To be honest, in general there are not much health facilities in Madagascar. Therefore for foreigners, in short or long stay, it is important to provide repatriation insurance.
Some major towns and villages are equipped with dispensaries where there are at least one doctor or a nurse, but often lack medicines and other medical equipments.
You will find drugstores in the main cities; they do not always have all the medications your search for.
That is why it is advisable to carry a small pharmacy kit containing certain indispensable products and basic medicines.
Big hospitals are only found in town, especially in Antananarivo.
In case of serious accident, it is advisable to contact as soon as possible your personal insurance company to be repatriated to Tana at first, then to La Reunion, which is only one hour’s flight from Madagascar, or to Europe . You can also find the emergency numbers on the websites of the consulates being present in Madagascar.
MadaServices is at your disposal for advice on available health benefits
– upon your arrival: ASSISTANCE WITH FOMALITIES
– throughout your trip. SIGHTSEEING, TRAVEL ADVICE
MONEY, BANK, EXCHANGE
The local monetary unit is Ariary (Ar or MGA) but the population especially in provinces often still count in Malagasy Franc (Fmg): 1 Ar = 5 Fmg. You need to be sure in everyday financial negotiations that you and your interlocutor deal with the same monetary unit, otherwise you risk paying five times the price. You have banknotes such as 10,000 Ar (50,000 Fmg), 5,000 Ar (25,000 Fmg), 1,000 Ar (5,000 Fmg), 500 Ar (2,500 Fmg), 200 Ar (1000Fmg) and 100 Ar (500 Fmg). Cheques are rarely accepted at off-site merchants. In big cities and some highly touristy places, traders and operators begin to accept card payments but often with a surcharge.
The banking network consists of major international banks , mostly French ones (BMOI-BPCE, BFV – Société Générale, BNI – Crédit Agricole, Bank of Africa, etc.). They are open from Monday to Friday and are present in the main cities.
These networks have cash distributors accessible with Visa and sometimes with MasterCard.
The exchange rate varies daily. It is indicated on the official website of the Central Bank of Madagascar as well as that of the main banks. The best rates are charged by private exchange offices. It is strongly discouraged to do any foreign exchange in the street even at a very advantageous rate. Counterfeit banknotes are often concealed in large bulky bundles. Clever fraudulent manipulations can deceive the number of notes.
Malagasy and French languages are both official in Madagascar. It does not mean that everyone speaks French, especially in the countryside where its use is rare. It should also be known that Malagasy language varies from one province to another, which may explain some slight problems of communication among Malagasy people themselves when traveling in the country because of this matter of dialect. Anyway, the language of the High Land known as Merina (Tana) is understood by almost every ethnic groups all over the country as it is the language of education.
English, Italian, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Japanese are also used in Madagascar.
MadaServices is your partner for effective communication.
Security must be taken seriously in Madagascar. The population is very welcoming and of a friendly temperament. You will be surprised by the quality and depth of relationship that you build as you travel. However, the existance of the poverty in Madagascar usually involves the temptation among malefactors to attack foreigners whom the latters consider to be very rich. These individuals who commit this type of misdeeds are not career criminals. The danger is that they are afraid and may act disproportionately. To avoid such circumstances, money or valuable items susceptible of attracting the greeds must not be shown in public. In case of pickpocket, one should not resist in order to not aggravate the situation. The risk is concentrated during travels:- in the city, one should move around at night by car or taxi, in the day one should find out about neighborhoods to avoid,- in the provinces, one should avoid driving on the roads at nightfall,- in the countryside, one should inquire about risk areas. If you make excursions in the country, it is important if you are accompanied so that you get know well the local risks. Indeed, there may be the presence of animals (crocodiles, sharks, centipedes, mosquitoes, etc.) or of dangerous natural phenomena. Malagasy people respect a certain number of “fady” or sacred taboos. It is recommended to be aware of them in order to avoid offending them. In general, the local means of transport are not up to international standards and so they do not guarantee optimum security. MadaServices advises you during your short or long stay on the essential precautions to allow you to discover Madagascar in the best possible conditions and in all serenity.