Madagascar Cycling Touroffered by supplier M21697 (read about supplier)
Tour Duration: 14 - 17 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 16 people
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring
Season: March - November
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2290 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3195 Euro (EUR)
Our bikes: We cycle Stevens Mira, Stevens Applebee, Rock Machine Torrent 70 and Cube Attention, all 29“ or 27,5“ frame, 30 gears, Shimano Deore or higher, fork 100 mm Rock Shox or SR Suntour.
Day 1. Touching down in Antananarivo, 'town of thousands'.
Today is an arrival day. You are free to arrive at any time. Upon arrival in Antananarivo you will be greeted by your tour manager and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Antananarivo, mostly shortened to Tana, takes its name from an episode in Malagasy history. King Andrianjaka had his royal palace and stronghold here. The name of the town means ‘one thousand warriors’. He quartered them at the palace and called this city Antananarivo.
Day 2. Antananarivo – Antsirabe – bike fitting, bus transfer and about 16 km cycling.
On the way to Antsirabe, we reach the fertile highlands. In addition to the typical rice terraces, we also see many fruit and vegetable plants. We stop here and there to talk to people or to observe the rural life. The surrounding area of Antsirabe is worth exploring. Here and in Betafo the agricultural products of the area are cultivated. From here, most of the fruit and vegetables are transported to Tana and sold all over the country. In the afternoon we meet our bikes. A first small ride is on the agenda, to get used to the bikes and the traffic.
Day 3. Bike tour Antsirabe – Lake Andraikiba – Lake Tritriva – Betafo – Antsirabe, about 59 km including 30 km dirt road.
The lakes should not be missed when you pass through Antsirabe, the two most known crater lakes are Andraikiba and Tritriva. On the way, we have the chance to enjoy the typical landscape of the Merina ethnic group, we pass first Andraikiba 10 km from the city. Of a circumference of nearly 5 km, one can easily cycle around it by just following the little path surrounding it. Formerly, this lake was an important centre for water sport activities. After we continue the fun with our mountain bike, we will follow a track to reach another lake, more spectacular, and full of myth: the lake Tritriva. Before even reaching it, we can see the Mount Tritriva emerging from the village of Belazao. This crater lake with its volcanic landscape is formed by deep and impressive drops. Nested at an altitude of about 1880m in the hollow of a small mountain, we enjoy our picnic lunch.
Day 4. Bike tour Antsirabe – Ambositra, about 95 km tarmac.
After breakfast, we cycle further south on the hilly road to Ambositra, passing many rice terraces of farmers who can harvest up to three times a year. Ambositra is the home of the Zafimaniry woodcarving. We will stay at a nice hotel at the entrance of the town.
Day 5. Ambositra – Ranomafana, about 64 km including 21 km dirt road, two hour bus transfer.
A short visit to the woodcarvers before we transfer by our vehicle to Ialatsara camp. From there we start cycling. At a rural village we ride in a very beautiful valley below towering granite boulders to Ambohimahasoa. After two climbs on the short tar section, we ride again on the off road through villages and eucalyptus forests until we reach the rain forest of Ranomafana National Park. The last few miles are downhill to our lodge where we spend the night.
Day 6. Hike in Ranomafana National Park.
We will embark on a trek in the Ranomafana rainforest. We will probably find lots of birds, frogs, lemurs and other species. We hope to see Red-bellied lemurs, Red-fronted lemurs, and Diadema Sifaka although nowadays the Golden bamboo Lemur and the Broad-nosed gentle Lemur are more difficult to find. The park is also rich with orchids, tree ferns with floras, palms mosses, trumpet flowers and trees of giant bamboo.
Day 7. Ranomafana – Sahambavy, about 44 km, including 20 km dirt road.
After breakfast we drive back up again to Vohiparara, and from here we start to cycle. During the trip we see locals selling piles of sand, gained from the nearby river as well as women weaving baskets. On a good gravel road we reach our hotel right in the centre of a tea growing area. We will potentially visit the Sahambavy Tea Estate, the only tea plantation in Madagascar. The tea estate created in 1970, set in a pretty valley beside Lake Sahambavy, produces large quantities of tea for both export to Mombasa in Kenya and for local consumption. We will stay overnight in charming bungalows overlooking a lake.
Day 8. Sahambavy – Ambalavao, about 80 km mostly tarmac, alternatively 63 km dirt road.
We cycle to Fianarantsoa, the former spiritual centre of the country. This is the second biggest town of Madagascar and the capital of Haute Matsiatra Region. It was built in the early 19th century as the administrative centre. From here we continue cycling mostly downhill to Ambalavao. The ride is very scenic, with views of the valleys. Only shortly before arrival there are some long uphills. Alternatively, we can cycle from the hotel to Ambalavao for 44km on mostly undulating dirt road. The car cannot follow here. We cross several small valleys with rice and cassava plantations and some eucalyptus forests. It is an adventure, because the former road has become a footpath. Tourists do not come here; the children have rarely seen light-coloured people and are curious about us.
