Faced with the gloomy picture painted by the media and considering the extreme poverty and political instability plaguing the Big Island, very often travellers are reluctant to venture to this large country, the 4th largest island in the world in land area... A reflection upon first glance, fed by many questions in terms of health, and above all, safety.
Certainly, just like anywhere else, there are some inconveniences and dangers in Madagascar, for which it's worth abiding by a few rules of conduct. To tell you the truth, it's basically about being vigilant in order to avoid unpleasant surprises, theft or assault.
Like the Ten Commandments, you should strive to repeat some of them on the plane before your arrival in Madagascar, with diligence and determination:
1/ No, I will not walk around big cities at night.
2/ No, I will not show off my valuable items.
3/ No, I won't hop aboard the first pousse-pousse that is offered to me.
4/ No, I won't take public transport at night.
5/ No, I won't swim at the first deserted beach I see, with sharks and strong currents.
6/ No, I will not use illegal drugs.
7/ No, I will not drink water from the tap.
8/ No, I will not photograph a Sakalava tomb without permission.
9/ No, I will not point my finger at anyone.
10/ No, I will not pack a lemur in my bags...
Beyond this non-exhaustive list, you'll quickly remember that the main rule remains one of time. Accept that you need to solve a problem peacefully, always with the greatest amount of patience, and you'll make more friends than enemies!
Also, in practise, you'll realise that the only uncertainty that really persists is one that prevents you from successfully mastering time. And especially the unexpected, even in the context of a so-called "organised" tour..
Arriving in a bush village where the accommodation of an eco-tourism development pilot project still hasn't been built, waiting for a private driver on a road next to a rugged forest who never shows up as planned to take you to the airport the day of your international flight, or being offered chicken pieces for breakfast when you were promised banana beignets...
In Madagascar, all travel has its joys and surprises, leaving room for unexpected encounters and adventures that will certainly one day be included amongst your most unforgettable memories! As many true stories and unusual experiences that you safely share with people around you, far from the fady and many strange rituals that you've witnessed...