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Country Facts
Working week:Monday – Friday
08:00 – 17:00
Driving:Drive on Right side of the road
Area:587,041 sq. km
Capital City:Antananarivo
Language:Malagasy, French and English
Religion:Malagasy Mythology 50%
Christianity 41%
Islam 7%
GDP:$933 per capita
Time Zone:EAT (UTC+3)


Relocation Africa has been servicing Antananarivo, in Madagascar for 6 years successfully.  We have serviced outlying locations for adhoc projects but these will incur an additional fees.  With larger projects in outlying areas we are able to recruit and train a consultant within 4 – 6 weeks.


The combination of south-eastern trade winds and north-western monsoons produces a hot rainy season (November–April) with cyclones, and a relatively cooler dry season (May–October). Heavy precipitation supports the area’s rain forest ecosystem. The central highlands are both drier and cooler.


The majority of suitable expat housing is located within certain areas and there are many suitable free-standing homes monitored by personal security guards. Secure estates or “compounds” are also available and these are also monitored by security guards or companies.


There are 5 International Schools in Madagascar. 4 follow the French curriculum and 1 follows the American curriculum.


Although there are public and private hospitals in Antananarivo, they can only handle routine operations. Complex surgery requires evacuation either to South Africa or Reunion. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Contact your GP around eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.


Shoprite has 7 stores in Madagascar and is the best stocked supermarket. Other supermarkets are: Cap 3000, Cecomora, Supermarché Champion, Leader Price, Liantsoa, Score and Supermarché 2000.


Tolerance and fear of causing offence is an integral part of Malagasy social relationships. Never express anger, rather exert patience and tolerance. Avoid being too dogmatic in conversation and try to make use of ‘perhaps ‘and ‘maybe’. Be excessive in your thanks. Body language is easy to learn. For instance, ‘excuse me may I come in?’ is indicated by a stooping posture and an arm extended forward. You will notice how much it is used. It is very disrespectful to point with the index finger rather keep it bent.


The currency is the Ariary (Ar). Euros are widely accepted, and US dollars are sometimes accepted in Antananarivo, major cities and tourist areas. There are ATMs in major towns. However, you can withdraw only around €150 per transaction, and at the time of research ATMs only accepted Visa cards. Credit cards are rarely accepted, except at some upmarket hotels, at Air Madagascar offices and at some larger travel agencies. The most useful is Visa. Mastercard is also accepted.


With the exception of honoured guests, when male and female family members eat together elder men are served first and tend to be given the choicest food. If male and female family members eat in separate groups, the eldest member of each group will be served first. These behaviours are easily identified during ceremonial meals but are much more relaxed in daily practice.


A combination of packed, unroadworthy vehicles and reckless drivers makes taxi-brousse (bush taxi) travel potentially hazardous. To minimise the risks, try to avoid night travel if possible.


A handshake is the most common form of greeting. Handshakes are with right hand while the left hand holds the right arm below the elbow. The Malagasy tend to be very direct and will tell you things how they are. There is little to no personal space, even with friends or business colleagues and definitely not with family. Much less than an arms length is common. The only time it is more “acceptable” to have personal space is when you are ill, otherwise if you back away from people it is assumed you are not comfortable with them and/or you don’t like them. Eye contact tends to be limited between most groups of people and this is purely out of respect.


Travelling throughout Madagascar is not inherently dangerous. Petty theft is the main risk – do not keep your valuables in a pack or external money belt, and watch your pockets when in crowded areas. Muggings, robberies and street crime occur frequently, not only in towns but also in nature reserves and on beaches. Take particular care on beaches and avoid visiting them alone. Vehicle theft, car jacking and theft from cars has become more frequent. Criminal gangs continue to attack taxis travelling in convoy on the National Highway close to the capital. Don’t leave your bags unattended. Keep large amounts of money, jewellery, cameras & phones out of sight.


Mosquitoes are ubiquitous and malaria occurs here – wear insect repellent, especially at dawn and dusk. To avoid getting into trouble with the police, carry your passport with you at all times (a photocopy will not be sufficient). Some areas along the coast are subject to danger from sharks and strong currents. Seek local advice before heading into the water. Madagascar is a relatively safe country and levels of crime are not particularly high. It is recommend you take the usual necessary precautions when travelling abroad.

Our Services for Antananarivo, Madagascar:

Currently unavailable

Orientation, Home Search, School Search, Tenancy Management, Spousal Support, Departure Services and Settling in Services.

Housing Surveys, Cost of Living Surveys, Schooling and Vehicle Surveys.

Administration on International Payment and Payroll Services

 For all enquiries e-mail info@relocationafrica.co.za.