While the brand, My Madagascar Holiday, is relatively new, the guides and drivers you’ll meet have been doing this for over 20 years! Check out some of their written reviews in our Testimonials page. Fun fact: our local Operations Manager knows or has trained most of the Antananarivo-based guides. He created some of the most popular tourist attractions now, such as the 2-day Tsrihibina River ride.
What languages do your guides speak?
English, French, Italian, German… Let us know what you need and when and we’ll let you know what we have available!
Can I change part of a package?
Yes, we can customize any package to fit your preferences and time frame.
That depends on what you and your group like to do. We have something for everyone. Contact us with what you’re looking for and we can give you a customized recommendation!
Are meals included?
Outside of the nights spent in National Parks, meals are not included. A budget of USD$8-$12/meal will be more than enough to cover your meal expenses. Ofcourse if you want a fancy meal in a fancy restaurant, budget more.
What if I’m vegetarian?
No problem, we’re veg-friendly! Also, have you seen that documentary, Cowspiracy?? Crazy.
How many people can we bring?
Bring all your friends and all their friends! We can fit up to 18 people in each of our larger vehicles, or we can take several 4x4s depending on your preference and budget.
Is there a group discount?
Yes! For large groups, contact us with your group size and requested tour and we’ll let you know what we have.
Can I pay when I arrive?
When you book a tour, we must book a lot of non-refundable things in advance, such as domestic flights which fill up very quickly in the high season. For this reason, we request payment upon booking to confirm your spot.
What’s accommodation like?
It can range between 5-billion star accommodation (camping under the stars in the National Parks) and fancy hotels in the bigger cities. It all depends on where your tour will take you and if you choose to upgrade your accommodation package.
Try to pack your stuff in a backpack instead of a large suitcase. This will make your trip infinitely easier for you (unless you’re taking a 2-person private 4x4 tour, then do as you please!). Here are some suggesions:
Passport- while in Madagascar you must have this on you at ALL times
Closed toed shoes for walking/hiking
Light clothing for activities and the heat
Warm clothing for the night. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
Sun gear- sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
Simple plastic bag/toiletry bag for keeping clothes dry in basic camp showers
A headlamp/torch/flashlight/cell phone for the darker camping nights. Depending on your tour, some smaller towns also have limited solar electricity. This means that power can go off at anytime, and is purposely turned off during certain time frames.
Personal medical kit- like mild painkillers, electrolytes, bandaids. We’ll have some stuff, but you should too just in case.
Camera with spare batteries. You’ll take a LOT of photos in Madagascar
Ear plugs for your snoring roommate (depending on your tour, you may not have a roommate at all)
A good book, journal, music player for the long drives. Here that snoring roommate might be able to help you pass the time
What about the rain season?
Some tours are not available in the rain season because roads and parks are inaccessible. For the tours that are available in rain season- if you don’t mind the rain these can be a real treat! You’re guaranteed a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll be telling your grandkids about. But again, that’s if you don’t mind the rain.
What vaccines/jabs do I need?
The CDC recommends a few, see their recommendations here. We recommend you make your decisions after talking to your doctor or local travel clinic though.
Do I need a visa for Madagascar?
All nationalities require a visa for Madagascar. If you have an embassy in your home country you can obtain the visa prior to departure. Tourist visas valid for 30/60 days are also available for most nationalities on arrival at Antananarivo airport at a fee of $27 (although this amount fluctuates). Visa and other entry and exit conditions change regularly so we recommend you contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Madagascar for the most up to date information. Find the closest one to you here.
Madagascar is a really safe place, but obviously just like any other place in the world, you should take regular precautions. Don’t walk alone in dark alleys at night wearing your bling and flashing lots of cash. In terms of life-threatening danger, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, you’re safer in Madagascar than you are in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France, Netherlands, Germany, and almost every single other Western country in the world.
Can I drink the tap water?
You can, the locals do, but you probably will have stomach issues. Stick to bottled water, which is readily available almost everywhere for under $2 per 1.5L bottle. Or don’t, but then do carry extra toilet paper with you ;)
Do I need travel insurance?
We don’t include travel insurance in our packages, and we do recommend getting this just in case. It’s a cheap way to make sure you’re covered for whatever happens. Check out World Nomads as a reputable company.
Is there an emergency contact?
Upon booking we’ll provide you with some local emergency contacts. You probably won’t need them, but just in case!
In Madagascar, cash is king. Fortunately, ATMs are readily available in the major cities, and work with Visa/Mastercard. Maestro cards can be a challenge, but there’s always Western Union in case of emergency. Rarely do places accept credit cards, and if they do, their machine often doesn’t work. In case of emergency, keep some US dollars (make sure they’re newer, post-2006 bills) or euros securely hidden with you.
What’s not included?
Anything we didn’t mention in the package, as well as most meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, laundry, and tips. If you're not sure about something, ask :)
Although tipping isn’t necessary, tipping locals just a few dollars can make a huge difference for them. Please don’t tip if you receive poor service, as this positively reinforces bad behaviour… But if you do feel you’ve gotten good service, tip away!
The equivalent of around USD$5-10 per person, per day to cover all your tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a ‘group tipping kitty’. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all money spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.
Here’s a short tipping guide based on our experience:
Basic restaurants- 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
Local guides– Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD$2-3 per person, per day for local guides.
Your crew (including leaders, drivers and cooks where applicable)– You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. *Remember, tipping is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.