- One should neither disrespect fady (taboos) nor try to go around them by using a foreign logic and reasonin
- The use of the French “tu” (familiar “you”) does not exist in the Malagasy grammar. Do not use “tu” when addressing somebody unless you created close ties with the person.g
- Seek authorization from individuals before taking their photos.
- Never speak too loudly or demonstate irritation
- Using a few Malagasy words here and there will always be appreciated
- Enjoy the hospitality offered to you but retain a “foreigner distance”.
HOW TO DRESS
- Overall, the Malagasy are prudish, even if a traditional mother will publicly nurse her baby or child.
- In the winter in the Central Highlands, some warm clothes will be of much use.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK?
- International cuisine is widely available, in hotels and restaurants. Classic Malagasy dishes include the romazava, a mixture of tongue-tingling greens called brèdes; the ravitoto, shredded manioc leaves cooked with pork meat. Malagasy cuisine is flavourful but some dishes should be eaten with moderation, so as not to upset an unused stomach.
- Drinking tap water should be avoided. Bottled natural spring water is the safest option throughout your stay.
CHILDREN AND DISABLED PEOPLE
Very few sites or hotels have facilities for children or accommodation for physically-challenged individuals. The same limitation applies to the means of transport. You are strongly advised to notify your travel agency, so that any appropriate measures can be taken.
BARGAINING AND TIPS
- Bargaining is traditional practice at the market, with taxi drivers (given the fact they are not equipped with a meter), rickshaw pullers and when one is requesting a service. The guiding principle for bargaining is: reach a level which is acceptable for both parties.
- In hotels, restaurants and sites, leaving a tip and deciding on its amount is left to the client’s appreciation.
VISITING NATIONAL PARKS
It is regulated by a Code of Good Conduct, a few rules of which are:
- Do not litter
- Take back with you plastic, metal and glass items
- Do not venture out of delimited paths
- Camp only at authorized sites
- To preserve the forest, make an effort to lower your comfort standards
- Do not take anything out: let the forest keep its plants, animals and insects
- Do not feed animals and avoid disturbing them with violent gestures and excessive noise
- Do not purchase your presents just anywhere for you do not know under what conditions they were made.
Breaching these rules can penalize the visitor or the organizer of the trip.