The Ariary is the currency of the large island nation off the south-east coast of Africa. Its ISO code is MGA. It is abbreviated as Ar.
The Ariary replaced the Madagascar Franc (Fmg) on August 1, 2003. It is divided into 5 iraimbilanja and, like the Ouguiya of Mauritania, deviates from the decimal system.
Coins issued since 1965 are still valid, even if they are labeled Franc. Since 1978 there have been 10, 20 and 50 Ariary coins without any indication in Frank. The new coins are 7-, 10- byw. 11-sided.
The face values of the coins of Madagascar in francs are still on the market in 1 (= 1 ariary), 2, 5.10 and 20 francs, which show a bull’s head on the obverse. The new coins show a star underneath “ariary” and the value in 5, 10, 20, 50 Ariay. Coins not in circulation because of their low value.
Banknotes are in circulation in two series. Notes from before 2004 are invalid. From 2004 the notes show the values 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 Ariary with the extra information in Fmg. The values 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 were only added with the name Ariay from July and September 2017.
The population still likes to calculate in francs today and taxi drivers use it to confuse (sometimes rip off) tourists, so it’s good to ask what currency is meant.
Already in the pre-colonial times the currency was called Ariary and should break with the French colonial times by the reintroduction. Cash is usually in short supply in Madagascar. Many people live cashless and from barter.
Even the post offices sometimes cannot change a 5,000 ariary banknote.
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and one of its poorest countries. Transport costs are high, the country is geographically isolated.
A worker earns only about one US $ a day. Inflation has been around eight percent in recent years. Madagascar relies on oil, mining, sapphires and ecotourism.
Exchange into local currency
Cashless payment works in Madagascar with a credit card. Debit cards are useless in Madagascar, they are not accepted.
In order to avoid exchange rate losses, you should take euros with you when you arrive and only exchange as much as you need. An exchange of the local currency is not possible.
In addition, a rough cost estimate and a look at the currency converter can protect against losses. Pay attention to the small denominations of the notes in order to avoid problems with change. Cash is usually in short supply in Madagascar.
The import of the local currency may be up to 500,000 ariary, there is no limit for foreign currencies. An equivalent value of 7,500 euros or more must be declared. An export is limited to the amount declared upon import.