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Madagascar – The last Eden

offered by supplier M21697 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 15 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): Madagascar  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Sightseeing  
Season: March - November
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2350 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2990 Euro (EUR)

Duration of this bike ride is 15 days / 14 nights. Designed for regular cyclists who are looking for longer distances of 65 – 110 km per day. Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, lies in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique. The international conservation community has singled it out as one of the most ecologically rich countries on the planet – the last Eden. This bike ride takes us on an 8 days’ cycle, about 650 kilometres in total, in the east of this amazing island. We cycle through highland villages and paddy fields, the lush tropical fruit plantations and coastal trails up as far as the tropical island of Ile Sainte Marie. The terrain is an exciting combination of tarmac and dusty red-earth dirt road trails. Far away from the modern comforts of daily life, this will be an unforgettable experience.

Day 1,
Arrive in Madagascar
Arrive in Ivato, Antananarivo airport. You are free to arrive at any time. Meet and greet and transfer to the hotel where we stay. Tana is a charming collection of colourful houses, often crooked and stuck awkwardly to the slopes. These unique buildings are made up of crooked roofs, weathered brick walls and ramshackle wooden stalls.

Day 2,
Antananarivo, approximately 65 km
On our first day in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, we will have a bike-fitting in the morning. Afterwards we will make a small excursion by bike to the surroundings of Antananarivo. After driving on a bypass road, we will head west, for a good 20 kilometres until we reach a private park. Here we will see for the first time on our tour lemurs and other animals.

Day 3,
Antananarivo – Lac Mantasoa approximately 70 km
We will start by cycling out of Tana on a busy section of road with a slight bit of uphill. Once out of the city, the roads become much quieter and for most of the day we will be cycling on good tarmac roads, undulating through villages and lush green rice paddies. We will then come to a dirt road section, starting with a few km of cobblestone. It will mostly be uphill for a few km until we reach the top, where we have great views on the surroundings of Tana before retracing our route back to the main road and continuing on towards Lac Mantasoa. As we cycle past highland villages, the scenery changes and roads are lined with grey eucalyptus trees contrasting against the bright red earth. After 48 km we will turn south in the direction of Lake Mantasoa. From here we will cycle 13 km on dusty dirt road trails to the small village of Mantasoa. From here we will follow a bumpy road which is for the most part broken up tarmac with potholes and sharp ascents and descents. The hillsides are covered with eucalyptus and pine trees and as we cycle up to a height of 1300 m the views across the lake are worth the effort. We reach the lake and skirt round the shores to our overnight hotel overlooking the lake.

Day 4,
Mantasoa – Moramanga approximately 62 km
We retrace the last 13 km of yesterday’s off-road trail to re-join our route. After a few steep undulations we turn away from the lake and back to a landscape dotted with rice paddies and huts. After Ambatoloana we re-join a good tarmac road. The road is mainly downhill and winds between lush forest and bamboo. There are flat and undulating sections for the rest of the morning. We visit the Exotic Reptile Farm. There we have the chance to see a lot of frogs, chameleons and also butterflies. After a picnic lunch we cycle to the town of Moramanga.

Day 5,
Moramanga – Andasibe, about 35 km
In the morning we visit the Museum of the National Gendarmerie. The back to the saddle. We cycle up a long hill followed by a zigzagging downhill stretch of road. The next stretch is gently undulating. We will cycle through the village of Andasibe then the final few kilometres are a beautiful dirt road trail through the forest to our overnight stay.

Day 6,
Andasibe-Mantadia NP, approximately 34 km
We begin with a very early morning breakfast and cycle a few km to the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. We change into our walking shoes for a guided walking tour around the forest to visit the Indri Lemurs and enjoy the flora and fauna. We follow the strange cries of the Indri and hope to see the whole family. We also have the opportunity to see many plants and other lemurs as well as birds. After lunch we cycle by bike in a different part of the park called Mantadia. Here we take a walk in the primary rainforest before we cycle back to our hotel.

Day 7,
Andasibe – Ranomafana-Est, approximately 70 km
We re-join our bikes and head for the main road. We cycle on the road with some long gradual uphills and downhills with some stunning panoramic views over the surrounding hills. The scenery changes again and our route is lined with lush banana and mango plantations, lychee trees and the endemic Ravinala palm, whose enormous fan-like leaves are used for roofing in the area. The air becomes noticeably hotter as we descend. After lunch we cycle a short distance to the small town of Ranomafana Est where we stay the night in simple bungalows.

