Top 10 Items to Pack
Headlamp: A headlamp is an essential item to pack for your trip to Madagascar. It will come in handy when the power goes out, when exploring the national parks, caves, and reserves, and when trekking or hiking in the forest at night. Make sure to bring extra batteries or a charger.
We have several of these rechargeable LED headlamps; we love that they are adjustable and have both red light for interacting with other people and white light for illuminating your path.
Small carry-on bag: Travel with a small carry-on bag that is big enough for your basic necessities such as a passport, money, phone, and any important documents, as well as a change of clothes, toiletries, and any medications you may need. The airline in Madagascar is notorious for leaving bags behind for a day or two, and the in-country size requirements are smaller than the international ones.
An expandable duffle like this can be great for taking your souvenirs home and practical in the country. Alison prefers a waterproof backpack/business bag that can double as a day-pack and purse.
Camera: Ideally, a waterproof camera or casing — a GoPro Hero (what Yves uses) will record your adventures flawlessly! Madagascar is home to some of the most unique wildlife (plants and bugs, too) in the world), so bring a camera to capture those unforgettable moments and wild colors! If you want to take underwater or rainforest pictures, consider getting a model with a waterproof casing. And make sure to bring extra batteries or a charger.
Rain gear: While Madagascar is known for its warm weather, it’s not uncommon to experience rain showers. Be sure to pack a lightweight rain jacket to stay dry. Cycling or athletic jackets are the best as they pack small and are breathable.
Mosquito gear: Mosquitoes (and other annoying bugs) are prevalent in Madagascar, so protecting yourself from bites is important. Bring legit insect repellents such as Repel, mosquito netting for sleeping, and long-sleeved clothing to cover up.
Sun hat/Baseball cap: Madagascar can be hot and sunny, so bring a hat to protect your face and head from the sun. A baseball cap can also work well. And don’t forget your sunglasses!
Basic first-aid kit: Pack a small first-aid kit with basic supplies such as band-aids, antiseptic, pain relievers, and any prescription medication you may need. Include cortisone/allergy cream pills for insect bites/rashes. Something like this for backpacking would be smart.
Backpack: A day pack for trips to the beach or day trips is recommended. If you plan to do lots of hiking, something comfortable in the heat and/or rain is ideal. This Osprey Pack will double as a great carry-on too.
Lightweight clothing: The climate in Madagascar is tropical, so lightweight, breathable clothing is ideal (cotton and synthetics yes, wool, no). Pack comfortable clothes for hiking and exploring and a swimsuit for the beach or waterfall excursions. Waterproof adjustable hiking pants are a luxury no one regrets!
Water bottle: Access to clean drinking water can be limited in Madagascar, so it’s a good idea to bring a water bottle with you for day trips–always pack/buy clean water ahead of time. We love these hydro flasks. The water can be very dirty, and we don’t actually recommend water bottles with filters that might be good for mountain streams but not the water you will come across here in Madagascar. It’s better to be safe than sick! Some people carry aqua tabs as an emergency backup.
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Small pillow: Many accommodations in Madagascar don’t provide comfortable pillows, so bringing your own small pillow can help ensure a good night’s sleep. A packable camping pillow is perfect!
Breathable/easy-dry underclothes: With the hot and humid weather, breathable and quick-drying underclothes can help keep you comfortable, such as these moisture-wicking slips for women.
Neck pillow: A neck pillow can help make the journey more comfortable if you are traveling by car or airplane.
Lightweight blanket or wrap: For chilly nights or air-conditioned spaces, a lightweight blanket or wrap can provide warmth without occupying too much space in your luggage. We like these airplane blankets.
Tent Hammock: Last but not least is the most amazing invention ever, the tent hammock with a mosquito net. Camp and sleep in style anywhere with trees! Alison has this exact model of G4 Hammock with Mosquito net.
Remember to always have your email and any necessary travel documents on hand. Have a safe and enjoyable trip to Madagascar!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long can I extend my visa?
A: You can extend your 60-day visitor visa for an additional 30 days, bringing the total duration of your stay to 90 days.
I studied graphic design for four years under the great designer, painter and art educator, Paula Scher. Everything I learned goes into every project I start.
Q: Where do I extend my visa?
A: You can extend your visa at the local police station or immigration office in the country you’re visiting. It’s a good idea to research the specific location and requirements before you go.
What can I bring in/out of the country?
Madagascar has general rules on import and export around of vanilla, cash, etc. Stay up-to-date by visiting the Custom’s Website.
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