Madagascar is a huge island before the coast of the African mainland with a huge diversity in flora and fauna. Most of the flora and fauna lives in Madagascar only, so exploring Madagascar is like exploring no other place.
Currently, hostels in Madagascar can only be found in the capital Antananarivo, often shortened to Tana. Each of the Madagascar hostels has its pros and cons for each kind of traveler, so it is wise to check in advance which Antananarivo hostel in Madagascar suits your needs and book it in advance. In particular, in high season, the hostels in Madagascar do sell out.
On other parts of the island, there are currently no hostels in Madagascar. However, In every big city and near each tourist attraction such as national parks, budget accommodation is available. These budget accommodations outside the capital offer private rooms only; dorm rooms do not exist. Private rooms are just slightly more expensive than a bed in a dorm room in a Madagascar hostel in Antananarivo. At most accommodations you can also camp in the garden for a fee. However, the accommodations normally only allows this when all the rooms are full and you may have to bring your own tent and sleeping gear.
Cities where you can experience the Malagasy way of life and are worth a visit outside the capital include Fianarantsoa, Antsirabe, and Mahajanga. Andasibe, Ranomafana, and Isalo are the parks that should not be missed. On the west coast, you can find the most beautiful beaches and beautiful nature, including the world-famous Baobab trees. Other popular beach areas include the islands of Sainte Marie and Nosy Be. Each region in Madagascar is totally different, so you can see beautiful rainforest, highlands, desert, and beaches all in the same trip around Madagascar. When visiting the national parks, you will see unique wild life such as chameleons, lemurs, and snakes.
Although Madagascar hostels and/or dorm rooms are not available outside Antananarivo, you can often find a vibe at the accommodations similar to a hostel in Madagascar. People who travel to Madagascar tend to have a lot of travel experience and like to hang out with other people. It’s also possible to team up with fellow travelers at the accommodation and visit the national park together in order to save money on the obligatory guide fees, which are the same for groups one to four people.
The facilities in the Madagascar hostels in the capital Antananarivo are better than those in accommodations elsewhere in the country. The Madagascar hostels in Antananarivo offer a nice, hot shower with a decent pressure, while this is something you should not always count on while traveling around Madagascar. In some cities, there is a cutoff from electricity several hours per day. Pretty much every accommodation in Madagascar offers Wi-Fi, but often it is only several hours per day or there are connection problems. If the Wi-Fi does work, it is often very slow. Take it as a luxury when you do have a decent-working Wi-Fi, because most households in Madagascar do not have internet and many homes do not even have electricity and running water.
Since internet is not as common in Madagascar as it is in other parts of the world, not all accommodations promote their business online and online bookings are therefore not always possible. If you intend to stay near a national park, or bigger town or city there will be a accommodation where you can stay. If you cannot find one on a booking site or their own website, search the web for more information, check a guide book or ask other travelers when in the country. If you are traveling in peak season or to a small town with only a few accommodations it is necessary to book in advance. If you can not book online, call them. These accommodations do accept bookings by phone and you avoid being stuck in the town when the accommodation is already full. Sleeping in a tent outside is no option, as Madagascar gets very unsafe after sunset. If you do not have a local SIM card, ask the accommodation you are currently staying at. They are normally willing to help you, possibly for a small fee.
Hi, I'm Martin Straatman,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Madagascar hostels. Welcome.