Where possible we try and arrange for people coming to Mandritsara to fly from Tana, by MAF or Helimission. You will be billed by us for the cost of your flights (currently 350,000Ar per adult each way) and will not need to pay MAF or Helimission directly. Where flights are not possible, you will probably have to travel here by taxi-brousse (minibus taxi). Whichever way you are travelling we will book you a seat and let you have the details.
MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship)
MAF is based at Tana’s international airport, Ivato, but a short distance away from the International arrivals/departures building. When getting a taxi or hotel bus to the MAF hangar, make sure that the driver understands you are not going to the international building, but to ‘Ivato Kely’. The drivers from Chez Jeanne and Meva Guest House should know this distinction.
You will be dropped off at the security barrier and you will have to carry your luggage through these gates, where you may be met. To get to the MAF hangar you need to take the path immediately on your left as you go through the main gate, behind the first hangar.
You should arrive 30 minutes before planned take-off. You and your luggage will be weighed. If you are travelling on the larger plane any luggage over 20Kg will be charged at a minimum of 4,000Ar per extra kilo. If you are booked to fly in the small plane we will have contacted you and told you your specific weight limit, and organised for the rest of your luggage to come by road.
The Helimission hangar is next door to the MAF hangar.
If you are to travel by taxi-brousse (minibus taxi) we will arrange for a taxi to collect you from the airport or guest house and take you to the taxi-brousse station in the city centre. The journey from Tana to Mandritsara lasts anything from 19 hours. Travel sickness tablets are advised if you get travel sick. Your luggage will be loaded on top and you can take a bag inside. You should have water with you inside the bus. You will be able to buy bottled water when you stop en-route, but always keep one bottle spare in case of a break down. You should also have sunscreen if you have light skin. Take warm clothes if travelling June-September – especially for the night. The bus will stop 3 or 4 times for food and other times if people need the loo (just ask the driver). People just go to the loo by the road. Take some toilet paper with you in case you need it. You can take your own food and/or buy rice and sauce with everyone else when the bus stops. There will be rice and a choice of sauces ready e.g. akoho sauce (chicken in sauce), akoho rony (chicken in stock), hena ritra (roast meat, usually beef), tsaramaso (beans).
Your passport and visa
You will have arrived in Madagascar with a visa courtoise which is valid for one month from date of entry. Your visa now needs to be converted to a long-term courtesy visa to cover the period of your stay. However, we ask that you keep hold of your passport until you arrive in Mandritsara where we will arrange for a certified copy of it for you. Then we will send your original passport back to Tana to have the longer-term visa added.