Yes this is a trip report for our domestic Air Madagascar flights during a recent 3 week trip to Madagascar. I have been dying to share this unique flight experience with my FT friends since the day we flew from Tulear to Fort Dauphin. Keep in mind this little 45 minute flight saves a 4 day overland adventure on some of the roughest roads in world. That being said here is our story.
We had the pleasure of 2 days at the southern Madagascar town of Ifaty. There is a beautiful resort hotel that has just been completely remodelled. It is owned by a Mauratian Company. It is built in the style of a Bali hotel and is called Les Dunes. We highly recommend this hotel for rest and relaxation. It is on the edge of the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world in the Channel of Mozambique. It really feels like the ends of the earth.
To purchase the air tickets we bought them from Cortez Travel in Antananarivo. The agency allegedly takes Visa cards but "the machine is not working". According to my friend in Tana it rarely if ever works. The only place in the entire country that took our Visa card was at Les Dunes Hotel. If you head to Madagascar take a debit card and lots of cash. So we head to the airport from the beach over a sand road that takes 90 minutes.
At the airport we check in at the desk. Literally a wooden desk like school teachers used to use or perhaps someone's dining room table. The flights were posted on the chalk board behind the check-in "desk".
After check in time to wait in the boarding area/bar/one room airport.
While we waited the airline offered our choice of cheese or meat sandwiches and a cold soda or beer. This was actually very nice for a flight of less than an hour. Giving the food while waiting makes sense.
Then the time comes and an air raid type siren blares loudly. This is both to alert the ground crew the incoming flight is eminent but also to clear the zebu (cattle) and animals off the runway.
Time to board. Bring your water bottle cause its ok. Shoes? Leave 'em on nobody cares. Um where is that metal detector anyway?
Time to fly. No assigned seats here. Just plop down anywhere.
It was actually a beautiful flight along Madagascar's southern most coastline. It sure beats the 4 day grueling drive option.
We love Madagascar. The flight from Fort Dauphin to Antananarivo was similar with the addition of more formal security screening. Eventually there will be a write up for the entire trip. Overall it was the best trip we have ever taken.