Is it safe to travel in Madagascar?
Madagascar is really quite safe to visit. If you adhere to the basic principles, like you would in any large city anywhere in the world, like: not carrying valuables in plain view, keeping cameras hidden and not go about walking alone at night – you should be safe and sound. Be aware of onlookers and make use of hotel safety deposit boxes. Travelers with tour operators/groups are the least at risk and self-drive clients are advised to plan in advance which routes they wish to travel and to get all of their destination information ahead of time. If traveling by car, make sure the doors are locked at all times and that no bags or purses are left on passenger seats. While on tour in the bush, the only dangerous creatures are wild animals. The people are gracious and hospitable in Madagascar.
How is about the political stability of the country?
MTV Tours runs trips in keeping with a basic travel safety policy. Should either the relevant consulates and/or our operations groups on the ground deem an area unsafe; trips will be cancelled so as to minimize risks to our groups. Please keep up to date with destination travel advisories as issued by your government’s foreign affairs department. MTV Tours also provides regular safety updates on the web. This page also provides direct links to relevant embassy travel advisories.
I am a single traveler is this ok?
You don’t have to worry about the fact that you are travelling alone. We also have a lot of single travelers. That’s the great thing about these trips is that you are in a group so you won’t feel alone at all.
Why can’t I do these trips on my own?
Of course you can do these trips on your own, especially if you have large quantities of time, money, patience and you are willing to take some risks. We have researched, visited and spent time in each location. We have met with guides, walked the trails, ate in the restaurants, stayed in the lodges and hotels, know how to get the correct visas, permits and tickets, and so on. By traveling with MTV Tours you are maximizing your chances for a fulfilling and enjoyable trip, and minimizing your risk of problems, pitfalls and frustration. Of course, there can and may still be problems encountered, as travel in remote countries will never be as predictable or reliable as travel in the developed World.
Who requires a visa?
All foreign visitors to Madagascar require an entry visa.
What documents will be required?
– Valid passport
– Passport photograph
– Completed application form
– Copy of round-trip ticket or itinerary
How do I apply?
Non-extendable 30-day tourist visas can be obtained upon arrival at any airport in Madagascar that handles international flights, as long as the applicant’s passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the last day of the intended stay in Madagascar and provided the applicant carries an airline-issued ticket or passenger receipt showing that the applicant intends to leave within 30 days. For stays longer than three months: visas are issued by the Ministère de l’Intérieur (Ministry of the Interior) in Antananarivo. Applications can be filed directly with the Ministry or at the Embassy of Madagascar
What is the cost of a visa?
There are three categories:
Up to 30 days: €24/ US$ 26
Up 31 -60days: €29/ US$ 33
Up 61 -90days: €41/ US$ 46 Payable in cash.
Extension of a 90- days visa is not possible under normal circumstances, but if you exit (to Mauritius or Réunion, say) you can come back immediately and get fresh visa on your return.
When is the best time to travel to Madagascar?
Madagascar is a safari destination so you would want to travel during the dry months. The long rains are from early December through to early April. It is often less expensive to travel during the long rainy season. Dry seasons offer excellent game viewing and more reliable road conditions, and game tends to congregate around the limited water sources, making the animals easier to find. July to September are generally extremely busy in Madagascar, offering comfortable temperatures in addition to being a popular time for travel world-wide … so be sure to book well in advance.
Do you require Insurance whilst traveling in Madagascar?
All travelers should be adequately insured against all eventualities and circumstances. This applies anywhere in the world. We strongly advise everyone to purchase travel insurance for unforeseen problems or medical emergencies. We recommend either CSA Travel Protection or Global Rescue for extra peace of mind, or of course you can talk with your local insurance agent.
What vaccinations do I need?
You will need a Yellow Fever vaccination and will need to produce documentation to prove it. Hepatitis A & C immunizations are recommended and you may need some anti-malaria drugs. Consult your GP or tropical health expert BEFORE you travel. Some Malaria treatment must be started before you leave home.
If I’m sick what happens?
