Madagascar

Madagascar is a country I first visited in 2022.  It’s not that far from Mauritius, which is why it was a contender for the next destination.

Madagascar has an eVisa policy where you simply pay to stay for a certain amount of days. This is generally something we like. Originally it was up to 90 days, but the Wiki page seems a bit out of date. Elsewhere we found the information that it’s no longer possible to apply for the 90-day visa on arrival, though a 30-day extension is possible. So upon arrival, we got the 60-day Malagasy visa, which costs €40 per person.

I hope that in the future, you can find posts about Madagascar on this page. For now, perhaps read about other countries, such as Mauritius, Malaysia, or the United Arab Emirates?

Things I’d Like to Do in Madagascar

  • Hitchhike! It’s a huge island, so there must be opportunities to travel by thumb. Hitchhiking also seems like a prime opportunity to pick up some Malagasy words and phrases. Wikipedia has a useful list to break the ice
  • Visit the capital city Antananarivo. It seems like a good place to learn about the country’s history (Twelve sacred hills of Imerina + Upper Town) and contemporary life
  • Visit some natural areas, such as the Rainforests of the Atsinanana and the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve. Both of those are UNESCO sites. Moreover, I’d like to visit the Isandra cliff and caves, the Analavory geysers, Lake Alaotra, Lake Ihotry, Riandahy and Rianbavy waterfalls, Sakaleona waterfalls, Les Chutes de la Lily waterfall, and of course the famous Avenue of the Baobabs nearby Morondava
  • Enjoy a few islands and perhaps go kayaking during an island stay. Many cater to tourists, such as Nosy Be (volcanic crater lakes), Nosy Iranja (sand spit), Nosy Boraha (pirate cemetery), and Nosy Mangabe
  • Travel to other villages, towns, and cities on the island, such as Toamasina (Nosy Alañaña lighthouse), Antsirabe, Ambovombe, and Tsiroanomandidy (zebu market)
  • Try some of the Malagasy wine, beer, rum, coffee, and local tea
  • Travel by small boats or ferries internally in the country. For example, I’d love to travel from the coast up the interior on a river
  • I guess I’ll have to see lemurs? That seems pretty mandatory. Luckily, there’s a Lemur’s Park near the capital city Antananarivo

Next Time in Madagascar

So my trip to the Red Island in 2022/2023 was a great introduction, but we couldn’t travel everywhere because A) it’s huge and B) it was the start of the rainy season. And with more knowledge of the country now, I’d like to add the following things to do as well:

  • Take boats in or paddle a kayak in the Canal des Pangalanes. I’ve missed the east coast and this canal seems exactly like my thing
  • Witness some cultural things, such as a hiragasy performance, a moraingy match, and people dancing and singing with regional music. Perhaps I’ll also be lucky to visit during Malagasy new year (Alahamady Be) and/or the Santabary festival
  • Perhaps see the highest peak of the country called Maromokotro (2876masl – remote multi-day expedition). If I’m going back to the lovely Ambalavao area, I’d like to see/hike the second-highest peak in the country in Andringitra National Park named Imarivolanitra at 2658 masl
  • Visit and ascend lighthouses at the many capes in the country. I’d especially love to travel to Antsiranana (Antsiranana Bay) and visit the northernmost point of the island. The same probably goes for the southernmost point. Though I’m not sure if there’s a lighthouse in the south
  • Finally take the train. There are supposedly two parts of the country that have passenger rail service… but in reality, it was just one part of the country, which happened to also not work when we were in Fianarantsoa. The train between Fianarantsoa and Manakara crosses the runway of the latter’s airport
  • Eat local (vegetarian) foods. During my first visit, I was often so sick that I didn’t try much local food. I only had the rice (vary) with a topping (laoka – some of those toppings are veg-friendly) once in Tana
  • Next time, I’d like to arrive and/or depart by boat. I’d love to make a connection between Madagascar and Réunion, Mayotte, and Comoros. If crewing a sailing yacht, it would even be possible (though we might need a permit) to visit remote places such as Europa Island, Bassas da India, and Juan de Nova

Map of Madagascar POIs


If you know cool places and things to do in Madagascar, comment below! Then I can always find your suggestions again once I start making the dream come true. Tips are especially welcome if you are Malagasy or have lived there for a while

Are you a travel blogger and do you have good posts about Madagascar? Drop them in a comment below and I’ll read them!

