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Cycle Madagascar

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days 14 US$ 3,260 US$ 3,097
SavingUS$ 163
highlights
  • Highland Scenery - Rice paddies, villages and colourful markets
  • Ranomafana - Walk in the rainforest and observe various species of lemurs, chameleons, amphibians and countless species of birds
  • Isalo National Park - Explore the 'Grand Canyon' of Madagascar and meet troops of Ring-tailed lemurs
  • Villages and people - Meet friendly and hospitable local people
The Cycle Madagascar tour starts and ends in Antananarivo. The Cycle Madagascar is a Bicycle Tour that takes 14 days taking you through Antananarivo, Madagascar and other destinations in Madagascar.

A cycle adventure across the highland plains, through verdant rainforests and tea plantations to the inviting waters of the Indian Ocean. We cycle the most rewarding sections on largely quiet roads and explore Ranomafana and Isalo National Parks on foot, hoping to see the fascinating wildlife from lemurs to chameleons. Cycle Madagascar - Dramatic and varied scenery from highlands to the golden beaches of Ifaty Villages and people - Meet friendly and hospitable locals in villages and colourful markets Isalo and Ranomafana National Parks - Explore the 'Grand Canyon' of Madagascar and walk in the rainforest
Our tour starts at the hotel in Antananarivo. Madagascar's capital, known locally as 'Tana', enjoys a mild climate (1350m) and is a blend of the old and new with French colonial buildings, old wooden houses and modern offices and apartments. Our hotel is situated in the northern outskirts of town.
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
We start the day with a drive (4hrs) to the spa town of Antsirabe, located in the central highlands. Founded by Norwegian missionaries in the late 19th century, Madagascar's second-largest city has an elegant feel with wide boulevards and some interesting French colonial architecture. This afternoon we are introduced to our bikes, spending some time ensuring everybody is happy with the fit and making any necessary adjustments before taking off for our first ride, exploring different neighbourhoods of Antsirabe. A gentle introduction to local life and people, the ride covers some 16 kilometres before we head back to the hotel.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 16 kilometres (total 80 metres accumulated ascent and descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
We leave Antsirabe this morning and avoid the city traffic with a transfer to the start of today's ride about an hour away. From here we start our first proper ride on the undulating road southwards, past many rice terraces and small family farms to Ambositra where we spend the night. Ambositra is the centre of Madagascar's wood carving industry, listed as one of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage and this afternoon we plan a visit to a local workshop to learn more about the Zafimaniry carpenters and their art.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 60 kilometres (total 740 metres accumulated ascent and 800 metres descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast and Lunch
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
After breakfast we drive around one and a half hours to the start of today's ride. Our route takes us past rice paddies and villages and passes through pine and eucalyptus forests. The winding road passes varied landscapes with rugged ridges and giant boulders before we finally descend through primary tropical rain forest to our accommodation for the next two nights, situated amid lush nature near Ranomafana. Entrance to the park lies around 12km from the hotel and it was here in 1987 that a new species of lemur - the Golden Bamboo lemur - was discovered. Around 21km of today's ride is on dirt roads.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 59 kilometres (total 770 metres accumulated ascent and 1460 metres descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast and Lunch
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Taking a break from the bikes today we explore one of Madagascar's natural highlights on foot. After an early start and short drive to the park entrance the morning will be spent in the park learning about the abundant flora and fauna (approx. 4hrs, 4km). Most lemur species are endangered, the last survivors of a once abundant family of primates, now confined to pockets of forest and bush throughout Madagascar. Deforestation has taken a heavy toll on Madagascar and these arboreal creatures - only about 80 species remain. With luck we may see some of the species found in the park including Red-Bellied lemur, Grey Bamboo lemur, Milne-Edwards' sifaka and perhaps the Black and White Ruffed lemur and the extremely rare Golden Bamboo lemur. We may also spot the Malagasy boa constrictor, chameleons, the black parrot, cuckoo roller and many other birds. We return to Ranomafana village in time for lunch and there is the option to visit some hot springs. In the afternoon you can relax in the hotel garden or there will be an additional optional walk within the park with a chance to spot the species not already seen during the morning. In the evening an optional night walk can be organised to learn about nocturnal wildlife in the area.

