Everyone travels in their own way and has different priorities. That’s totally fine, but keep this in mind when you read through our fees. It can always be more expensive or cheaper.
We traveled through Madagascar at a very leisurely pace: we had plenty of time and traveled mainly by car or public transport. During this trip we paid attention to our budget by mostly sleeping in cheap hotels (with a splurge now and then) and taking care of a lot of our food ourselves. The largest costs are in the car rental and associated gasoline.
During this trip we had collaborations that gave us a discount on activities or transport. I have not included this discount in the calculation below to give a representative picture.
Hotels in Madagascar are really cheap (€10-€18 for a double room)! That said, most hotels are very basic too! Think of cold or lukewarm water, poor WiFi and a very simple room. Really backpacker style. In places where more tourists come, such as Nosy Be, Ile Sainte Marie and the RN7, there are more luxurious hotels, sometimes we stayed here.
If you go camping, then you are the cheapest, most campsites were only a few euros per night.
By far the largest part of our expenses in Madagascar consisted of transportation costs. We rented cars for six weeks, which is not cheap. Petrol (or in this case) diesel is cheaper than in the Netherlands, but because of the large distances you have to refuel quite often.
Renting a car in Madagascar is not expensive. To rent a car (four-wheel drive) for three weeks in Madagascar you pay about €1800. That’s a lot of money, but it’s totally worth it. This way you can make a cool (self-drive) road trip, which is guaranteed to be full of adventure.
Does a car rental not fit into your backpackers budget? Then travel by public transport. Public transport in Madagascar is very cheap. Taxi brusse (local vans) are the cheapest, but if you want to travel a little more comfortably, the Cotisse bus company runs on the best-known routes for a few euros more. Keep in mind that public transport will take you longer and you will not be able to get everywhere.
Madagascar budget tip: Domestic flights are very expensive (easily 200-300 euros for a return ticket). However, there is an advantageous deal with airline Tsaradia throughout 2019: if you buy a ticket on Tuesday or Wednesday that you use within 3 weeks, you will receive up to 50% discount! Not wrong!