01582 766122
Coronavirus: a message to our customers
If you are due to travel shortly we will be in touch to support and guide you, based on current Foreign Office advice.
 
If you are ready to start planning you next holiday, our 'Book with Confidence' pledge has been created to give you peace of mind. For new bookings made before 30 June 2021, we will not charge if you need to move your holiday dates or change to a new destination due to Covid-19, up to 60 days prior to travel. You can move your holiday to any time up to 31 December 2022 or 12 months from your departure date, whichever is later*. If you are unsure of your future travel plans when you need to make this change, we will provide you with a 100% travel credit note.
* Terms and conditions
We may need to adjust the cost of your trip to reflect any seasonal differences. Sometimes non-refundable deposits are required by local suppliers, which would be specified prior to booking. If you are unable to travel, we would secure a credit note for future travel from these suppliers, but you would not get a cash refund for these items. Flights that have already been issues will be subject to the rules of your airline & therefore may not be refundable or changeable. All other terms and conditions remain as standard.
 
If you are looking to travel closer to home, our sister company Auriel Holidays – offers a wide range of tailor made holidays in the UK, Europe & worldwide.

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
Call 01582 766122

Travel guide to Madagascar

Passports
Your passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date and have two blank facing pages. If you do not have this, you may be denied boarding at your departure airport. Soiled, damaged or defaced passports will not be accepted.
Visas
Visas are compulsory. An e-visa can be purchased on-line in advance of travel, or at the airport on arrival (€35 for visits up to 30 days - increasing to €45 for visits up to 60 days).
Health
Tthere is no Yellow Fever in Madagscar, but malaria tablets are recommended. There are no compulsory health requirements, unless you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (eg Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda), in which case a valid yellow fever certificate is mandatory & must be presented at the airport to gain entry. Airport transits of < 12-hours are exempt. The vaccination must be done at least 10 days before travel. If you are over 60 years of age and your doctor advises against a yellow fever vaccination, you must carry a letter from your doctor that states this. As dengue fever is present, a good insect repellent and anti-histamine are advised. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Tsetse fly is also present. You should be up to date with your primary courses and boosters, and always check with your doctor at least 8 weeks before travel for any other inoculations recommended (eg Hepatitis A+B, Cholera, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Polio, Meningococcal Meningitis, Rabies and TB).
Currency
Madagascar Ariary (MGA) - you can exchange currency at Antananarivo airport on arrival, but you will not be able to change back any surplus afterwards. Remember to ask for small denominations, as these are useful for tipping. We also suggest travelling with small denominations of EUR euros or USD dollars, as these can be used in some luxury hotels and for tipping if you run out of local currency. Credit cards usage is very limited in Madagascar, with Visa more widely accepted than Master card and a 5% surcharge usually applies. Many rural places do not have satellite reception (so card machines don't work), so ensure you have cash when travelling in the countryside.
Language
French + Malagasy
Time Zone
GMT + 3 Hours
Travel Tips
To ensure that you have the best possible holiday experience, we ask you to read the following information carefully. If you have any questions, please discuss them with us before you depart. 
 
Madagascar is a poor country with a fragile infrastructure and, apart from a few main roads, most roads are severely degraded and a 4x4 vehicle is essential. Tracking lemurs in the rainforests is also very physical, requiring a faiir level of mobility. Standards in most simple rural hotels are also well below European standards, although en-suite and clean. So when you visit Madagascar do so with an adventurous outlook and have patience when plans have to be changed. 
 
Hand Luggage – pack essential items for a day or two in your hand luggage, in case your bags go astray and take a few days to catch up with you, especially if you have any tight connecting flights. 
 
Documents – take a copy of your travel insurance policy with you, and leave a copy of your passport with a reliable contact at home, in case the originals are lost or stolen. 
 
Electronic Devices – ensure these are all fully charge before travel, as you may be required to switch them on at airport security, as any device that does not switch on cannot be check and may need to be surrendered. 
 
Mobile Phones – make sure they are set up for international calls and if you plan to use travel apps such as Google Translate or Google Maps, ensure you check your data package with your provider in advance. Alternatively turn off date roaming to avoid large phone bills. Be aware that some rural areas may not have mobile or WiFi coverage. 
 
Credit Cards – remember to inform your bank when travelling abroad. 
 
