1. Leave plenty of time for travel around the country- 8 hours to drive 150km in a private taxi – even longer in shared taxi!
2. Get a guide from tourist office in the park ( opposite the Louvre hotel) in central Tana (Antananarivo) and do a fascinating walking tour of the city. Choice of 2,3 or 4 hours.
3. Remember the average wage a month is $35 when you’re bargaining over a few pence.
4. Change more money than you think you need – ariary is accepted everywhere but banks are hard to find.
5. Do a night tour in the jungle and a day walk to find the endangered indri lemurs when in Andasibe. VOIIMMA community park is highly recommended and entrance fee of £5 includes the guide.
6. Buy some great spices and the best vanilla.
Wise words from our guide Fabrice – “Why buy a cupboard for several thousand Aryari and throw it away a few years later – when you can buy a zebu (cow) for 300,000 (£65) and sell it for 500,000 2 years later!!!