Finding Your Way Around

Getting There: Only four flights a week go to Madagascar and none go directly from North America. Round-trip flights from Europe cost about $1,100. Internal flights are comparatively expensive ($110 for each leg).

Money: Hotels, meals, and surface transport may be paid in Malagasy or French currency. Credit cards and US dollars are not widely accepted.

Accommodations: Hotels range from deluxe properties in the major resorts ($200 for a double room) to beach side palm huts ($5 a night). With only 10,000 hotel beds in the country, accommodations are scarce in peak seasons. Bush House can be contacted via Boogie Pilgrim at bopi@bow.dts.mg

When to go: Madagascar's seasons are the reverse of those in the north as the island is in the Southern Hemisphere. Winter and spring (July through October) are coolest; the rainy season runs November through March. Regional variations are striking, however: Coastal regions are warm, humid, and tropical; the south is almost always dry; and the eastern coast is subject to monsoons and cyclones.

How to get around: Distances between towns are great and roads are poor. After arriving at Antananarivo, the capital, most tourists visit three or four destinations. Renting a four-wheel drive vehicle costs about $120 a day. Adventurous travelers can brave the crowded long-distance minibuses that connect most towns.

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