Madagascar Transportation Tips by Norali Top 5 Page for this destination
Madagascar Transportation: 31 reviews and 30 photos
Air Mad is our national air company (Norali)
Air-Madagascar or Air Mad (!) is our national air company. Just released a new website.
- Departures from and arrivals in Paris (CDG)
Reunion, Mauritius, Kenya, South Africa, Comores... Schedules in below website (you'll have to key in departure and arrival days, destinations and Schedule Search Engine) :
- As for prices, contact your local Air Mad rep.:
Though I prefer roadtrips to discover amazing landscapes (see my albums on Big South journey for instance), I give tips on internal flights as well
If you travel TO Madagascar with Air Madagascar, it may be interesting to include internal flights in your package rather than buy them separately in Madagascar. In fact, 50% off for internal flights for those who travel TO the country with our national company. Check with agencies for that.
From 29 March 2004: re-opening of Madagascar - Comoros Islands flights. From 2 April 2004: opening of direct liaison between Tolagnaro (: Fort-Dauphin) and Saint-Denis (La Réunion).
June 2004: Direct flights Antananarivo - Milan & Antananrivo - Bangkok would be launched (as of April 2004).
Where here could you find gas and water? (Marc)
While touring in Madagascar, bring extra fuel supply (in jerry cans) as you would sometimes travel in desert areas with noone around (neither oil station).
While having a stop over villages, fill up as you can... or be sure your chauffeur thinks of it... Sounds weird but you would see, sometimes, cars (esp. taxi-brousse and taxi-be) that are hanging around on roadsides, waiting for fuel to come from another convoy of taxi-brousses. Well, it would be nice to rest or walk a bit, take pictures but what if it's dark and isolated? Scarry, he...
So as for bottled (and sealed) water, only one you can afford to drink BTW. Same tip applies for extra tyres.
Notwithstand with all of that, taxi-brousses and railtripping are nice and cheaper alternatives to internal flights. I had some reserve regarding trains in Madagascar but recent developments made me optimisitc. The rail company has nearly collapsed in the 90s. Now, lines are being rebuilt and some are functionning again. Click here to read my insight of taxi-brousses and train rides. For sure, you will have to plan internal trips when visting this big country.
Plus, there are some nice railtrips to be done in Madagascar. Fianarantsoa-Cote Est (FCE) is one of them. The low speed (20-35km/hour) allows you to appreciate the landscape, from thick forests to bamboo forests and ricefields. A real turning off!
Type: Car/Motor Home
Circulation... by Anne
Rather hire a chauffeur to move around cities, especially in Tana... as traffic jam and ignorance of circulation code would turn you mad :-)
As for traffic jams, an exemple: In the 80es, it took me 45 minutes to join urban area from our place in North Tana. Nowadays, it takes my Dad 1.30 min - 2 hours to do so...
Alternative: Rather hire a chauffeur to move around cities.. and choose a hotel located in urban area.
For long trips, you can experience driving by yourself (with the help of maybe a chauffeur to alternate). One thing however: if you intend to only visit nature reserves and national parks, hire a driver to lead you there.. and hire ANGAP guide while entering parks and reserves. It would cost you less and money would go to those guys who know about animals, plants, hidden places and best moments to find them
Type: Car/Motor Home
A guide for your long road trips (Norali)
One thing interesting in long trips is that they enable you to drive while escaping from crowded urban cities like Tana and, why not, drive in empty roads. Thus, a chauffeur is not always needed for your long trips, guiding is mandatory. First, without a guide, you would miss hidden gems. Second, he would serve as translator if needed. Third, he would know about how to preserve safety....
Beware of fake guides though!! => See my tourist traps tip
One thing however: if you intend to only visit nature reserves and national parks, hire a driver to lead you there.. and hire ANGAP guide while entering parks and reserves. It would cost you less and money would go to those guys who know about animals, plants, hidden places and best moments to find them
Type: Car/Motor Home
In winter, sun sets at 5.30 pm...(Norali)
Tip also applies to motorcycle and other outdoor activities.
Bear in mind that in winter, (June- September), sun sets at 5.30 pm. That means that you'd better calculate your timing for visiting specific isolated and remote areas. In addition, as directions in Madagascar roads are always missing and in case you travel without a guide, better head to a hotel in the nearby and make an early leaving the day after.
Off course, the tip also applies for picture taking. No light at 5.30 pm
- from May to October, sun rises at 5.00 am and sets at 7.00 pm,
- from June to September, rises at 7.30 am and sets at 5.00pm.
Type: Car/Motor Home
Pousse pousse by Anne
Try the charm of ricksaw transportation in cities such as Antsirabe, Toamasina and Mahajanga and Toliara. Though tourists may feel not at their ease on those ricksaws, think of Tana ricksaw pullers have even harder work. Indeed, Tana ricksaws don't carry humans, they cary heavy lumbers, iron rods...
"Pousse pousse" means "Push push", though it rather means "Pull pull" :-)
Above all, they are part of lucky ones who have a job... So, do not hesitate, use this tip, especially in hot areas such as Mahajanga. It would save you energy as walking is sometimes harsh there, esp. at noons and early afternoons.
Bargaining is a rule in Madagascar BUT since pousse-pousse tariffs are really low, there is no point in bargaining. Those guys only have this as a job.
A plus for pousse-pousse pullers, they know their cities by heart and may show you hidden jewels as well. Isn'it nice? A win-win deal, indeed.
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