travelling from antananavario
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Oct 26, 2012 11:15 AM Last Post By: marogisa
Oct 8, 2012 4:53 AM
Oct 10, 2012 1:26 PM
1Are you doing a diving course? I am going to be in Madagascar for a couple months from the beginning of November to the end of January. If you have any course you can recommend, that would be great!
Oct 11, 2012 1:18 AM
2Quick, cheap and easy don't really go well together in Madagascar, if you can't afford a flight (which I'd recommend) then you'll have to get a taxi brusse which is a long, hard cheap slog and a great test of travel endurance. Once you have done it every subsequent bus ride will be easy.
It took me over 30 hours from guesthouse to guesthouse. I did it in reverse though as I had a flight to get in Tanna. Get a taxi to the taxi brusse station in Tanna. This is where you catch your transport, its busy and bustling but people will help you find your way. The bus is most likely to do much of the journey over night. Get a seat near the front so you can get out and stretch your legs every time the bus stops, leg room is limited. There are toilet stops but its normally side of the road. It rained most of the night and we got wet inside the bus as it rained so hard. We had a tire blow out on a mountain road where the driver almost lost it. Other than that no incidents.
Obviously there is the boat from the mainland to Nosy Be, these are regular and take under 1 hour. They drop you in Hellville. Most of the dive shops are in Madirokely near Dar salam a short taxi ride away, I'd stay there rather than Hellville. Its a good beach (watch out for the ladies!) with plenty of places to stay. I dived with www.tropical-diving.com
Have a great time, don't miss diving Nosy Tanikely and the other Nosy around the area.
Oct 11, 2012 3:11 AM
3First, like #2 I’d advise a flight if you can.
One way of reducing the costs which you may not have considered is to book your domestic flights at an Air Mad office (not a travel agent) in Madagascar – the prices they charge in country are substantially lower than the prices advertised on the internet. For example in September I booked a return domestic flight in Tana for which I was charged just under 100 euro less than the price on the website, this without the discount granted to people who fly long haul with Air Mad.
For a person flying into Madagascar with Air Mad the price was just over 50% of the website price and around 75% of the in-country price.
If that’s still too expensive for you, there is an option which is a little more expensive than a taxi brousse but for part of the way at least is very much more comfortable. There’s a company which runs a fast, comfortable minibus service called Transport Première Classe between Tana and Mahajanga. You could travel with them as far as Ambandromamy, which is the road junction where the road north splits off from the road to Mahajanga.
From then on you’d have to get a taxi brousse to Ankify, possibly changing at Ambanja. There’s a fairly comfortable hotel in Ambandromamy if you have to spend the night there.
The website of Transport Première Classe is http://www.malagasycar.com and their office in Tana is in the Grand Mellis Hotel close to the Avenue de l’Indépendence.
As a final option, have you considered hiring a car and driver? With the costs split between two it will be a lot cheaper than flying and much more comfortable than a taxi brousse.
One piece of advice: if you do go up by road, you should do your best to make the crossing from Ankify to Hell-Ville as early in the morning as you can. As the day goes on, the sea gets progressively rougher until in the afternoon the trip becomes very wet, uncomfortable and on occasion scary. When accidents with the boats happen (and they do!), then always in the afternoon.
Oct 23, 2012 4:09 AM
4Thanks that is very helpful advice. we are still trying to decide whether we should fly or not but the diving course could last for 4 or 6 weeks so the organiser has told us to book open returns. do you think this will affect the price much?
If we hire a driver i have heard that you also have to pay for them to return to where you started, is that true and will it still be cheaper than flying? you have all got me very exited about this trip now.
For KRANGE i am doing a diving course with frontier so its like a volunteer thing as well. you could check on the website to see if there are places left but i would say that it will be booked up by now. what are you planning to do in madagascar?
Oct 26, 2012 11:15 AM
5If you book open returns on the long-haul (assuming it’s at all possible) it’s certain to have a negative effect on the price you pay. Airlines work on the basis of contingents at specific price levels on specific flights. If you want the flexibility of an open ticket, they’ll charge you the full price.
As far as the domestic flights are concerned, I don’t know if Air Mad do open bookings as such, but full price tickets can be changed at any time, and tickets with the discount for flying internationally with Air Mad can be changed for a penalty of only 15 USD, so that won’t break the bank.
You will have to pay for at least the fuel for the car’s return trip, and diesel has gone up to something like 3379 ariary (€1.20) per litre.
Information which may help you plan: I’ve just got someone in Madagascar to buy a return ticket for me to a destination that’s the same price as Tana – Nosy Be, and I’ve paid 225 euro (with the discount for long haul with Air Mad).
Western MadagascarBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$70.42 per night
Nosy BeBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$236.75 per night
Ile Sainte MarieBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$48.10 per night