You dream to come to Madagascar and / or Nosy Be, to discover this country out of time, far from the "standard" tourist places and the mass tourism. You want to get lost in the remote villages, meet the locals, live in the huts in Falapha made from the tree of the traveler, but with everything that says about Madagascar, leaving the beaten track scares you? This article is for you, there not to reassure you but to enlighten you.
Fear of facing obstacles deprives most of us
If you smooth the forum of the backpacker, I see you from here imagine yourself being attacked with a machete in an alley or a village of Madagascar. So you stay home, read the bloggers' journeys, dream of traveling by visiting the websites and some reports ... In the end you resign yourself to go through a Tour Operator who will advise you Madagascar and will instead offer trips "Boats" ...
Madagascar, more dangerous than elsewhere?
In general, the life of a traveler, everywhere in the world, is not always sure. Traveling without agencies comes back to the unknown, so it often happens to take risks, especially when traveling alone. But it is not the probability of aggression that should prevent you from living, going out, discovering, where then you risk missing out on what makes life (well, that's my opinion).
How to avoid theft and avoidable aggression in Madagascar?
Before your stay
- Wherever you are, find out about the country's political and security situation that you are going to visit. The diplomatie.gouv.fr website gives information may be correct for many countries, but for Madagascar take reservations... The fact is that the editors of this site ask the information to the embassy based in Antananarivo (the capital) and that this embassy generalizes the capital in the country, which is totally absurd ... I even say that Antananarivo often does not away from Madagascar so everything is different down! So see the precautions given by this site concerning mainly the capital.
- Find information about particular cities, local uses, gestures and / or words to avoid. You will already find a lot of info on my site, and to participate in a forum I advise you travel-forum and expat blog, the last container, as the name suggests, mainly expats living on site, and best placed to give you advice on the place you want to visit in Madagascar.
- Adapt your luggage to your style of travel: Sedentary, get a hard suitcase with locks code or key. Itinerant and backpack: the backpack is ready, its lightness will allow you to run faster in case ... Add a padlock is double-edged, I do not recommend Madagascar, first it will not stop a thief motivated and above all it shows that you carry things of values! So avoid in my opinion the padlocks,
hideand put the valuables in the bottom of the bag.
- Take a defense tool with you: A tear bomb can be a good defense and that will reassure you. Just walking straight without fear will dissuade good numbers, "it is much easier to attack the weak of the flock".
- Set your accommodation in advance if you book. The reason is simple, very few establishments accept the credit card, check or traveler's check. 80% of establishments will only take cash, and an amount in Ariary goes up very quickly ... 1 € = 3 800 Ariary, knowing that the biggest ticket is 20 000 Ar, you will quickly have a bag or a suitcase, nothing better to attract attention. Often robberies take place on people coming out of the bank who are followed to their homes and burgled the same night. So, pay as much as you can in advance, bring in Euros that you put in the bottom of your bag or a flap pocket and change as you go along with a street vendor (without ever showing everything of course). For more details on money, I invite you to read how to hide his money, very good article, just check travelers who are not adapted to Madagascar
During your stay
- This will seem obvious to many, yet very can the bottom!
Visit the tourist offices, hotel staff and the premises you meet for more information. They will always give you good advice on the behaviors to adopt, the areas to be avoided (theft, assault, pickpocketing, kidnapping, etc.) or the local habits of the fadys in Madagascar. And even more basic, when they tell you, listen to the ...
- Do not show your wealth. As a reminder you come to Madagascar, the SMIC is 220 000 Ariary or less than 57 € ... It is very easy to try the devil. Personally I have a silver necklace and a diving watch, they are stored in a drawer since I am in Madagascar (for info I have never been assaulted in 8 years except once in the capital, bad place to bad moment).
- Respect the Malagasy. When you are in your country, when someone says hello you answer, right? And the Malagasy are human beings, they are not sub beings, neither slaves nor mentally deficient. Respect them as you would like us to behave with you, do not do what you would not do at home. Simple is not it?
- Avoid showing too much your valuables : For phones, laptops, tablets, I want to say, do not take them! These are the holidays, disconnect! Just take your camera.
- Eliminate dark places and be accompanied to the maximum. Personally when I go out at night in Nosy Be I have never had any problems, however if I return after 23h, even if I do not live far I take a taxi unless we are in a group. And avoid walking in the back streets after dark.
- Walk right. Someone who is confident, with his head held up steeply, is always less tempting than a feeble person bent over herself, turning her head from left to right, wanting to go unnoticed. So girls, do not take it badly but avoid walking alone, join a group where go there by taxi after dark.
- Do not respond to verbal aggression and provocations. You are above it, on vacation to enjoy it. There is a big mouth everywhere, but if you answer, he will have to defend his "reputation" in front of his friends and the person does not know what can happen ...
Little special tips Madagascar
- During your internal travels, the bush taxi is often the most affordable way, and a most friendly way to discover the island of Madagascar, however there are no companies with a follow up as in Europe (not yet anyway), so check Always eta tires before leaving, mainly on the road Tana - Tamatave which is the most deadly of Madagascar.
- Photocopy your pieces of identity and protect the original. Whether it's a stolen bag or a fallen boat trip, collecting papers in Madagascar is a real obstacle course!
- Take into account the value of the Ariary. 1 € = 3 800 Ariary. Please do not leave 100 Ar tip ... the figure 100 seems to represent a lot but it is only 0.035 cents ... That they are supposed to share with the kitchen ... What would you think if we give you that ? Personally I usually leave 10% of the rating after you manage.
- Take a step back on what some Vazaha are telling you (vazaha = stranger, in this case I am talking about resident vazahas). As much as you can find Ali Baba's cave of information, discussions, wonders, as much on the embittered service ... Living in Madagascar is not always easy and
a lotsome become embittered, say things they do not really think but fatigue and alcohol makes talking easily. Others behave very badly (slavery, young ladies and others), are expelled where leave of themselves even after having them worries (those have looked for it) and come to complain on the forums (forum of the backpacker mainly ), so take with tweezers the authors of positions on Le Routard (48-year-old single life in Paris and the poor, the 18-year-old did not really like him and he suffers from having been cheated, sniff).
What more can you say?
Zero risk does not exist, there is always the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but following the advice above will allow you to minimize the risks. In my case once in 8 years (bad place at the wrong time), it was very successful.