Ambalavao sits in the Central Highlands of Madagascar just south of Fianarantsoa. It's famous as the centre of Antaimoro paper production, as well as playing host to the country's largest zebu market. The town contains some interesting architecture, with many balconies and shutters in evidence. A short distance south of Ambalavao is the Anja Village Reserve, featuring a number of well-habituated ring-tailed lemurs.
Note that there are no banks in Ambalavao.
A taxi-brousse from Fianarantsoa to Ambalavao takes about 1 hour 15 minutes and costs Ar3,000.
A taxi-brousse from Ambalavao to Anja Village Reserve takes about 20 minutes and costs Ar1,000.
There are internet cafes in most major towns but dont expect broadband!
See also International Telephone Calls
Abundant phone booths almost everywhere. You can pick up cards in most shops. Calling home can be pretty cheap this way. Mobile phones can be used in towns but rarely in rural areas. You can pick up local sim cards really cheap. Opt for Orange, they have the best coverage. Again, a cheap way of calling home. Pick up top up cards almost everywhere, available from 2,000ar to 50,000ar.
You can have mail sent to you 'poste restante' but takes an eternity with the possibility of not receiving it at all. Likewise sending mail home. Postcards are ok but I have had several letters go amiss.
It is possible to send parcels but make sure you have a post office approved box, take it to the post office, then to the administative building to have the contents listed, then to customs to have it checked and sealed, then back to the post office. You can not send anything consisting of stuff made up of animals, vegetables or minerals. Better to give all your old clothes to the orphanage and take any souveniers in your bag with you.
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