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Before travelling | During your journey

Shopping

On your way to the airport from Antananarivo, the traveller will find 200 stalls with lots of souvenirs but all bigger towns and cities have their own market or “zoma”, which are all worth to visit even if you are not wishing to purchase anything. In them you can witness a fascinating side of Malagasy life. Bargaining in the markets is the order of the day, and can yield some great buys. 
Antananarivo market
You can find almost everything in Tana´s biggest mark and for sure you will not get bored. Please take care of your wallet and valuables!
© Madagascar Travel Guide

At government stores with fixed prices you can obtain a good general guide to the sorts of prices you should aim for in the markets.

Madagascar offers a wide range of items to shop for, many of them intricately carved, woven or crafted out of whole host of different materials. Parts of Madagascar are renowned for skill and artistry of their craftsmen. The Zafimaniry peoples of the province of Fianarantsoa are for instance traditional woodcraftsmen whose skill has been passed down for generations.

Other handicrafts include traditional squares of cloth and woven fabrics in various colourful designs called “lamba” and jewellery from precious and semi-precious stones. There is an amazing variety of semiprecious gemstones including dark blue aquamarines, all sorts of quartz, garnets, moonstone, amazonite etc. One of the most valuable presents is the handmade Antaimoro paper with dried flowers or real embroidery.

Madagascar also grows probably the best vanilla in the world. The hugely fragrant pods smell right through the packet.

Almost all of the products that are created from Malagasy flora or fauna (including dried flowers) require export permits.

Do not buy any wood product ensure they are not made out of rare and endangered types of wood.

Ambalavao paper factory
Woman making paper according to the Antamoro tradition
© Madagascar Travel Guide