Madagascar Biking Tour

Mountain Biking Tour Madagascar from $3870 NZD
(4.5/5) from 5 reviews

Madagascar: a unique country and a dream destination for nature and outdoor lovers!

Its a land of diverse natural beauty and which wildlife enthusiasts consider to be one of the world’s most special places.

Encounters with wildlife are often very close and intimate. Lemurs stare back with big round eyes, chameleons may climb up your arm to the top of your head, and unique birds are a plenty. Over 580 km from the Malagasy highlands to the coast, we experience a mix of on and off road cycling. There’ll be chances to meet the friendly and welcoming locals to learn about their culture and customs, and as we travel through a variety of landscapes the flora and fauna will change. Madagascar is a magical place, and offers a memorable travel experience unlike any other.

Reviews for Madagascar Biking Tour - Tour

Madagascar - Global Cycling Adventures

The whole tour was fantastic. Loved the food/culture/people and of course the bike riding. The support from staff during the tour was beyond the call of duty and the local guides were wonderful.

Greg Griffith September 1, 2017

Madagascar - Global Cycling Adventures

The group was very good, good atmosphere and help from all participants.

Jef Raus September 20, 2015

madagascar biking tour - global cycling adventures

When the itinerary refers to a "challenging" day; it is. My quote is simply "some days were challenging"!

Robin September 20, 2015

Global Cycling Adventures - Madagascar Mountain Biking

Our special experience was the close encounter with the Lemurs at small nature reserve of Anja exceeded expectations.
Mora Mora.

Alistair and Ann - Madagascar September 20, 2015

Madagascar - Global Cycling Adventures

I enjoyed a remote third world experience with like-minded travellers with good quality accommodation and food without the hassle of trying to DIY!

John Weller - Madagascar September 12, 2015

Antananarivo to Toliara

Antananarivo
  • Mountain Biking
  • Grade
  • Tour price is for a Group size of 6+
  • For group size 2-5, a surcharge applies
  • Prices from 2020 subject to change
  • EUR 390 single room surcharge
  • EUR 200 bike hire (good quality mountain bikes)
  • We can also offer alternative tours in Madagascar
The biking days on this tour will be between 38 - 95 km per day (total distance 580 km, 165 km of which is off road). Highlights include:
  • Antisrabe Region
  • Antisrabe Tritriva Lake
  • Ranomafana National Park
  • Anja Villagers Park
  • Isalo Massif and Region
  • Ifaty Forest and Beach
Accommodation is in simple middle calss hotels and rustic lodges with basic facilities. All have a private bathroom with shower and toilet. There are two nights camping.

Full Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival Day: Antananarivo

No biking

Welcome to Antananarivo, the capital and largest city in Madagascar. It is colourful, chaotic, cluttered, gritty, poor. You can arrive any time today and will be met at the airport by your tour leader and then transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Antananarivo (often called Tana) takes its name from an episode in Malagasy history and means 'one thousand warriors'.

Meals: None

DAY 2

Antananarivo to Antsirabe

Biking: 16 km

We transfer to Antsirabe, the second largest city in Madagascar and best known for its thermal springs. Its also known for its French Colonial buildings and its many colourful pousse-pousse (or rickshaw). Our transfer takes us along a gravel road into the fertile highlands, past rice terraces, orchards and vegetable plots. This afternoon after our bike fitting there will be a short ride to get ourselves used to the bikes and the traffic.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3

Antsirabe (round trip)

Biking: 63 km (approx 30 km dirt road)

Madagascar's two most known crater lakes, Andraikiba and Tritriva should not be missed. Lake Andraikiba is both beautiful and unique. We follow the 5km path around the edge before continuing to Lake Tritriva, a beautiful lake of volcanic origin. Even before reaching it, we can see the Mount Tritriva emerging from the village of Belazao. A sad legend surrounds this lake; it is believed that two lovers, whose marriage was forbidden drowned themselves in the lake to be together forever. They were reincarnated into two closely growing trees by the lake. Over the years the branches of the trees became intertwined to eventually become one tree.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4

Antsirabe to Ambositra

Biking: approx. 95 km

We start early today, cycling further south on a hilly road to Ambositra. We ride past many rice terraces which are harvested up to three times a year. We'll be treated to great landscapes, views and rural Malagasy life. Ambositra is a lively arts and crafts village surrounded by misty green peaks and an ideal place to pick up souvenirs of your stay! Tonight we'll stay in a nice hotel on the edge of town.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5

Ambositra to Ranomafana

Biking: approx. 64 km (~ 21km dirt road)

After a short visit to some wood carvers we transfer to Lalatsara Camp. From here we ride along rural roads through a beautiful valley below towering granite boulders to Ambohimahasoa. Then after 2 climbs we ride through villages and forest before reaching the rain forest of Ranomafana National Park - part of the lush chain of rainforest that runs down Madagascar's east coast. The park's star attraction is the golden bamboo lemur, often found grazing amongst the bamboo thickets. The park spans over 415 km of mountainous terrain. After a final descent we reach tonight's lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6

