The site author has another challenging Madagascar moment

Problems of Madagascar

Mada is great, but it's no paradise, for both the Malagasy and the traveller.

For the traveller

After a couple of false starts, tourism is starting to take off in Madagascar. There are options to suit all budgets and tastes, though you can be fairly well certain that no matter how much you spend or how well you plan you're going to come up against some unexpected contingencies. It's that sort of place.

When you do, there's little point in getting upset. Tantrums are unlikely to move you any faster through a situation than would occur if you just keep calm and smiling. You'll feel better in the long run and enjoy yourself more if you relax and let the Malagasy deal with it in their own manner.

Unforeseen circumstances aside, and there are plenty of those, the biggest problem I encountered travelling in Madagascar was language. Malagasy and French are the national tongues. English is not widely spoken. As an English speaker with no language skills, understanding and being understood was challenging.

Before travelling to Madagascar try to learn a bit of French, and at the very least make sure you bring along a French phrase book. The nimble-minded might also try picking up some Malagasy, though for this ageing brain that language was quite difficult to grasp.

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