Your crew is experienced at what they do but are not doctors. There is a first-aid box on board that can be used temporarily for major problems but you need to bring your own small first aid kit for day to day mishaps.
The MTV Tours crews have a good knowledge of tropical diseases and are aware of where the closest hospitals are. They also have your Travel Insurance details.
If you do get sick on tour then inform your crew immediately. If you are sick upon return to your home country then consult your doctor and make them aware of what tropical diseases you have been exposed to.
What types of food would we expect on tour?
It is possible to get vegetarian, halaal and most food preferences in Madagascar. If you have any special dietary requirements let us know in advance we will be able to cater for you. Our guides are trained to cater for all different types of culinary tastes. As a rule, do not eat anything purchased at the side of the road and wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
Is it safe to drink the water?
It is safe to drink the tap water in Madagascar. Tap water in hotels and at other lodges in Madagascar is also safe to drink, but bottled water is available in shops if you prefer. If you are ever in doubt, stick to bottled water.
Will my Mobile Phone work in Madagascar?
Yes, there is extensive coverage throughout Madagascar. However, in Madagascar, networks cover all national roads, towns and cities. Before traveling, ask your mobile phone service provider to open your phone to allow international roaming.
Is there internet available in Madagascar?
Certainly. Most city hotels will have either internet connection in the bedroom or a business centre where you can spend time online. In remote areas, however, there is no internet connection.
What is the typical number of people on one of MTV Tours?
We run with small groups of a maximum of 20 clients on all of our scheduled safaris which makes for a more personal and flexible safari experience for all.
What type of accommodation do they have there?
Tourism business is not yet well developed in Madagascar so there are few hotels which get the international standard.
However there is a good supply of hotels in term of cleanliness and good services.
What currency should I take with me on my trip?
Most major developed-world currencies are available throughout Madagascar. Any of the following currencies are accepted: USDollar, Euro and UK pounds. There are ATM machines as well as money changes in most of the major cities.
Do you have an age limit on your safaris?
We do not have an age limit on any of our safaris we are usually aged between 18 and 60 and are relatively fit and healthy we are just require a doctor’s certificate for anyone over 65 years of age. As long as you know what to expect you are most welcome to join us on a safari.
What are Family Trips?
We have selected trips which are classified as Family Trips.
Family trips are trips where we welcome children aged 5-17 years travelling with their parents on tour.
How far in advance should I book my trip?
It is better to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel (4-6 months), especially during the peak seasons (July & August and Christmas/New Years). This is especially important for those wishing to travel on private custom safaris and those adding extensions to scheduled safaris.
Who are your guides?
MTV Tours guides are the foundation of our success. Our guides are the best available in each location, and importantly, they are warm, fun-loving people who are committed to making the tour a fun, educational and rewarding experience for each and every participant. They are familiar with the places we visit, the issues, the personalities, and are excited to share that knowledge with our tour participant.
What activities are available during the tours?
There are many different types of activities available while on tour from game drives, guided walks, bird watching, boating, canoeing, helicopter rides over Tsingy of bemaraha, etc.
How much time do we spend driving?
Drive days can range from being very short (a couple of hours) to pretty long (all day). Usually long drive days are followed by 2 or more days staying at the same spot.
Each tour, area and region is different and the weather can play a big part.
Should I insure my camera equipment?
Yes, the terrain that overland trucks cover can be rugged and you can never be too certain about what happens when you are out in the wilderness! Your camera could get stolen, get wet or caught in a dust storm.
About the electricity?
In Madagascar, the two-pronged plug and the European standard socket are the most used with a tension of 220 volts (but it may go down to 170 volts in some areas at peak times).
Is there somewhere to put my money and valuables?
There are safes on most of the trucks which are locked at all times. It is always important to insure your valuables just to be certain.
You are ultimately responsible for your own money and valuables and their safe keeping.
What clothes I will bring?
During winter time, warm clothes and windbreakers are recommended, especially in the Highlands, whereas light clothes made of cotton are needed all year long in western Madagascar and during the hot season. You should always bring raincoats when visiting the humid eastern part of Madagascar and its rainforests.