Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature, the weather varies in different areas. Temperatures in Andringitra are low in the southern winter and will be down to below freezing at night so bring warmer layers it can also be drizzly and wet. Isalo is drier, it will be hot in the day and cool at night and Ranomafana will be humid and can get wet. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and warmer are recommended as a base layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. A waterproof jacket is essential at all times in case of rain and wind.
-Breathable wind and waterproof jacket (you may also wish to bring waterproof trousers)
-Long sleeved tops
-Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them, culturally acceptable)
-Swimwear and towel
-Socks (liner and thicker pair)
When it has rained there may be leeches in the jungle and we recommend bringing your own leech socks which can be bought through outdoor equipment providers or online through retailers such as Amazon.
Luggage: On tour
We recommend for you to travel with up to 3 pieces of luggage: A main piece of luggage that can go in the hold of your international flight, an empty trek bag/holdall that can be used while trekking, and a Day Bagmall Backpack for carrying your items during the trekking days. Please see below for full descriptions of each bag.
-Main luggage (hold luggage on flight):
You will not trek with your main bag, only carrying it from the hotel room to the bus, porters are provided for the trekking sections. This bag is for all your items and will also needs to be used as storage during day and multiple day treks, your non trekking items will be kept in this bag, clean clothes, sandles etc. This bag should preferably have a lock, there will be no access to this bag during trekking days and nights.
This will be used to carry the items that you need for the multiple trekking days. This will be your main luggage bag during trekking nights and needs to hold a maximum of three nights walking and sleeping essentials. Use a strong, soft walled, robust, waterproof trek bag or rucksack that can easily be carried by the porters. The weight limit for the bag and its contents is 18kg but you will probably find that you do not need this much. There will be time the night before leaving for the treks to re-sort your luggage into what you need on the trek. If you pack your gear in plastic bags inside your trek bag they will stay dry in case of rain. It will also be easier for you to sort through. Remember, the less you have to unpack in the evening, the less you have to repack each morning! It is advisable to pack your gear in drytrong plastic bags inside your trek bag so it will stay dry in case of rain
-Small Rucksack/Day bag (hand luggage on flight):
During the course of a trekking day, you do not have access to the luggage, which is being carried for you by the porters. In any mountain region the weather can change rapidly and you must be equipped for this eventuality. Your daypack should be large enough to carry your day things including: waterproofs, fleece, long trousers (if walking in shorts), warm hat and gloves, sun hat, suncream, water bottle, tissues and your packed lunch. Camera equipment can be heavy so think carefully when deciding what to take. A rucksack with 20 or 25 litres capacity is usually sufficient. Please note that a shoulder bag is not practical.
-Sleeping Bag: As you do not carry it yourself, this may be down or synthetic, but it must be 3/4 season comfort rating (temperature 0°C to 10°C). A silk or fleece liner helps to keep your bag clean and adds an extra season.
-Sleeping Mat: An inflatable thermarest style mat is helpful in order to help you get a good night's rest, although a roll matt will be provided locally.
-Water Bottle or Platypus/Camelbak hydration system: Water along the trail must never be considered as drinkable until purified. Take at least two 2 litre personal water bottles or a system that allows for this much water, preferably insulated. A personal supply of water purification tablets/drops is essential. Powdered fruit juice can be used to disguise the taste. Energy snacks, including chocolate and sweets, are also recommended whilst on trek.
-Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb)
-Walking poles (if you usually use them)
-Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials.
-Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone)
-Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore
Equipment Hire and Trek Training Days: Trek Hire UK hire out a wide range of kit including quality sleeping bags, down jackets, therm-a-rest sleeping mats and walking poles http://www.trekhireuk.com. They also run regular trek training and preparation days from their base in the Surrey Hills, ideal for getting an indication of your overall fitness level and also covering advice on kit and altitude.
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. However, you might want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, your leader may organise a group's tips kitty for included activities and meals and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
Accordingly you should allow approx. £35.00 per person for group tipping.
International Departure Taxes
Ivato (Antananarivo) Airport:
International airport departure tax is approximately 38Euros
Domestic airport departure tax is approximately 20Euros
There is an additional country departure tax of US$15.00 per person.
Flight tickets issued after 04 November 2016 will include the departure taxes as part of the ticket. If you have booked your flight ticket independently please check with your travel agent/airline if these taxes are included in your ticket. If any are not you will need to pay for the above taxes locally at the airport in cash.