Hacker Beach Episode 12

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Location: Mahajanga, Madagascar

We'll be gathering on the island of Madagascar. Hacker Central will be by the beach around Mahajanga (French: Majunga) on the North-West coast.

Date: January 2024

As always, we'll be hanging out around the announced location during the month of January. You can drop by anytime in January and someone else should be there already (at least from a few days after NYE onwards). Some people join only for a week, others for two or even the whole month. Whatever floats your boat.

What to Expect


  • Hacking, not cracking
  • FOSS creation and contribution galore (non-programmers welcome)
  • Exchange ideas and knowledge, demo your projects, have workshop or hackday sessions
  • Also get your day job done if you want/must
  • Fantastic weather (i.e. no freezing winter)
  • Outdoor activity options like e.g. hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, and floating down the nearby river
  • Explore the wider region, esp. before/after your time at the official location
  • Whatever you want to make it. Hacker Beach is just people.

Getting There

The easiest way to get to Mahajanga would be to fly into the capital city of Antananarivo (TNR), then taking a domestic flight to Mahajanga (MJN) (only 3 times per week). If you're adventurous, take a bus to Mahajanga, or go around the island first.

There are a few good travel Wikis which cover more detailed info:

Tip: a good way to find out about airlines and direct flights, so you can hack yourself a decent travel route, is always the Wikipedia page of the airport in question.


You will have to apply for a visa on arrival at the airport. There is no visa fee for stays of less than 15 days. However, you will have to pay a 10-euro administrative fee for border control formalities. Prices for the other visas:

  • 30 Days: 35 EUR / 37 USD / 115.000 MGA
  • 60 Days : 40 EUR / 45 USD / 135.000 MGA

Pay in USD or EUR cash, or card for other currencies, at the visa counter.

Vaccination requirements

If you are traveling from a country with high risk of Yellow Fever infection, you may be required to show a proof of vaccination against it (i.e. an entry in your little yellow booklet). There was absolutely no validation or check of anything for the people that already arrived.


See http://www.douanes.gov.mg/particulier/voyageurs/


There are plenty of apartments and houses/villas for rent around the beach area. A 5-bedroom house can be rented for as low as 50 EUR/night, so if you share one with enough people you can have your own room for as low as 10 EUR/night, or even less if you're sharing one. Or you can also just get something smaller for yourself.

You can coordinate sharing on the XMPP channel, if you're not already planning to join with a small group. (There are currently leftover rooms in reserved houses available.)

Power sockets

Type C and E (compatible with F), at ~220 V.

TL;DR: European plugs will fit (except UK).


There is cabled Internet with wifi at most accommodations. One of the deep-sea cable connections to Madagascar (2 Africa, the newest one) actually comes into Mahajanga. There are 3 telcos operating on the island: Telma, Orange, and Airtel.

SIM cards

There are shops of all 3 telcos directly at the airport. Orange and Telma seem to have better performance and coverage than Airtel so far.

Prices are affordable: 2.5 GB of bandwidth costs ~3 EUR for example.

There are also eSIMs available online for Madagascar. The usual vendors of those should have you covered. Topups for all providers are available on Bitrefill as well.


There is an ATM (from BNI) without extra fees at TNR airport. SocGen seems to charge fees at their ATMs.

TODO: Add more info about closest ATM to beach and ATMs in Mahajanga

Invite-only XMPP chat for participants

We have a more private communications channel for people who actually want to drop by in January. It's an XMPP channel at hackerbeach@kosmos.chat. Please ask someone to invite you, in case you don't have access yet (e.g. on IRC, or DM us on the fediverse).

As a mobile chat client, we can recommend Conversations for Android, and Monal for iOS.


As an unorganized, informal gathering, there's nothing to register or RSVP for. However, it would be much appreciated if you entered some kind of name (ideally your IRC or XMPP nick, but can also just be anon) in the following list, in case you plan to join us. You can also add a timeframe, so we know who to expect when.

  • slvrbckt (Jan 11th - Feb 2nd)
  • coelis (Jan 11th - Feb 2nd)
  • raucao (Jan 4 - ~25)
  • hcs0 (Jan 4 - ?)
  • K (Dec 30th - Jan 20th)
  • maxsan (Jan 4th - ?)
  • jansh (Jan 11th - 30th)
  • bkero
  • chuck (Jan 15th - 31st)
  • (your name/alias here)