Day 9. Bike tour Ambalavao – Anja villagers Park – Tsaranoro, about 54 km, including 20 km dirt road.
In Ambalavao we visit the traditional Antaimoro papermaking. The origin of the copper-coloured paper that feels like fine, silky wallpaper is far back into the past. We leave the busy little town heading further south. The landscape changes into open grassland savannah dotted with enormous granite mountains. Bizarre landscapes of towering cliffs await us in the small nature reserve of Anja with superb scenery, plants, Betsileo history, caves, tombs and ring-tailed lemurs. We take a short walk into the park before we leave the road entering the Tsaranoro Valley leading into the Andringitra Mountains. We stay over at a rustic camp for two nights.
Day 10. Hike into Andringitra massif.
Today we take a hike in the Andringitra massif with the ascent to the ‘chameleon’ mountain. we can recognize the shape of a chameleon in the rock. After villages, rice fields and hills we reach some forests. Maybe we'll see lemurs. The mountains with its steep cliffs are of volcanic origin and probably very suddenly emerged. They consist of highly fissured granite. The height can be between 650 and 2600 meters. Andringitra Park extends over a length of 100 km. We enjoy spectacular views over this ancient landscape.
Day 11. Tsaranoro – Ranohira, about 95 km including 20 km dirt road.
We ride back over a badly tarmacked road to meet the National road 7. We continue by car to Ankaramena. The place is well known for its delicious mango and papaya fruits. Then we drive to Ihosy and from there we continue to the plateau of Horombe. Up on the plateau we will have lunch. To get a better impression of this amazing landscape, we get back on the saddle for the last 75 km to our lodge on the edge of the Isalo National Park and in the middle of the little village of Ranohira.
Day 12. Hiking in the Isalo NP.
This park is fiercely beautiful with golden plains surrounded by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons and waterfalls. The Isalo National Park covers the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain range is spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountains. Our adventure begins with a short uphill to the plateau and viewpoint. In this surreal park we trek through landscapes formed by centuries of erosion. We walk into a canyon where we will see various types of lemurs. We can refresh ourselves at a waterfall or the natural pools in the canyon.
Day 13. Ranohira – Toliara, bike tour Toliara – Ifaty – Madiorano – Ambolimailaka, about 54 km.
We drive by bus in the southern direction to Toliara (Tuléar), the end of the national road 7. On the way we will see impressive Baobab trees. We also stop at the tombs of the ethnic groups of the Mahafaly and Antandroy. The area around Toliara is the home area of the ethnic group of the Vezo. They earn their living by fishing. On a nice viewpoint before reaching Toliara we get on our bikes for the last leg of our trip. We cycle to Ifaty, Madiorano and Ambohimailaka, all small fishing villages. Here the warm Indian Ocean invites us for a swim. In the evening we forget all the hardship and celebrate the end of our bike tour. After dinner your tour manager says ‘Good bye’.
Day 14-15. Swimming and relaxing.
We relax and swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. At the coral reef discover colourful plants and fish life while snorkelling. If you like to see more of the unique plant life take a walk to a nearby Nature Reserve, this park is known for the variety of Baobab trees.
Day 16. Ifaty – Toliara – Antananarivo.
Return journey home. Flight with Air Madagascar. Transfer to the Toliara airport and return by flight to Antananarivo. – End of services at the airport.
Supplemental Tour Information:
We cycle Stevens Mira, Stevens Applebee, Rock Machine Torrent 70 and Cube Attention Mountainbikes, all 29“ or 27,5“ frame, 30 gears, Shimano Deore or higher, fork 100 mm Rock Shox or SR Suntour.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
- English-speaking Tour Manager on the bike Day 1 – 13
- Mechanic (with a minimum of six cyclists)
- Road book
- Hotels in double or twin rooms with private facilities, depending on availability
- Full board Day 2 – 13
- Half-board Day 14 – 15
- Breakfast day 16
- Mineral water during cycling
- All cars and buses, All transfers
- Local guides in the visited parks
- Entrance and guiding fees in the parks
- Long haul flight
- Domestic flight
- Bike rental
- All other drinks
- Mineral water on non-cycling days
- Private expenses
- Additional beach activities etc.
Single room surcharge 390 Euro
Domestic flight Toliara – Antananarivo on request
Bike Rental 200 Euro
Booking deposit 15% no refundable
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Joined InfoHub: Feb 2018
We run cycling tours in Madagascar - the country where we live. Certainly, a unique place and an experience that should be on every adventurous cyclist list of things to do. Our trips give all riders and cyclists a good chance to meet local people, learn about their culture and customs, explore fauna and flora and of...