascar knows almost all climates, imagine the variety of the flora... 90 % of 'endemism, even more than fauna !
    We differentiate several zones:
  • The tropical forest of the eastern coast, which conceals the ravinala, or « traveller's tree », the fantastic raffia, the "trièdre palm" and precious woods.
  • The west and south arid vegetation, from which we differenciate several types : the dry forest and the savannah, in the west, and the bush in the south. We can find seven varieties of baobabs !
  • Erosion on the High Lands : theoriginal forest disappearing benefits to the mimosa, to the pine and to the eucalyptus, introduced and perfectly become acclimated to the country.  .
  • Vegetation on coasts : quantity of mangrove swamps.


    Good to know...


    Time difference

    In French summer timetable, count 1 h more in Madagascar: when it is 12 h in Paris, it is 13 h in Tana. In winter timetable, count 2 h more : when it is 12 h in Paris, it is 14 h in Tana. With a disconcerting fastness, the sun gets up at about 6 h and lies down around 18 h in Austral winter. Days are longer the rest of the year.



    Used current is 220 V. The big cities know regularly dysfunctions in electricity, this one being provided by state generators. Do not forget flashlights.



    The malagasy language is part of the family of the malayo-polynesian languages, as the indonesian, from which it comes. However, it inserted bantoues, arab and european influences.
    In Madagascar, French is spoken almost everywhere. It will be more difficult to speak english, especially outside main cities.

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