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Antananarivo Travel Guide

Antananarivo Travel Information

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are generally two-pin.

Language

Malagasy is the official language, but French is used in business and government and is widely spoken in the main cities in Madagascar. A few people involved in the tourism industry might be able to speak some English, but it is not widely spoken.

Tipping

Tipping in Madagascar is not usual, although in European-style restaurants and hotels tips of 10-15% are expected.

Safety Information

The political situation in Madagascar is unstable, especially in central Antananarivo and the Ambohijatovo, Lac Anosy, Antaninarenina and Analakely areas. Violence is possible at any large gatherings and political or military installations. It is advised to travel with an established agency, and solo travellers should continually monitor the local media. Precautions against opportunistic crime, especially in the urban areas, should be taken. Pickpockets operate at the airport and in crowded areas such as markets. Travellers should carry a photocopy of their passport at all times. At night, avoid walking around city centres and road travel outside urban areas as there have been occasional hold-ups on the main routes. The height of the cyclone season is from January to March and affects the coastal regions. Piracy is a significant concern in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, and there have been several attacks against private vessels and kidnappings.

Local Customs

Do not photograph military or police establishments while in Madagascar. Identification should be carried at all times by visitors. In rural areas, locals may abide my a number of taboos called , which should be respected by visitors at all times.

Business

The Malagasy people are friendly and approachable. Business is somewhat formal, but lightweight suits are appropriate due to the subtropical climate. Although Malagasy is the official language of Madagascar, French is the language of business and the government. English is only more common in the tourism sector. Translators can be arranged. Business hours are usually Monday to Saturday.

Communications

The international dialling code for Madagascar is +261. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). To make an international call to Madagascar, the dialling code of 261 must be followed by a two-digit operator code (e.g. 20 for TELMA, the most reliable), then the regional code (e.g. 22 for Antananarivo) and then the five-digit number. A GSM 900 network is in use, covering major cities and main roads. Public Internet access exists in large cities; there are a few Internet cafes in Antananarivo.

Duty Free

Visitors older than 21 years may bring 500 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 500g tobacco, as well as one bottle of alcohol into the country without incurring import duty. Visitors are allowed to export a maximum of 100g vanilla without cost.


Travel guide by (c) Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information in this travel guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.

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