Day 8,
Ranomafana-Est – Manambato, approximately 60 km including 7 km dirt road with some difficulties
Today we will cycle to the little hamlet of Manambato. First, we will cycle on tarmac till we pass through the larger town Brickaville. The last 7 km we make a final push to come over the bumpy dirt road through the village Manambato to the shores of Lake Rasoabe. We will stay here for the night.

Day 9,
Manambato – Toamasina (Tamatave), approximately 104 km (7 km tough dirt road)
We will cycle back to the main road, this time uphill and on a poor-quality dirt-road. For the next 30 km the road is mostly flat, straight and lined with lychee trees and bamboo forests. As the day progresses, the road begins to gently undulate. We are now deep in the lush eastern plains of Madagascar as we cycle through palm tree plantations and an array of tropical fruits – banana, mango and papaya. For the last 20 km, the road levels out and we approach Madagascar’s second largest town, Toamasina (often still called Tamatave) – a lively port, buzzing with life. In the suburbs, we regroup and cycle together on a badly maintained tarmac road packed with markets, cyclists, cars and pedestrians. Then we turn off onto a quiet road which leads to our next overnight stop.

Day 10,
Toamasina (Tamatave) – Mahavelona (Foulpointe), approximately 57 km
The road is flat, quiet and rural with little traffic. It will be another hot day so there will be plenty of water stops throughout the ride. Eventually we will reach sand dunes and follow the beautiful coastline northwards, passing modest resorts and the occasional village. As we cycle up the coast, we continue crossing the river; a Laguna separates the road from the coast. The final kilometre cuts across a dirt road trail to the beach and to our resting place for the night.

Day 11,
Mahavelona (Foulpointe) – Mahambo, about 25 km – Ferry to Ile Sainte Marie – 1 or 2 hours, depending on sea conditions, on arrival cycling Ambodifotatra – Maromandia (18 km) in total approximately 43 km cycling
We will be driving very early today. We will experience the country waking up, seeing the farmers go to work, the students go to school. Housewives are already busy and the market traders build up their stands. We are aiming to reach the ferry to Nosy Boraha. It is located at the pier of Mahambo. The bikes are loaded on the ferry. Before we leave, however, the registration has to be done, at the local gendarmerie office. The crossing takes about one or two hours depending on the weather. Arriving on the harbour side of Nosy Boraha, we swing back on the saddle for the last section of the day trip of today. We will have to conquer the 18 km up to our accommodation on a paved road, usually along the coast. At first the road is level but after a while, it winds uphill, curving towards the north. From the road we turn into the access leading to the hotel.

Day 12,
Nosy Boraha (Ile Ste. Marie), approximately 42 km dirt road
Our final day will be one of mixed emotions! A real treat as we cycle across and around much of this beautiful, virtually untouched island for the whole day, but on the flipside the dirt road terrain will be gruelling, and we will have to negotiate lots of sharp ups and downs, deep potholes, rocks and sand. We set off early, heading north and uphill towards Ankirihiry. The first few km of the day are on tarmac but we soon come to the challenging dirt road which stays with us for the rest of the day. On reaching Ankirihiry we turn inland for 5 km to cross the island from one side to the other. With the Indian Ocean now on our left we cycle south towards Anfiafy and Marofilao eventually reaching the port of Ambodifotatra. We continue south to our finish line at our hotel which will be our base for the next two nights. After celebrating the finish line, we enjoy a well refreshing drink next to the glittering Indian Ocean. What better way to complete this spectacular challenge in Madagascar. This evening we celebrate the end of the challenge and toast our achievement.

Day 13,
Day 14,
Nosy Boraha (Ile Sainte Marie)
Free days to relax at the tropical island of Ste. Marie. Swimming pool, tennis, mountain biking, beach volleyball, badminton, ping pong ... visit to the pirate cemetery on the island or islet Iles aux Nattes. Even a small nature park is located not far from the hotel. From June to October you may observe whales.

Day 15,
Ste. Marie – Tana
Flight from Ste. Marie to Tana
Leisurely walk to the airport to catch a flight to Antananarivo. – End of service. –

Supplemental Tour Information:
We cycle Stevens Mira Stevens Applebee,
Rock Machine Torrent 70 and Cube Attention,
29“ or 27,5“ frame, 30 gears, Shimano Deore or higher, fork 100 mm Rock Shox or SR Suntour
Typically, you will be sharing your experiences with between six to 12 likeminded bikers and you'll have a cycling tour manager with you. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people. While the itinerary is scheduled there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as experiencing new cultures. If you would prefer an individual tour please ask for an offer.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Single room surcharge 480 Euro
Bike Rental 190 Euro
Flight Toamasina – Antananarivo not included

About This Supplier
Location: Madagascar
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...

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