The large majority of species in Madagascar are found nowhere else on earth. No surprise Madagascar is a paradise for nature and wildlife lovers. Famous sights include the Avenue of Baobabs with the gorgeous Baobab trees, the pinnacles of the ‘Tsingy de Bemaraha’ limestone plateau and the Andasibe-Mantadia park home to eleven lemur species. But how much does it cost to travel in Madagascar? Margherita Ragg of The Crowded Planet explored Madagascar with her husband Nick and backpacked throughout the country. Take a look at their expenses.
This article is part of the Money Matters series in which we ask travelers to keep their expenses for Bunch of Backpackers. Real travelers, real expenses.
COSTS 35-DAY MADAGASCAR TRIP: 1100 EURO (1352 USD)
DAILY TRAVEL EXPENSES MADAGASCAR*: 31 EURO (38 USD)
*These daily travel expenses are per one person per day. Including all tours, domestic flights, souvenirs, lodging, food, drinks, entrance fees, tips etc. Excluding international flights.
EXAMPLES OF PRICES IN MADAGASCAR:
These prices are per person unless stated otherwise.
Standard Madagascar expenses
One night in a hostel dormitory: 3,00 euro
One night in a double room in a simple guesthouse: 10,00 euro
A short 10-minute taxi ride: 1,00 euro
A bottle of water (0,5L) at the store: 0,40 euro
A local beer at a bar/restaurants: 1,00 euro
A glass of coca cola in a restaurant: 0,75 euro
Basic lunch at a local restaurant: 0,90 euro
Dinner at a local restaurant: 6,00 euro
Notable Madagascar expenses
7-day tour of Western Madagascar to the Tsiribihina River, Tsingy de Bemaraha, Avenue du Baobab: 300 euro (inclusive of accommodation, food, transport, local guide and entrance fees)
3 day trek around Andringitra National Park (including climbing Pic Boby, Madagascar’s 2nd highest mountain): 75,00 euro
2 dives in Anakao: 70,00 euro
Entrance and day trip in Ranomafana and Isalo (guide hired directly at park headquarters): 20,00 euro
SOME DETAILS ON THIS TRIP:
About the backpackers: Margherita Ragg and her husband Nick, 31 years
Destination and travel period: Madagascar in July 2014 for 31 days
Visited places: Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Tsiribihina River, Tsingy de Bemaraha, Ranomafana National Park, Andringitra National Park, Isalo National Park, Tulear, Anakao.
Type of trip: Couple, independently
Accommodation*: budget (mainly hostels and guesthouses)
Transportation*: budget (cheapest available mode of transportation)
Food*: budget (local places and cheap western places)
Currency rate: 1 euro = 3250 Malagasy Ariary
*4 options: basic, budget, standard and luxury
MADAGASCAR BUDGET TIPS BY MARGHERITA
- In terms of traveling, you will save A LOT of money traveling by taxi-brousse, shared minibuses that shuttle across the country. They are cramped and uncomfortable, but they can be up to 10 times cheaper than the same ride in a rented 4X4.
- It’s worth taking a tent as many national parks have campgrounds for a minimal fee, but it may be cold in July/August and you may be miles away from restaurants. We camped near Ranomafana National Park in the grounds of a restaurant, for 5000 ariary per night (1.5 euro).
- When visiting national parks, you must be accompanied by a guide that takes up to 4 people. Solo or couple travellers can hang around park headquarters for a while, waiting for fellow travellers to team up with to share guide fees – the perfect way to make new friends!
- Traditional Malagasy food, served at establishments called ‘hotely’, is usually a big pile of tasteless rice with some pieces of meat for less than a euro. Dishes usually have nondescript names such as ‘chicken sauce’. I’m sure that even the thriftiest of travellers will have a hard time eating only at hotely – or maybe I’m getting old? Luckily, French cuisine is widespread and inexpensive throughout Madagascar. Think green pepper steak, pommes frites and banana flambé for 5/6 euro – heaven!
Note: The top photograph (featured image) was taken at sunset on the Avenue of Baobabs in Western Madagascar. ©The Crowded Planet.
Have you been to Madagascar? Can you relate to these travel costs?