Shopping in Madagascar

Madagascar, the fourth largest island of the world, has got much to offer. The wildlife, the natural beauty and the rich culture of this place attract people. If you visit this island you can buy many beautiful items to gift your dear ones as Madagascar shopping includes various products ranging from clothes to toys.

Shoppers keen to take back local  handicraft should look out for lamba - cloth squares patched together using a variety of traditional patterns and designs; zafimaniny or marquetry done on furniture, chessboards and boxes; silver items such as mahafaly crosses and vangavanga bracelets; jewellery made from shells and precious stones; mats, baskets, bags and hats woven from reeds, raffia and straw; antemore paper decorated with dried flowers and blouses, skirts and linen incorporating traditional styles of embroidery done by the local women. Any product or by product using native flora or fauna is on the restricted list and will require an export permit before it can be taken out of the country.

Golf

There are four golf courses available :
* Andakana Ambohidratrimo (13 km from Antananarivo)
Tel : 261 20 22 229 61
* Malaza Golf Club (7 Km from Antananarivo)
* Foulpointe Manda Beach (50 km from Toamasina)
Tel : 261 20 53 322 43
* Ivohitra Antsirabe (170 km from Antananarivo)

Specialising tour operators – Operating from South Africa

Holiday Holdings
Tel : 27 11 289 8075 Fax : 27 11 289 8072

Unusual Destinations
Tel : 27 11 706 1991 Fax : 27 11 463 1469
email : info@unusualdestinations.com

Animal Tracks & Island Adventures
Tel : 27 11 454 0543 Fax : 27 11 454 0544
email : ati@intekom.co.za

Falcon Africa Safaris
Tel : 27 11 886 1981 Fax : 27 11 886 1778
email : enquiries@falcon-africa.co.za

Sun & Sandals
Tel : 27 11 616 7705 Fax : 27 11 616 7716

Sportfish Africa
Tel: 27 11 447 4747 Fax: 27 11 788 4724
email: info@sportfishafrica.co.za
website: www.sportfishafrica.co.za
PO Box 1611, Cresta, 2118

The enormous Zoma Market, off Araben ny Fahaleovantena in the capital Antananrivo is a great place to hunt out the unusual local crafts and is one of the best places to buy Malagasy crafts. The shops in the market are arranged as per what they sell facilitating shopping for those short of time. Pickpockets are common hazard. Another good shopping centre is the Andravoahangy Market where masons, embroiderers, booksellers, carpenters and other professional craftspeople make and sell their wares. The fun lies in watching them at work as well as finding some choice items to take back as souvenirs.

The most famous product that Madagascar shopping includes is Madagascar textile. The finely woven clothes have high demands in the world market. The craft products are as beautiful as anything else. People also prefer wood work. The intricately carved show pieces are sure to spellbound you. The woodwork is famous throughout the country. The items are made with such artistry and skill that once you see them you will not be able to stop yourself from buying them. Coming in a kaleidoscope of tropical colours, including turquoise, yellow, red and fuchsia, as well as standard safari colours such as beige, sand, green, they are sure to add a colourful dimension to any wardrobe. Wearing them back in your home country will also undoubtedly transport you back to Madagascar.

The fabric works of Madagascar are also quite well known. The tourists can also buy jewelery. If you are looking for some gift item or souvenir, the markets are the right places to go. Some of the best markets are located in Antananarivo. But they are available in most other cities too. Even if you are not planning to buy anything you can visit these places to get an idea about Madagascar shopping. Wood works like jewelery box, table and chairs made by the Zafimaniry people is famous all over the world.

Madagascar offers a wide range of items to shop for, many of them intricately carved, woven or crafted out of a whole host of different materials. Most common is woodwork, but there is also a lot of jewellery, art and fabric available. Parts of Madagascar are renowned for their woodcraftsmen, and the skill and artistry that goes into some of the items created has to really be seen to be believed.

When purchasing wood products, ensure they are not made out of rare and endangered types of wood.The markets are the best place to look for various souvenirs or gifts, and are a great place to go shopping. The biggest and most famous markets are in Antananarivo, but almost every city or town throughout the country will have their own zoma (market). Even if youare not wishing to purchase anything, they are still an interesting experience, and offer a chance to see a fascinating side of Malagasy life. There are also government stores, which give a good general guide to the sorts of prices you should aim for in the markets. Bargaining in the markets is the order of the day, and can yield some great buys.

The Zafimaniry peoples, located in Zafimaniry villages in the province of Fianarantsoa, are traditional woodcraftsmen, and the skill has been passed down for generations. They are specifically renowned for their wood sculpting, creating such things as tables, chessboards, jewellery boxes and chairs. Traditional woods are those such as palissandre and& rosewood. However, demand for these reasonably rare woods has caused much destruction of the unique flora and fauna of the country. Due to this, various local groups, NGOs and government organisations have created programs to try to counter this.

In general, shopping hours are Monday – Friday 08:00-12:00and 14:00-18:00.

(Source: Shabina Sanad; GOWEALTHY.COM © 2006)

Flea markets : Andravohangy / Pochard / Pavillons / Route Digue
Specialist and upmarket shops : La Ferronnerie d’Art / Galerie Lisy / La Terrasse / Atelier Dera / Batik Ambohimanga / Terre des Arts / La Case Verte / Abba / Galerie Yerden / Mad’Attitude / Creasud.

Golf

There are four golf courses available :
* Andakana Ambohidratrimo (13 km from Antananarivo)
Tel : 261 20 22 229 61
* Malaza Golf Club (7 Km from Antananarivo)
* Foulpointe Manda Beach (50 km from Toamasina)
Tel : 261 20 53 322 43
* Ivohitra Antsirabe (170 km from Antananarivo)

Specialising tour operators – Operating from South Africa

Holiday Holdings
Tel : 27 11 289 8075 Fax : 27 11 289 8072

Unusual Destinations
Tel : 27 11 706 1991 Fax : 27 11 463 1469
email : info@unusualdestinations.com

Animal Tracks & Island Adventures
Tel : 27 11 454 0543 Fax : 27 11 454 0544
email : ati@intekom.co.za

Falcon Africa Safaris
Tel : 27 11 886 1981 Fax : 27 11 886 1778
email : enquiries@falcon-africa.co.za

Sun & Sandals
Tel : 27 11 616 7705 Fax : 27 11 616 7716

Sportfish Africa
Tel: 27 11 447 4747 Fax: 27 11 788 4724
email: info@sportfishafrica.co.za
website: www.sportfishafrica.co.za
PO Box 1611, Cresta, 2118