|Language:||Malagasy, French, English|
|Paved roads:||5,781 km (12%)|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='mg' />|
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|<map height='350' lat='-18.9' lng='47.3' zoom='5' view='0' float='right' />|
Madagascar is a big island nation that is part of Eastern Africa. Hitching in Madagascar is extremely easy in those parts of the country that cars are. The road system is terrible, even the main north-south highway through the country is largely potholed or dirt. Many roads are impassable during wet season. Some roads, such as the RN-11 and RN-11A on the east coast appear on most maps as major throughways but are actually impassible by cars. Many roads go to points where there is a river or a lake in the way and you'll have to pay for a pirogue across, usually for less than a dollar unless it is a very far distance. When getting in a car you need to make sure that it's free, many drivers will expect money but take you anyway when you make it clear that you are hitchhiking. Most people who can afford cars can speak basic French. In Malagasy the way to say "no money" is "tsia vola" pronounced "tseesh voolah". People are very friendly but are also reserved and quiet. Spontaneous house-ups are quite uncommon as people normally help when asked for help but don't go out of their way of their own initiative. Hotels are about 2-3 US Dollars and tend to be much higher quality than hotels of that cost in other African countries. Prices can be told to you in either Ariary or a fictional unit called a "Franc" which is 1/5th of the value, so a dollar equalling roughly 3,000 ariary is 15,000 francs. In market places Francs are used almost exclusively and fancier places will more often use Ariary. If the price is told to you in French it is more often referring to the price in Francs, if it is told to you in Malagasy it is almost always in ariary.
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In late 2022, Iris from Mind of a Hitchhiker and Jonas caught a very short ride in Ranohira near Isalo National Park. In general, I found that distances are long, roads are shit, gas is expensive, vehicles are too full, and there are too few people with private cars to make hitchhiking long distances all over the country reliable enough as a method of transportation in Madagascar. Especially as a foreigner. A (basic) command of Malagasy or French is essential. Cyclone season is also a gamble since if you pass over a road it might not exist anymore by the time you go back.