Clothing – pack in layers according to the season, including lightweight but long sleeved shirts and long trousers to protect against mosquitos (safari clothing is ideal for this). Neutral colours are best – khaki, green & brown. Avoid white & bright colours, as these increase your visibility to the lemurs, dark blue which attracts tsetse fly, and black which can get very hot. Pack long socks (so you can tuck in your trouser legs and keep out biting ants) & gardening gloves to protect your hands, as you scramble through the rainforest. Take a generous supply of insect repellent to spray on your neck, wrists and ankles and avoid using perfume, as this attracts insects. Proper rain gear is also essential, including both a rain jacket and lightweight waterproof trousers. Take a day pack, good walking shoes, T-shirts, shorts, jeans, light fleece, sunhat, swimming costume, sunglasses, biodegradable sunscreen, flip flops & and sea shoes to protect your feet from coral. Pack your own toiletries, as these are not always supplied. Sanitising hand cleaner and eye drops can be handy, especially if you wear contact lenses & a 'shewee' is invaluable for ladies in the bush. A backpack is always useful. 
 
Medicines - if you travel with prescription drugs, carry an adequate supply in their original bottles/packaging & keep them in your hand luggage, as if lost they may be difficult to replace. 
 
Accessories – a good head torch is essential for tracking lemurs at night. Also your phone (with charger and a spare battery pack), camera (with spare memory cards and batteries – a 200 mm zoom lens is good for wildlife photography) and binoculars (large 8x40 is best). We suggest one pair per person, as it can be frustrating to share. 
 
Plugs – Type C (European 2-prong). Pack a universal adapter as well as a hand basin plug/stopper, as these are not always provided. 
 
Books – pack a good travel guide, with information on the wildlife and birds of the region, as well as a French phrase book. Knowing a few simple greetings in Malagasy will also go down well. Also pack a generous supply of English reading material for quiet evenings and when waiting for flights, as these will be hard to come by in Madagascar. 
 
Local Flights – Air Madagascar is notoriously unreliable and flights are re-scheduled daily, usually without prior notice. Your ground handler will check these for you, but be prepared to change your itinerary in need. You must check in 2-hours before each departure and expect to be re-routed indirectly via other towns at times. For this reason, if you are taking an internal flight on your last day, it is sensible to spend your last night in Antananarivo to ensure you do not miss your international flight home. 
 
Water – be fastidious and only drink bottled water. Avoid washed salads, local yoghurt, ice cream and ice cubes outside your hotel, as tap water is not safe to drink. Peel all fruit before eating it and remember to brush your teeth with bottled water. Pack diarrhoea tablets and rehydration sachets for emergencies. 
 
Food – Malagasy cuisine has been influenced by both Indonesian and French style, but tends to be very basic with rice as the staple food. Breakfasts are mostly continental (you will usually be expected to pay extra if your order eggs) and tea is served black. If you ask for milk, remember to ask for it cold – otherwise it will be served hot. Vegetarians may find the menu rather monotonous outside the main towns. 
 
Driving – this is on the right, but the roads are in such a poor condition that it is not possible to self-drive. 
 
Safety – this is a very poor country and pickpockets are active in Antananarivo. Take all sensible precautions. Leave valuable jewellery/watches at home, wear a money belt and be alert when outside your hotel. In particular avoid taking out large wads of cash in public view and keep your spare cash, passport and a spare credit card in your hotel safe. 
 
Swimming – this is generally safe around the reef protected islands of Nosy Be, Anjajavy, Manafiafy, western side of Ile Saint Marie and Masoala Peninsula, Morondava and the southwest coast. Avoid swimming along the east coast from Diego Suarez to Fort Dauphin, as sharks are a danger. 
 
Bush Toilets – there are no clean facilities outside the main towns, except for specified stopping points, so expect to use a “bush toilet” if you are caught short in the countryside. 
 
Wild Animals – attacks by wild animals are rare, but we cannot guarantee that attacks will not occur so observe all sensible precautions. We cannot be held responsible for injuries caused during an incident with a wild animal. 
 
Indemnities - please be aware it is likely you will be required to sign indemnities for safaris and any other potentially hazardous activities. 
 
Pack for a Purpose - if you have a little space in your suitcase, local schools & communities always appreciate gifts of English reading books, pens & pencils, stationery, deflated footballs etc. Specific requests from communities can be seen on the 'Pack for a Purpose' website. 
 
Tipping – this is not compulsory, but if you wish to tip because you have received good service, we suggest the following per couple: 
- main guide: Ar 25,000 per day 
- main driver: Ar 10,000 per day (both can be reduced for longer stays). 
- local park guides: Ar 3,000 
- waiters: 10% (if not already added to your bill). 
- porters: Ar 3,000 per bag. 
It is not necessary to tip drivers doing short transfers (eg to the airport). 
 
FCO Travel Advice - consult the UK Foreign Office website for the latest travel advice www.fco.gov.uk.