Currently, there are only 2 flights to Madagascar per week: Tuesday and Saturday.
This is why you will arrive on your program start date, be met at the airport and taken directly to the base. If you wish to arrive earlier, we have recommended accommodation before the program and the meeting point on Saturday will remain the airport.
A member of the project team will meet you outside the arrival terminal of Fascene International Airport (non-airport people are not allowed to enter the security areas). From there, participants will be transferred to a boat that will take them along the coast to the base.
You will only have limited access to long-distance communications during the program. So make sure your friends and family know how often they can expect to hear from you. Participants generally use cell phones to keep in touch, with limited internet access.
Orange is the service provider that covers our region. Check with your local ISP that they have roaming agreements with Orange. Orange SIM cards and airtime/starter packs are readily available.
The Malagasy diet is heavily rice and bean based, with most main meals consisting of rice accompanied by portions of vegetables and/or meat in sauce. Locally made hot sauces are very common and many meals will offer a variety to add flavor. Fruit is plentiful and cheap, and choices vary depending on the season, with produce like mangoes, pineapples, watermelons and lychee prolific.
Participants will be able to wash their own laundry on site, but they will have to provide their own biodegradable detergent. They can also take their laundry to a group of local women who will wash and dry it for a fee of 10,000 MGA (about 2.50 euros) per bag and return it to them, but participants will have to provide their own biodegradable detergent. Many hotels have laundry facilities and machines. Participants may therefore prefer to bring their laundry here and have it washed (costs vary by hotel).
The local currency is the Malagasy Ariary (MGA).
Participants typically spend around MGA 60,000 per week on personal items such as snacks, toiletries, drinks, and perhaps internet access in town or calling cards, vouchers phone and airtime.
Euros are also widely accepted and exchanged. Large denominations are preferred and provide better exchange rates. US dollars can be changed but generally cannot be used as direct payment. 1 dollar bills are very difficult to change and many places, including banks, do not accept them.