Getting a SIM Card in Madagascar: Orange, Telma, and Airtel

We bought our Malagasy Orange and Telma SIM cards on the first full day in the country, the 16th of November 2022. The last SIM card in Madagascar, Airtel, was trickier to get in the capital. I’ll explain below why we’re getting multiple SIM cards from different providers.  TL;DR Which SIM Card in Madagascar Should I Choose? So far, we think the best SIM card in Madagascar is Orange. It connected well in Antananarivo and worked immediately. Tethering worked perfectly and it works both on iPhone and Android devices. Orange also worked in Ampefy, the first smaller town we visitedContinue reading

Money in Madagascar: the Ariary, Cash, ATMs, Orange Money + MVola

Paying for things in Madagascar isn’t as straightforward as in many other countries. Here’s how to get your hands on fat stacks of Malagasy Ariary, how to use the mobile money apps in the country, and how to identify when people are quoting prices in Malagasy Franc (†2005). Using money in Madagascar is very intertwined with having a Malagasy SIM card, so check out that article as well. Intro to The Ariary—Paper Money Only The Malagasy Ariary has been the official currency of Madagascar since 2005. Unlike Dollars or Francs, no other currency in the world goes by the nameContinue reading

Ranohira: Our First Time Hitchhiking in Madagascar

This happened on the 29th of December, 2022. Jonas and I did our first cursory hitchhiking in Madagascar session. Since it was so spontaneous and unplanned, the featured photo of this article was taken on the 2nd of January, 2023 while waiting for our cotisse from Ranohira to Ambalavao and does not represent the text below. Tired As Fuck After eating lunch and asking the Isalo National Park office about tours, I was quite exhausted. We’d traveled from Toliara at sea level to Ranohira at 1000 meters by cotisse. Though we had expected lower temperatures at this altitude if anythingContinue reading

Madagascar Tourist Visa Extension in Toliara: 30 Days Extra

We tried to extend our tourist visa in Madagascar in the coastal city of Toliara, aka Tuléar or Toliary. Our first visit attempt was on Friday the 23rd of December, and the next time Monday the 26th of December. Trying the Madagascar tourist visa extension around Christmas was obviously not ideal. Why Extend the Madagascar Tourist Visa? When we arrived in Madagascar in mid-November 2022, we only got a tourist visa for 60 days on arrival. That cost us €40 per person, which we paid in Euros. Sadly enough, the information about obtaining a 90-day visa upon arrival was alreadyContinue reading

Arriving in Antananarivo (Madagascar) After One Year in Mauritius

We left Mauritius for Madagascar on the 15th of November, 2022. We flew to the Malagasy capital Antananarivo with Air Mauritius. Deciding on Madagascar Our one-year Mauritian premium visa was coming to an end in November. We had considered renewing this fantastic digital nomad visa for another year; the MV Trochetia was sailing again to Rodrigues instead of the MV Black Rhino. As you might know, we really love Rodrigues. But the only way we’d like to travel back there would be by boat. We had already imagined staying in Quatre Bornes, then taking the Metro Express to Port Louis,Continue reading

Morondava: Avenue of the Baobabs + Baobab Fruit Experience

We visited the Alley of the Baobabs aka Avenue of the Baobabs on the 12th of December, 2022. Before that, we ate some baobab fruit we bought at the central market of Morondava, west Madagascar. Our First Encounter with Baobab Fruit (Back in Mauritius) In September 2022, we finally made a day trip to the Pamplemousses Botanic Gardens (aka the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden) from our home in Trou-aux-Biches, Mauritius. We saw a great many plants and one cute kitten there, but when I spotted the baobab section on the map, I knew that’s what I really wanted toContinue reading

Mauritius and Rodrigues for Digital Nomads: the Complete Guide

This guide to Mauritius and Rodrigues also appears under the Digital Nomads Guides brand Why Mauritius? East of Africa in the Indian Ocean is a small archipelago that seeks to attract digital nomads. Mauritius created the premium visa for you to come and open up your laptop to get that money. There are many benefits to choosing Mauritius as your main stay in Africa and the southern hemisphere. Besides their generous one-year digital nomad visa, the climate is pleasant, the internet is fast, the living standards are high, and it’s the safest country in Africa. There are also loads ofContinue reading

How Many People Can Visit All Countries on Earth?

You might have heard of some people who have visited all 195 countries on earth. Whoa! How do they do that? Isn’t this hugely expensive? Could a person like you or me visit all countries? Possibly, yeah, but if you think money is the greatest obstacle to visiting all of the world’s countries, you’re wrong. It’s actually the passport you hold – if you can afford one, to begin with. Out of curiosity, I tried to calculate how many people cannot visit one or more of the world’s 195 countries. If one country doesn’t let you in based on your nationality,Continue reading

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