Cockroaches and Spiders Everywhere
Cockroaches and Spiders Everywhere: Once you get off the beaten path in Madagascar the cost of accommodation goes down but sometimes the luxury of the accommodation experienced in the capital or near the national parks may not be on offer. I have stayed in more than one place where things may not have been 5 star but I always managed to get a few hours sleep.
These hotels are a source of funny stories rather than a warning but it may be worth remembering if you are ever in these situations. I ended up staying for a night in the town of Farafangana on the east coast not too far south of the popular town of Manakara. We ended up stopping there because it was after dark and we didn’t want to be out driving at night. The driver knew a hotel right in the town centre. Not a bad place to be fair and it even had a balcony. I settled in for a night sleep after a long day and that’s when the party started but this was no party like you would hear from a loud pub or nightclub. Instead it was a party for scurrying cockroaches who were out for the night and darting around the floor. I’m not sure where they were going to or coming from but they were not quiet as they tip tapped along the tiled floor. I eventually fell asleep to the rhythm of their dancing and didn’t mind them being there.
The thing to remember is they won’t bother you and will all head for cover when the light is turned on, so keep a torch with you in case you need to use the facilities. Here there are cockroaches and spiders everywhere. Power will often go out at night in rural areas, so a torch is necessary to keep the cockroaches safe from heavy feet. I would advise getting the torch on and shining it on the floor for a few seconds to give them time to find shelter. I would use a similar tactic for the toilet, just open the door and shine the light in for a few seconds to give you roommates a chance to move out of the way.
As mentioned already power often goes out at night but the water sometimes does too and it may not be available late at night or very early in the morning but it will come back on eventually so it might be worth showering when the chance presents itself.
Chickens were a surprising pest and I sometimes got the impression that I was assigned my own chicken by hotel owners who wanted to make sure I was awake by 4.30am because they seemed to be crowing right outside my window. Ear plugs are handy in this type of case.
There may well be cockroaches and spiders everywhere but I came across few spiders in hotels and the handful I did encounter were very well behaved.
At other times there wasn’t a hotel available and the back of a truck or a few hours on the ground were the options and these did fine. The nights were never cold and I found the rooms in any hotel always clean no matter where they were and they added to the sense of adventure so if you get a chance to stay in a roach hotel take it.