Budget tips: What did we spend in two months traveling through Madagascar?

Two months of traveling through Madagascar, does that mean breaking the bank or was it more than doable? In this blog we answer the question how much money our tour of 58 days in Madagascar cost!

How much money did we spend in Madagascar?

First a disclaimer: Everyone travels in his or her way and has different priorities. That is completely fine, but keep this in mind when you read our costs. It can always be more expensive or cheaper.

We traveled through Madagascar at a very slow pace: we had all the time and mainly traveled by car or public transport. During this trip we paid attention to our budget by sleeping mostly in cheap hotels (with an occasional luxurious night) and making breakfsat and lunch ourselves. The biggest costs are in the car rental and associated petrol. During this trip we had collaborations, which gave us a discount on activities or transport. I did not include this discount in the calculation below to give a representative view.Ile Sainte-Marie

What were our total expenses for Madagascar?

Number of days: 58
Total spent: Ar 30,494,781 / € 7,392 / $ 8240.60
Expenditure per person: Ar 15,247,390 / € 3696 / $ 4120.30
Cost per day: Ar 525,779 / € 127.45 / $ 141.58 [/ red_one_half]

Our daily budget: Ar 569,301 / € 138 / $ 153.84
Category most over budget: Transport
Category most under budget: Accommodation
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These expenses do not include airline tickets and are based on two people. I have calculated the prices and exchange rate Ariary / Euro and Euro / Dollar at the time of this trip (July 2019). The currencies displayed are: Malagasy Ariary (AR), Euro (€) and USA Dollar ($).

Accommodations: 15.9% of total expenses Madagascar

Total spent: Ar 7,326,668 / € 1176 / $ 1311.00
Number of nights: 56
Average overnight stay for 2 people: Ar 86,632 / € 21 / $ 23.41

Accommodations in Madagascar are really cheap (€ 10- € 18 for a basic double room)! That said, most hotels are very basic! Like no hot water, poor WiFi and very simple rooms. There are more luxury hotels in places where more tourists come, such as Nosy Be, Ile Sainte Marie and at the RN7. Sometimes we splurged on one of those beautiful hotels and spent the night there. When you go camping, it’s really cheap, most campsites are only a few euros per night.

Tip: looking for nice hotel for your first nights in Madagascar? Check out the blog I wrote about hotels near the capital city.

Transport: 59.8% of total expenditure Madagascar

Total spent: Ar 18,230,037 / € 4419 / $ 4926.31
Car rental: Ar 14,851,354 / € 3600 / $ 4013.28
Diesel: Ar 2,073,785 / €502.69 / $ 560.40
Other (ferry, bus, taxi): Ar1,304,897 / € 316.31 / $ 352.62

The vast majority of our expenses in Madagascar consisted of transport costs. We rented cars for six weeks, which is not cheap. Gasoline (or in this case) diesel is cheaper than in the Netherlands, but because of the large distances you have to refuel quite often. On average, we spent €105 per day on car’s and fuel.

Tip 1: Public transportation in Madagascar is very cheap. Taxi brousse (local buses) are the cheapest, but if you want to travel a little more comfortably, the Cotisse bus company will travel on the most famous routes for a few euros more.

Tip 2: Domestic flights are very expensive (easily 200-300 euros for a return ticket). But throughout 2019 there is an advantageous deal with the Tsaradia airline: if you buy a ticket that you use within three weeks on Tuesday or Wednesday, you will get a 50% discount! Not bad at all!Roadtrip Africa

Food: 15% of total spending Madagascar

Total spent: Ar 4,562,913 / € 1106.06 / $ 1233.04
Including food and drinks: Ar 2,783,303 / € 674.68 / $ 752.13
Of which groceries: Ar 1,779,604 / € 431.38 / $ 480.90

Yogurt with fresh fruit and granola in the morning, a baguette with avocado or sardines in the afternoon and a simple meal in our hotel in the evening. Because Madagascar has long been a French colony, many French influences can be found in the Malagasy cuisine, not bad at all!

We bought yoghurt in the few supermarkets that Madagascar has (mainly in the five largest cities). Take into consideration, as soon as products have to be imported from abroad (for instance granola, cheese or apples) the prices are a lot higher. We expected to spend a lot more on food, but things like fruit, vegetables and bread can be found cheaply on the market which is around in every little town. In addition, eating out is also not expensive.

Tip: do you not eat meat like me? Then don’t worry about traveling in Madagascar, there is a lot of vegetarian food to be found.

Activities: 6.6% of total expenditure Madagascar

Total spent: Ar 2,009,181 / € 487.03 / $ 542.94
Visiting National Parks: Ar 1,211,457 / € 293.66 / $ 327.37
Whale safari: Ar 336,630 / € 81.60 / $ 90.97
Nosy Be boat trip: Ar 288,776 / € 70 / $ 78.04
Other: Ar 172,316 / € 41.77 / $ 46.57

Most activities in Madagascar are not that expensive, especially when compared to mainland Africa, the national parks are extremely cheap. Whale watching is a bit more expensive and in Nosy Be we did a slightly more expensive boat trip to Nosy Iranja.

Tip: in Ambanja we rented bikes (at Rando Raid) and did a bike ride ourselves, this was five times as cheap as when we had made a bike ride with guides.

Other expenses: 2.8% of total expenses Madagascar

Total spent: Ar 843,589 / € 204.49 / $ 227.97
Telephone subscription: Ar 242,448 / € 58.77 / $ 65.52
Visa: Ar 331,845 / € 80.40 / $ 90
Washing clothes: Ar 67.728 / € 16.66 / $ 18.57
Other: Ar 200,740 / € 48.66 / $ 54.25

A 60-day Visa costs a little more than 40 euros per person and we also bought 10GB of telephone credit + a SIM card twice so that we would most often have internet. We usually washed our clothes ourselves with some soap, but sometimes real laundry was more than necessary. We also spent some money on massages, gifts and beauty products.

Tip: a visa on arrival can be obtained for up to 90 days. The process to obtain such a visa is very smooth, just make sure you have (new) dollars or euro notes with you to pay.Buying bread Madagascar

Conclusion: did we stay within our budget?

Yes, we stayed well within our budget! We spent (with just the two of us) € 127 per day, which is just over €60 per person per day. We were more than 11 euros a day below our budget, which means that we have spent more than 600 euros less than we intended. We did everything we wanted to do and had a great time.

If you travel by public transport, you can travel a lot cheaper. More than 70 euros of our day expenses were car rental and gasoline. Imagine that you count on average ten euros a day for public transport (which is a high amount, unless you are flying), then for two people you just spend 67 euros per day, which is only 33,5 euros per person, a very low amount! However, keep in mind that you need extra time for traveling.

These costs are without our airline tickets. You already have a return ticket to Madagascar from €700 per person.

Do you have questions about traveling through Madagascar? Do not hesitate to leave a comment or send us a message since we are more than happy to answer your questions!

Travel Blogs MadagascarClick here for all my blogs about Madagascar.

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