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How to Travel Around Madagascar

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How to Travel Around Madagascar How to Travel Around Madagascar

How to Travel Around Madagascar






Madagascar. It?s more than an incorrect (but fun) DreamWorks movie. Located off the eastern coast of Africa, this island, nearly the size of France and the third largest in the world, has a population over 20 million but sees only about 325,000 tourists a year.1 I spent two weeks there with Intrepid Travel Travel and was surprised by how few tourists there were (I figured ? with no data to back it up ? that there would be a lot more), as well as by just how difficult the country was to travel around. The roads are really, really bad. It can take up to eight hours to go 250 km (155 miles) ? and that?s on the good roads!
But soon it became clear why there were so few tourists: getting to the country is expensive, there?s very little information about it online, few organized activities, and no hostels, tourism information centers, helpful signs, or anything that would be considered a ?tourist infrastructure? (and sadly, very little infrastructure at all). Madagascar?s tourism caters to older Europeans who visit expensive beach resorts or take organized tours, moving around the country in a little bubble. Nary a backpacker did I see on my trip.
Madagascar is a raw, barely explored place. It?s on few people?s radar, and I doubt it will be for awhile, making now an ideal time to go. It?s cheap (once you get there), your tourist dollars can create a really positive impact, and there are few crowds and many cute lemurs and majestic landscapes, which you get virtually to yourself!
How to get there
The first thing you need to know is that getting to Madagascar is not easy: there?s only one daily flight from Johannesburg, Air France has one daily from Paris, and only Turkish, Kenyan, and Ethiopian Airlines have flights that connect to other destinations.
I jumped on a flight deal to Johannesburg ($630 USD for New York to Johannesburg and then onward to Vienna) but that was a stupid thing to do. Given the price of flights from JNB to Madagascar (I paid $800 USD round-trip), it ended costing me more than just booking a direct ticket to Madagascar.
I was pretty stupid not looking up flights enough beforehand and waiting until the last minute, but even ?booking smart? doesn?t mean you?ll find a deal. Here?s a chart for December and January (these are a little cheaper since they are not last-minute and it?s low season):

You?re looking at spending at least $500 USD round-trip on a flight from Johannesburg. From Paris, Air France offers direct round-trip flights for around $800 USD. If you are going from the US, you pay around $1,200 USD for a round-trip ticket. Keep in mind those are low season (October-April) flights. During the high season (also the dry season), you’re looking at flights closer to $2,000 USD for the US and $1,200 USD from Europe. From Canada" Prices start around $1,200 CAD in the low season.
However, it?s not all bad news. There are a few travel hacking opportunities. With some planning, you can find a reward flight. You only...


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Source of news: Nomadic Matt
Source of publication: 13-11-2017 16:10
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