In retrospect, would you move again to Madagascar?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Madagascar, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Madagascar so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!


Madagascar is such a great country to live in, easy going and not much in the way of rules and regulations.
As long as a person knows how to take care of them self and not depend on help from government- then this place is Paradise.  For a person who loves to be independent then Madagascar is a good place to live.

I have crisscrossed this planet several times over as a traveler for 15 years before I found Madagascar.
I emphasize traveler as opposed to tourist. I traveled as a budget pack packer  so I could travel 3 to 7 months a year. Europe for 3 months and Asia and south America and Africa for 7 months.
Tourists just move from the comfort zone of their home to the comfort zone of a expensive hotel for three weeks a year and just peek out at the world. I have actually sat next to a tourist at a transit room in the airport where they ticked off they were in Taiwan without leaving the airport during their 4 hour layover.

Preparation Stage for Madagascar:  I came here with just a back pack so-  When I landed in Madagascar I could feel the home base in my life right from the start even though Madagascar was going through a crisis of elections of 2002.  Tourist fled the country and I felt at home.  It was great to feel like I had the whole country to myself with all the tourists running home.
I am not a big fan of tourists as they are just annoying people, the only thing worse than a tourist is a tourist guide who seems to be able to talk out of both side of their mouth like a used car salesman.

I enjoyed Madagascar so much that I extended my ticket 4 times with Air Madagascar, which at that time there was no penalty. I had even overstayed my Visa but the police at Ivato only faked being annoyed which I had already learned there was a fee involved which I did not pay as the country was in crisis, these people are so easy to read but patience and good nature wins out. Tourists just get angry  which just shows their fear they end up paying for their ignorance..  Besides they lack real world experience because they are tourists and need to be lead around by the hand from a guide.  I eventually flew onto Kenya because I had to make connecting flights on my around the world tickets. I flew out with peace corps workers because the country was evacuating NGO workers.

I have been in and out of other countries several times over to explore one end of the country to the other thinking that country would be a good place to live.

However with Madagascar I came back a few months later and made a pack back tour of the island with taxi brousse for 5 months with a Visa run to Mauritius. I have been to all the major cities and many of the smaller towns and dozens of villages to see what I was getting into. I have now lived here as an expat for 14 years. and found the most freedom here from any other place I traveled, so I would do it all over again in a heart beat or a New York City Minute which is the home town of my youth.
The country was still in a crisis when I returned so no tourists around and I was able to get 50 to 75% off hotels.
The point I want to mention is that Malagasy are very docile people in general and easy to get along with, even in the middle of a crisis. For a New Yorker such as myself this was  an easy place to explore and I never was in harms way though I did have to watch out for certain individuals from time to time who followed me, but they would just melt away when confronted. Easy as that....

Benefits of living here is that I am never busy, I can take time to talk with people and to socialize with everyone.  Live is easy and stress free. The food is fresh and air is clean and the water I boil but everyone drinks straight from the pump.  Medicine is cheap and you can buy it straight from the Pharm without a doctors note. Like I said you have to have independent spirit and be a person who can learn how to do something without asking others to do for you. The internet is great for this for me. But I came here before there was internet and there was only travelers and the back packers code of sharing information in an honest manner.  So you can understand my distaste for Tour guides and their scammers practice.   We as pure travelers would share real information to protect each other of what the road ahead held for us. The Internet has complicated the travel world but locals are the best guides to get around in a world where back packers are rare these days.   

It is not expensive to live here- Locals live here on $50 to $100 a month. SO everything is relative in terms of costs.   

My challenge these days is to learn the different dialects-fascinating to me.

This is some of my thoughts to kick off this thread.

i never visit medagascar. so trough this website i am searching people who can guide me to settle in Medagascar;, i live alone in France and searching my lifemate also. In medagascar people speak french and english,  less expensive life style,  which is good for my retired life.   if you can guide me, will be good for me.
thanks for your advice

reims, france

Then check out the Malagasy community in your country to see if you like their culture.
There are other inexpensive cost of living African Francophone countries that you may prefer.  There is hardly any English speaking people in Madagascar so don't count on that.  Compare this forum to the French forum for the balance. The locals do not speak any where near conversational English.  Mostly they can speak at best a hundred  English words.
Good luck finding a life mate and you can start in Nosy be when you do decide to visit Madagascar.

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