Madagascar

Madagascar - Cycling holiday from the highlands to the coast

UNKNOWN AFRICA! DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF MADAGASCAR WHILE CYCLING ON REMOTE GRAVEL ROADS WITH LIMITED TRAFFIC, MEET THE FRIENDLY LOCAL INHABITANTS OF MADAGASCAR AND EXPERIENCE THE LIFE OF THE FASCINATING LEMURS AND OTHER ABUNDANT ANIMALS. – Individual and group travel

This cycling tour on the world’s fourth largest island commences in Madagascar’s lush, green Highlands, leads one along rarely cycled asphalt and remote gravel roads in rural Madagascar. En route, one will become aquainted with the language, songs, customs and cuisine of the Creole people. In addition to cycling, guests will hike through the Ranomafana, Antringita and I‘salo National Parks. The unique fauna includes the lemurs and chameleons, and the unique flora includes the baobab and orchids. The route continues through gorges and dry bush savannah through the south-eastern part of the island of Madagascar until one reaches the warm Indian Ocean, where one can swim at the end of the journey.

Itinerary

km = kilometre, hg = toal climbing per day in meters

Day 1 Arrival in Antanarivo

Upon arrival in Antananarivo, you will be met by your tour manager and transferred to the .Orchid Hotel 3. The rest of the day is at leisure. Antananarivo, shortened to Tana, means “one thousand warriors” and refers to an historical event in Malagasy history when King Andrianjaka had his royal palace and stronghold here.

Day 2 Bike Fitting in Antsirabe

Transfer by vehicle via a gravel road to Antsirabe, which lies at an ideal altitude of 1370m above sea level in the Highlands. Antsirabe was a favourite place of recuperation site for the Europeans during the French occupation of Madagascar. In the afternoon, the bikes will be fitted and a short bike ride undertaken. Stay at the charming Flower Palace Hotel 3*. (B,L,D) (16km, hg 100m, tar)

Day 3 A Round Trip from Antsirabe to Lake Tritriv Sadonsonia

Initially, one will cycle to Lake Andraikkiba, where previous queens of the Merina tribe once bathed. One will pass a few typical Highland villages while cycling on secluded tracks in the direction of the volcanic Lake Tritiva, from where one is afforded wonderful vistas across the rolling Highlands. In the afternoon, visit a local craft shop where the most remarkable miniature bicycles are made. (B,L,D) (59km, hg 300m, 20 km tarred surface)

Day 4 Bike Tour: From Antsirabe to Ambositra

Departing from Antsirabe after breakfast, one will cycle further southwards on the hilly road to Ambositra, passing many rice terraces en route. Zamimaniry carving has its origins in Ambositra, and it is here that local carpenters await visitors. Accommodation will be at the pretty Hotel Artisan 3* decorated by local artists. (B,L,D) (95km, hg 550m, tar)

Day 5 Bike Tour: From Vohiposa to the Ranomafana National Park

Vehicular transfer to Camp Robin (1 hour) from where one will cycle on a rural track which leads through a very beautiful valley lying below towering granite boulders to Ambohimahasoa. After 2 ascents on the short tarred section, the route leads one through villages and eucalyptus forests to the Ranomafana National Park Rain Forest. The last few kilometres en route to our accommodation are downhill. Accommodation for 2 consecutive nights will be at the comfortable Hotel Cristo 3*. (B,L,D) (70km, hg 1000m, 12 km tarred surface)

Day 6 A Hike in the Ranomafana National Park

One will take a break from cycling today and discover the Ranomafana National Park on foot. While hiking through the damp tropical national park, discover the interesting endemic fauna and flora more closely. One’s attention is also drawn to the rare birds and the many species of lemur. In the evening, embark on a short walk in the Ranomafana National Park and see nocturnal animals such as the mouse lemur, a species discovered only 20 years ago. (B,L,D) (Walking time: 4-6 hrs.)

Day 7 Bike Tour: From Ranomafana to Sahambavy

After breakfast, vehicular transfer back to Andovoka from where the cycling tour will recommence. En route while cycling, one observes the local citizens going about their daily work routines. The hotel accommodation this evening is in the centre of a tea growing region and can be reached via a good gravel road. It may be possible to visit the Sahambavy Tea Estate, the only tea plantation in Madagascar, which was founded in 1970. Overnight accommodation will be in the Lac Hotel 3* overlooking a lake. (B,L,D) (64km, hg 800m, 20 km tarred surface)

Day 8 Bike Tour: From Talata Ampano to Ambalavao

After breakfast, one will transfer by shuttle to Tala Ampano (1 hour) and thereafter mount one’s bike again and cycle on peaceful roads through many small valleys, bypassing rice and cassava farms en route as well as an open pit mine, where local inhabitants search for tourmalines. Ambalavao is the wine region of Madagascar. Overnight accommodation will be in the Hotel Aux Bourgainvilliers 3*. Attached to this lodge is a craft shop, where the well-known Antaimoro paper is produced. (B,L,D) (75km, hg 500m, 60 km tarred surface)

Day 9 Bike Tour: From Ambalavao to Tsaranoro

Depart from the busy little town of Ambalavao and head further southwards. The landscape transforms into open grassland savannah dotted with enormous granite mountains. One leaves the road leading into the Andrangita Mountains upon entering the Tsaranoro Valley. In the afternoon, one can hike to a nearby natural pool. The overnight accommodation will be at the Tsara Camp 2* for two nights. (B,L,D) (56km, hg 600m, 36 km tarred surface)

Day 10 A Hike into the Andringita Mountains

Today’s hike will commence at the edge of the Andringitra Massif, a large granite outcrop. This area is well known for its many types of lemur, one such example being the lively Catta lemur. Upon reaching Chameleon Peak, one will be able to appreciate spectacular vistas over this ancient landscape. (B,L,D)