Ranomafana National Park

Hiking (no cycling)

Today we explore the Ranomafana National Park on foot. The park is 'tropically damp' and a great place to discover the endemic animals and plant world more closely. We may hear the calls of the cuckoo rollers, catch a glimpse of a leaf-tailed gecko, rare birds, lemurs or stumble across the graves of the Tanala, 'the people of the forest'. The park is also flora rich with orchids, tree ferns, palms, mosses, trumpet flowers and strands of giant bamboo. We return by support vehicle to our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7

Ranomafana to Sahambavy

Biking: approx. 44 km (~20km dirt road)

After breakfast we drive up to the village of Vohiparara and begin cycling on a gravel road. We see locals selling piles of sand from the nearby river as well as women weaving baskets. We overnight in a hotel in the centre of the tea growing area. If time permits we visit the Sahambavy Tea Estate, the only tea plantation in Madagascar. We stay in charming bungalows overlooking a lake in the tea growing area.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8

Sahambavy to Ambalavao

Biking: up to 80 km

We cycle to Fianarantsoa, the former spiritual centre of the country. Then its mostly downhill to Ambalavao - its a very scenic ride with views into the valleys. Alternatively we can cycle to Ambalavao straight from the Sahambavy hotel on a mostly undulating dirt road (51 km). The car cannot follow here as we cross several small valleys with rice and cassava plantations and some eucalyptus forests. Its an adventure and tourists hardly ever come here so the children will be curious about us. In Ambalavao we see traditional Antaimoro papermaking.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9

Ambalavao to Anja Villagers Park to Tsaranoro

Biking: approx 54 km

In Ambalavao we visit the workshop to see how traditional Antaimoro papermaking is done. Then we head further south where bizarre landscapes of towering cliffs await us in the small nature reserve of Anja. This unique environmental and cultural preservation site is an example of how humans and nature can co-exist and flourish. We'll see superb scenery, plants, caves, tombs and ring-tailed lemurs. We can take a short walk into the park before heading into the Tsaranoro Valley which leads to the Andringitra Mountains. We overnight in a rustic camp, our home for two nights.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10

Andringitra massif (hike)

No cycling

Today we hike in the Andringitra massif with an ascent of the ‘chameleon’ mountain - named because of the recognisable shape of a chameleon in the rock. After passing many villages, rice fields and hills we reach a forest with gnarled trees where we may see lemurs. The mountain has steep cliffs of volcanic origin and consists of highly fissured granite. Andringitra extends over a length of 100 km. We'll be rewarded with spectacular views over this ancient landscape.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11

Tsaranoro to Ranohira

Biking: approx 95 km

Today we ride back to meet National Road 7 where we continue by vehicle to Ankaramena. This place is well known for its delicious mango and papaya. We drive to Ihosy and continue on to the plateau of Horombe where we have lunch. Then we ride the last 75 km to our lodge on the edge of the Isalo National Park in the small village of Ranohira.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12

Hiking in Isalo NP

Biking: none

This park is fiercely beautiful with golden plains punctuated by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons and waterfalls. The Isalo National Park comprises the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountain. Our adventure begins with a trek in the Park through landscapes formed by centuries of erosion and fascinating sandstone formations. We walk to the canyons, look for ring-tailed and other lemurs, and refresh ourselves at a waterfall or a natural pool.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13

Ranohira to Ambolimailaka to Ifaty

Biking: approx 54 km

Today is the last part of our cycling adventure. We begin with a bus ride south to Toliara. This is the most important trade centre in south Madagascar. On the way we see Baobab and stop at the tombs of the ethnic groups of the Mahafaly and Antandroy. After lunch we cycle to Ifaty, Madiorano and Ambohimailaka, small fishing villages, where we enjoy a swim in the warm Indian Ocean. This evening we enjoy our last celebration dinner together. After dinner your tour manager says ‘Good bye’.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14

Ifaty

No cycling

Time to relax at the end of your tour in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Discover colourful plants and fish while snorkelling around the coral reef. If you'd like to explore more unique plant life take a walk to a nearby Nature Reserve known for its variety of Didierraceae, Adansonia, Euphorbia and Baobab trees.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15

Ifaty

No cycling

Another day to relax and unwind.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 16

Departure Day

No cycling

Time to say goodbye. We farewell the forests of Ifaty and transfer you to Toliara Airport where the tour finishes.

Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions:

Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation in comfortable 2-3 star hotels, lodges & bungalows
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary (no dinners in Ifaty from May 2019)
  • Experienced English speaking guide(s)
  • Support vehicle
  • Drinking water while riding
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Airport transfers on days 1 and 16 only

Tour Excludes:

  • Flights and airport taxes
  • Passport and travel visa requirements
  • Bike hire (or bring your own)
  • Personal expenses, alcoholic drinks & your favourite snack bars
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips to guide and support crew