What you need to know when traveling to Madagascar

Recommended Vaccination :

No vaccinations are mandatory but it is recommended to be up to date for the following vaccines:

  • DTPoqPolio, renewable every 15 years, if the primary vaccination was well conducted;
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B, probable lifetime immunity if complete primary immunization performed before age 20;
  • Typhoid fever: the vaccine is strongly recommended (renewable every 3 years);
  • Yellow fever: required only if a trip to continental black Africa is planned before or after your stay.

For long stays, and in particular for those in areas far from Tana (Institut Pasteur), it is preferable to plan to be vaccinated against rabies: 3 injections spaced over 1 month. In case of bite, this gives a respite to make a recall (2 doses). This often avoids the injection of an anti-rabies serum. Many dogs and animals stray or not. Also beware of possible lemur bites (which are very rare, just don’t disturb them in their natural habitat)

  • Anti-malarial treatment essential.
  • And recently all Covid-19-related travel restrictions have been lifted for all travellers to Madagascar.

Money, banks, exchange :

Money : The monetary unit is the Ariary (Ar). There are bills of 20,000Ar; 10,000Ar; 5,000Ar; 2,000Ar; 1,000Ar; 500Ar; 200Ar; 100Ar in paper and 50Ar; 20Ar; 10Ar in coins which are almost no longer used nowadays. In some provinces, prices are still sometimes given in Malagasy francs (Fmg): make sure you specify it to avoid misunderstandings! 1Ar is worth 5Fmg, to know the price of the ariary in franc, you just have to multiply it by 5, and the franc in Ariary divide it by 5.

Useful information:

– The exchange rate is better in Tana than in the rest of the country.

– The black market is an old national practice. If it is sometimes advantageous, it could be a source of trouble. Especially since there is counterfeit money in circulation.

– Ariary can be exchanged into Euros or Dollars at Tana airport before your departure, in some exchange offices. Please refer to “Arrival – Departure.  By plane, Money, exchange “.

– Tip: remember to bring enough cash between 2 cities (but not too much either, given the latent insecurity). During a stay in the bush, a credit card will not be of much help.

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