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Dos and Don’ts to Remember Before Visiting Madagascar

If you’re thinking about going for a Madagascar adventure, you’re in for one of your life’s most fantastic and wild experiences. 

Madagascar has everything to offer adventurers and guests searching for a relaxing vacation. Whatever you plan to do here, you’ll need to learn a little about the culture, laws, and manners first.

This is an Indonesian and African-populated country and a former French colony with a colorful history of Arab, Indian, and Jewish immigrants. These influences have combined to produce a one-of-a-kind, culturally diversified resort.

However, travelers must familiarize themselves with local laws and customs because of the intriguing mix of cultures. This article entails what you need to know before going for a vacation to Madagascar: 

Fady and Taboos

Madagascar is famed not only for its one-of-a-kind plant and animal species but also for its diverse culture and beliefs. Each cultural group inhabits a separate section of the island, and each has its unique set of customs.

Numerous native taboos, known as “Fady,” govern Madagascar. The Fady differ from region to region due to the various cultural makeup, so you should educate yourself on any local taboos before traveling to a new location to be respectful and avoid offending anyone.

Fady is credited to Malagasy ancestors and is not based on religious beliefs. As a result, the locals treat these taboos with great reverence and adhere to them religiously.

Some Fady restricts consuming particular foods (pork, lemur, turtle), while others forbid wearing certain clothing colors or bathing in rivers or lakes.

Fady is usually observed in rural areas. Thus travelers staying in major cities are unlikely to have any difficulties. Larger cities, like Antananarivo, observe some Fady but are more willing to overlook foreigners who do not follow the rules. Observing every Fady in Madagascar is critical and avoiding breaking local customs.

Customs on Madagascar

Certain customs are ubiquitous on the island that should be observed while there.

  • In Madagascar, all elders and authority people must be respected—this is a highly important culture.
  • When conversing with someone older or in a position of authority, such as military, police, or government officials, use the word “tompoko” (toom-pook), which is comparable to the English phrase “sir/madame?”
  • If you’re visiting a rural hamlet, meeting with the tribe or group’s leader is customary before talking with or doing business with other members.

Photo Etiquette

Visitors who take photographs without authorization are not welcome in Madagascar. As breathtakingly gorgeous and fascinating as the surroundings may appear, always ask permission before taking photographs. Take extra caution not to photograph a tomb without permission.

Local Currency in Madagascar

The Ariary is the native currency, but many people still prefer the old currency, the Malagasy Franc (FMG). It’s critical to understand whether the pricing is Ariary or FMG (one Ariary is equal to five FMG).

Madagascar’s economy is mostly based on cash. Some higher-end establishments accept credit cards. However, only Visa cards are commonly accepted. Because most businesses and restaurants only accept cash, plan and bring cash.

Dos And Don’ts While Staying In Madagascar


  • Be courteous to others.
  • Point to individuals, tombs, and holy sites with bent fingers.
  • Have patience.
  • Accept the host’s or hostess’s drink or meal. All of it should be eaten or drunk.
  • To show respect for ancestors, adhere to “fads,” local customs, and taboos.
  • When driving through a community with a market, be cautious and drive at a strolling pace.


  • Ask too personal inquiries.
  • Refuse to drink or eat anything that has been offered to you.
  • Give begging youngsters money or candy.


Explore the jungle, which is home to rare and distinctive fauna, or tour sugarcane plantations with a taste of local rum distilleries. As you stroll through the many nature trails, you can see humpback whales migrating, relax on a quiet, tranquil beach, or see several types of lemurs and other fascinating wildlife. You can enjoy an amazing and memorable experience on your Madagascar tours if you respect Madagascar’s people’s customs and laws. 

Travelers of Madagascar, based in Ambositra, is a certified tour operator with over 6 years of experience developing and delivering unique Madagascar tours to your exact specifications. Check our amazing rates to enjoy a world-class destination!