We encourage all visitors to have as little negative impact on the cultures and environments on their Madagascar holiday as possible. Sustainable tourism is a complex subject and we are always keen to share ideas and thinking with our customers, so do email us with your thoughts. These are some simple ideas on how we think visitors can make a positive difference on a Madagascar holiday.
Keep all litter in your possession until you find suitable disposal facilities. Dispose of cigarettes and matches with care: much of Madagascar is dry for most of the year and fires can devastate the fragile ecosystems.
Keep to the trails in the forests to minimise the disturbance to wildlife. Do not harass wildlife and try to discourage forest guides from this practice, which unfortunately still does happen at certain sites.
Conservation & pollution
Try to use environmentally friendly/ biodegradable toiletries and to do so sparingly, to minimise the pollution of local water supplies. Switch off lights, fans and air conditioners when leaving your room.
Please avoid squandering water. Be aware of whether there are water shortages in the destination. If there are shortages, try to be sensitive about how much personal water you use because it can have wide-ranging effects on local agriculture and livelihoods.
Avoid souvenirs that endanger any species, including tortoise-shell, seashells and other wildlife-derived products. (Buying any of those simply fuels the demand for vendors to source more). It is strictly forbidden to remove indigenous plants or their seeds from Madagascar and the penalties are severe.
Try to purchase locally produced, rather than imported, goods and visit small-scale souvenir shops. Keep your receipts for objects made of wood. (We strongly discourage purchase of items made of Malagasy rosewood or ebony).
Visiting and supporting local conservation and community projects provides valuable funds for these initiatives. The resulting improvement in living standards is an important source of encouragement to resident communities.
Giving gifts or money to children
We advise against giving children money, sweets or goods - rather we can help you to make a contribution to a charity working with street children or one that helps to equip people with the means of earning a living.
Respect resident people
Always ask before taking photos of people. But do use discretion if you are asked for a payment, as this can encourage begging and/or exploitation. Its always a better idea to purchase a souvenir or service and then ask the vendor for permission to take a few photos.
Send us your Ariary
On return, send us your surplus Ariary and we will get it to Money for Madagascar, which we support. We have in the past sponsored - among other things - the construction of a new classroom in the village of Ambavanlasy, by the rainforest of Vohimana.
List of items appreciated by Money for Madagascar (2019 update):
The following items are very much appreciated by centres such as Akany Avoko in Antananarivo: (July 2018 update):
Any school supplies; craft or sewing materials, including embroidery threads; First Aid supplies including medicines such as children’s vitamins and paracetamol syrup (e.g. Calpol); E45 or Sudacrem, as many children have problems with their skin when they first arrive at a centre. Baby clothes and children’s clothing; puzzles, jigsaws and games with minimal language content; balls - especially a football / basket ball and pump; balloons; picture books and educational posters; even unneeded laptops (please supply European 2-pin adaptor).
Read more about Rainbow Tours
Email Derek, Helen or Craig with your thoughts.