No cycling today.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Leaving Ranomafana behind us, we have a short transfer this morning to the start of today's ride. Back on the bikes our route takes us to Sahambavy passing through more hamlets and fields and eventually the beautiful scenery of Madagascar's only tea plantations. Part of today's ride is on a gravel road as we reach the Sahambavy Tea Plantation. We allow time to visit the tea factory and along the way we will have the chance to observe local life and hopefully meet some pickers.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 44 kilometres (total 780 metres accumulated ascent and 830 metres descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast and Lunch
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we cycle straight from the hotel to Fianarantsoa; regarded as the cultural and intellectual capital of Madagascar. The road north of town is flanked by vines as the early religious settlers of Fianarantsoa started Madagscar's only wine industry. We will stop to explore the impressive architecture of the historic centre and plan to visit the photo studio of one of the most famous photographers in the country. Known locally as Fianar this point in our journey marks the end of the central highlands and the beginning of the dry country to the south. We drive a short distance out of town before starting the second leg of today's ride following a windy road to the lively market town of Ambalavao where we spend the night. We plan to visit a local artisan 'Anteimoro' paper manufacturer.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 67 kilometres (total 940 metres accumulated ascent and 1290 metres descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast and Lunch
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Cycling from our hotel this morning we ride through grasslands dotted with granite mountains to Anja Reserve - a local community project - where we have a chance to watch troupes of ring-tailed lemur among the boulders. A walk of around 1.5hrs takes us into the forest to spot lemurs and other animals. Continuing south by bus (2.5hrs) the pine trees thin out and the fertile soil of the highlands gives way to drier savannah, cactus and termite mounds. We finally reach Ranohira late in the afternoon, situated on the edge of Isalo National Park and our home for the next two nights.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 70 kilometres (total 800 metres accumulated ascent and 1020 metres descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast and Lunch
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Best explored on foot we explore the stunning landscapes of Isalo National Park today. Dervla Murphy, in her book 'Muddling through Madagascar' describes Isalo NP thus - 'Landscapes that are literally incredible. You don't believe it. You think you're hallucinating. How can wind and water have done all this?' Natural erosion has produced fantastic canyons and bizarre outcrops of wind-blasted sandstone. There are patches of deciduous forest throughout the reserve which are home to lemur groups although they are shy and rarely seen. The temperatures are much hotter and plant life reflects this with moisture retaining species such as succulents, aloes and the extraordinary dwarf baobabs. Rivers and rock pools feed the rich jungle found in the valley bottoms. Our walk (approx. 8km) will take us to natural rock pools where you can cool off. We return to the hotel this afternoon.

No cycling today.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today is our final day on the bikes and we ride directly from the hotel along the edge of Isalo NP; taking in some more of this incredible scenery in the early morning. The ride ends in Ilakaka where we learn about the local sapphire mining operation - the largest in the world! This afternoon we drive for about 5 hours to Ifaty Beach, a small resort on the west coast, our base for the next two nights. We plan to make a stop en route, at lunchtime, at Toliara. The final one hour drive has some good Baobab photo opportunities. The afternoon is free to relax. Optional excursions for your time here include snorkelling, whale watching, diving and a jeep trip to see more Baobabs and some villages.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 27 kilometres (total 260 metres accumulated ascent and 350 metres descent).
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today has been left free to relax or explore the area. Ifaty Beach is a huge bay protected by a barrier reef up to seven kilometres from the shore. Traditional fishing villages are scattered along the bay and the Vezo people still use sail-powered outrigger canoes. There is an option to visit the reef for snorkelling. There is also is an excellent optional forest walk in the Reniala Reserve just inland from the beach area, where strange spiny forest can be found and some of the most attractive of the endemic bird species, such as the long-tailed ground roller, sub-desert mesite and sickle-billed vanga.

No cycling today.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we depart Ifaty and drive (1.5hrs) to Toliara for our flight back to Tana, where we will spend our final two nights. In case the flight is delayed and time permits there will be the option to visit the arboretum in Toliara.

No cycling today.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we drive into the outskirts of Antananarivo and take a walk through local highland villages and rice paddies, learning about local silk weaving along the way before returning to Antananarivo in the afternoon.

No cycling today.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Our tour ends in Antananarivo, after breakfast.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Accommodation
  • 13 nights standard hotel
Meals
  • 13 Breakfast, 5 Lunch
Transport
  • Bus, Bicycle
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide, Driver(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Antananarivo are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Cycle Madagascar tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 14 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 17 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Antananarivo, Madagascar/ Antananarivo, Madagascar
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Cycle Madagascar
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Payment

A deposit of 310 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 17 August 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Cycle Madagascar tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Cycle Madagascar tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Cycle Madagascar tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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