Day 11 Bike Tour across the Horombe Plateau to Ranohira

Today, one cycles back to the tarred road leading to Ankaramena, well known for its delicious mango and papaya fruits. After having loaded the bikes, one will transfer by shuttle to Ihosy, crossing the vast Horombe plateau in the direction of Ranohira in the afternoon. One has the opportunity to cycle the last 16,09km to the charming lodge lying at the border of the I‘salo National Park. Stay at the Hotel Orchidee de L’isalo 3* for two nights. (B,L,D) (60km, hg 140m, 40 km tarred surface)

Day 12 Hike and Bike Tour through the I‘salo National Park

While cycling, one will discover some of the many bizarre rock formations and interesting flora of the I‘salo National Park, e.g. the pachypodium and euphorbia. In the afternoon, one will undertake a hike in the company of your tour guide (4 hours) through the I‘salo Canyon to the Lemur Forest. Experience the beauty of deep gorges with crystal clear waters, the well-known ,piscine naturelle,‘ and the unique rocky mountains. (B,L,D) (32km, hg 350m, 12 km tarred surface)

Day 13 Drive to the Coast

After breakfast, the journey will continue to Toliara, the most important trade centre in southern Madagascar and home to the Vezo, a well-known maritime people. Accommodation for the next 3 consecutive nights will be in the village of Ifaty in the nice Hotel Belle Vue 3* lying directly at the edge of the sea. After dinner, the tour guide will bid you goodbye. (B,L,D)

Day 14 & 15 Swimming and Relaxing

These days are at leisure. The warm Indian Ocean temperature lies around 25°C and is ideal for swimming and relaxing at the end of this tour. One could go snorkelling and discover colourful plants growing and fish swimming around the coral reef or perhaps take a walk in the Reniala Nature Reserve, known for its variety of didierraceae, euphorbias,adansonia gregoriï, and the baobab trees adansonia digitata, and view more of this unique plant life. (B)

Day 16 Return Journey

Shuttle transfer to Tulear Airport. Check-in and board your return flight to Tana.
Please note that most international flights depart in the evenings. (B)

Accommodation subject to availability

We offer MTB Hardtail or touring bikes for hire.

December 2011: Impressions of Madagascar

Services

Included in price:

  • English speaking tour guide day 1-13 on bicycle
  • 15 nights in hotels, guesthouses and chalets with private bathroomas per itinerary
  • 15 x breakfast, 12 x lunch, 12 x dinner
  • Air conditioned vehicle backup as well as transport for bikes
  • All entrance fees as stated in the itinerary
  • Banana and energy bars during bike rides and hikes
  • Mineral water while cycling

Not included:

  • Flights to and from Madagascar
  • Flight Toliara (Túlear) – Antananarivo
  • Tips for guides, porters and waiters
  • Meals not mentioned in this itinerary
  • Beverages and mineral water on non-cycling days
  • Personal expenses e.g. laundry at accommodation facilities, telephone and internet services etc.
  • MTB hire bike

Hints

Travel Information:

It is essential that you get a malaria prophylaxis, should you wish to travel to Madagascar. Please refer to your medical practitioner for additional information in this regard. A degree of openness and flexibility are desired and are prerequisites for this trip. Even after careful planning, nature can be temperamental. Paths and roads could soften with the smallest amount of rain, or electricity could fail. It will be the dry season within the stated time frame of this tour, and daytime temperatures generally lie between 20°C and 30°C.

This tour is also available as a private tour, with minimum two participants.

Trip at google maps

Categorization
Level of fitness  
Grading of accommodation  

Group size

6 - 16 Participants
Terms & Conditions
Dates and rates
Booking code: RMA
01.07.17 - 16.07.17 USD 2750 book
15.07.17 - 30.07.17 USD 2750 book
29.07.17 - 13.08.17 USD 2750 book
12.08.17 - 27.08.17 USD 2750 book
26.08.17 - 10.09.17 USD 2750 book
09.09.17 - 24.09.17 USD 2750 book
23.09.17 - 08.10.17 USD 2750 book
07.10.17 - 22.10.17 USD 2750 book
21.10.17 - 05.11.17 USD 2750 book
24.03.18 - 07.04.18 USD 2750 book
14.04.18 - 29.04.18 USD 2750 book
05.05.18 - 20.05.18 USD 2750 book
19.05.18 - 03.06.18 USD 2750 book
02.06.18 - 17.06.18 USD 2750 book
16.06.18 - 01.07.18 USD 2750 book
30.06.18 - 15.07.18 USD 2750 book
14.07.18 - 29.07.18 USD 2750 book
28.07.18 - 12.08.18 USD 2750 book
11.08.18 - 26.08.18 USD 2750 book
25.08.18 - 09.09.18 USD 2750 book
08.09.18 - 23.09.18 USD 2750 book
22.09.18 - 07.10.18 USD 2750 book
29.09.18 - 14.10.18 USD 2750 book
06.10.18 - 21.10.18 USD 2750 book
13.10.18 - 28.10.18 USD 2750 book
20.10.18 - 04.11.18 USD 2750 book
27.10.18 - 11.11.18 USD 2750 book

Discount

  • 5% discount on bookings made 6 months prior to departure
  • 5% discount on all land packages for returning guests
Extra services
Bike hire MTB hardtail 30 speed 2016 USD 300
South African Airways (SAA) offers free transport of your bike up to 20 kg on request
Single room surcharge USD 460
Bike MTB Front suspension 30 speed 2017 USD 250
Bike for hire MTB front shocks 30 speed 2018 USD 250

Gallery