+261 (0)20 220 2012 info@travpactmadagascar.com
+261 (0)20 220 2012 info@travpactmadagascar.com

Madagascar Highlands to Coast 16 Day Bike Tour

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1182
  • 16 Days, 15 Nights
  • Max People: 12
  • Various Dates (see below)

This 16-day bike tour takes us along the roads and tracks of the central highlands until we reach the coast. Along the way, we’ll stop into various local villages to meet artisans and learn about different local crafts. We’ll also take time to explore the rainforest and seek out fantastic wildlife. From the rice paddies to the highland villages, you’ll love this opportunity to dive deep into Madagascar and learn about local life and diverse wildlife along the way!

You may prefer this 15-day bike tour from the highlands to the islands instead. Not sure what tour to choose? Feel free to get in touch for an informational chat so we can help you decide which Madagascar tour is right for you.

Specific departure dates as following (or tailor made upon request)

Departure dates 2021:
11 March and 27 March
13 April and 29 April
13 May
1 June and 17 June
3 July and 20 July
5 August and 21 August
7 Sept and 23 Sept
9 Oct and 26 Oct
11 Nov and 27 Nov

Departure dates 2022:
19 February
8 March and 24 March
9 April

Price Includes

  • English-speaking Tour Manager on the bike Day 1 – 13
  • Bike rental
  • Mechanic (with a minimum of six cyclists)
  • Road book
  • Bike rental accordingly reservation
  • Hotels in double or twin rooms with private facilities, depending on availability
  • Full board on Day 2 to Day 13
  • Half-board on Day 14 to Day 15
  • Breakfast on 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
  • Airport transfers and day-use on Day 16

Price Excludes

  • All other drinks
  • Mineral water on non-cycling days
  • Additional beach activities etc.
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Health insurance
  • Intercontinental and inland Flights
  • Personal expenses

Itinerary

Day 1ARRIVAL IN ANTANANARIVO

Today this group trip will start with a welcome meeting at the hotel in the capital during the evening hours where the group will be introduced to the tour guide and each other.

Accommodation: Orchid

Day 2ANTANANARIVO - ANTSIRABE (B, L, D)

By car, we travel to Antsirabe. 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 rural life. The surrounding area of Antsirabe is also worth exploring; here and in Betafo are where 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 are presented with our bikes! An introductory ride is on the agenda, to get used to the bikes and the traffic.

Accommodations: Hotel des Thermes

Bus transfer and about 16 km cycling

Day 3ANDRAIKIBA - LAKE TRITRIVA - ANTSIRABE (B, L, D)

The lakes should not be missed when you pass through Antsirabe; the two best-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 Andraikiba first, approximately 10km from the city. Previously, this lake was an important centre for watersport activities. You may cycle the 5km circumference of the lake by simply following the little path.

After Andraikiba, we continue the enjoyment of our mountain bike. We will follow a track to reach another lake that is more spectacular and full of myth: Lake Tritriva. Even before reaching it, we can see  Mount Tritriva emerging from the village of Belazao. This crater lake with its volcanic landscape is formed by deep and impressive drops. Nestled at an altitude of about 1880m in the hollow of a small mountain, we enjoy our picnic lunch.

Accommodations: Hotel des Thermes

About 59 km including 30 km dirt road

Day 4ANTSIRABE - AMBOSITRA (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we cycle further south on the hilly road to Ambositra. Farmers can grow rice on the terraces we pass up to three times per year. Ambositra is the home of the Zafimaniry woodcarving.

We will stay at a nice hotel in the outskirts of the town.

Accommodations: La Piscine Escapade

About 95 km tarmac

Day 5AMBOSITRA - RANOMAFANA (B, L, D)

We will start the day by paying a short visit to the woodcarvers in town. Thereafter we will be transferred by vehicle to Ialatsara camp. From there, we start cycling again! We will ride to Ambohimahasoa. A spectacular ride through a very beautiful valley below towering granite boulders. After two climbs on the short tar section, we will ride off the 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.

Accommodations: Cristo

About 64 km including 21 km dirt road, two-hour bus transfer

Day 6RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK (B, L, D)

We will start with a walking trek in the Ranomafana rainforest, where we will find many birds, frogs, lemurs, and other species. We may hope to see Red-bellied lemurs, Red-fronted lemurs, and the Diadema Sifaka, although nowadays the Golden bamboo Lemur and the Broad-nosed gentle Lemur are more difficult to find. This park is also rich with orchids, tree ferns with flora, palms, mosses, trumpet flowers, and trees of giant bamboo. Lots to see and take in!

Accommodations: Cristo

Day 7RANOMAFANA - SAHAMBAVY (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we drive back to Vohiparara, and from there we start to cycle. During the trip, we will see local people selling piles of sand harvested from the nearby river, as well as women weaving baskets. On a good gravel road, we will reach our hotel in the centre of a tea-growing area. We can visit the Sahambavy Tea Estate, the only tea plantation in Madagascar, if possible. The tea estate was created in 1970, set in a pretty valley beside Lake Sahambavy; it 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.

Accommodations: Lac Hotel

About 44 km, including 20 km dirt road

Day 8SAHAMBAVY - AMBALAVAO (B, L, D)

Today, 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 the most beautiful views of the valleys. Shortly before arrival, there are a few long distances uphill.

Alternatively, we can cycle from the hotel to Ambalavao on a mostly undulating dirt road for about 44 km. The car cannot follow us 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 very curious about meeting us.

Accommodations: Aux Bougainvillées

About 80 km mostly tarmac, alternatively 63 km dirt road

Day 9AMBALAVAO - ANJÀ PARK - TSARANORO (B, L, D)

In Ambalavao, we visit the traditional Antaimoro papermakers. The origin of the copper-coloured paper that feels like fine, silky wallpaper is far back into the past. We leave this busy little town to head further south. The landscape changes into open grassland savannah with enormous granite mountains popping up. Bizarre landscapes of towering cliffs await us in the small nature reserve of Anja. Anja has the most beautiful views, 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.

Accommodations: Tsara Camp

About 54 km, including 20 km dirt road

Day 10HIKE IN ANDRINGITRA MASSIF (B, L, D)

Today we take a hike in the Andringitra massif, with a climb to the ‘chameleon’ mountain. You will be able to recognize the shape of a chameleon in the rock. After encountering villages, rice fields, and hills we will now reach some forests. Maybe we’ll even see lemurs! The mountains with their steep volcanic rock cliffs very suddenly emerge. 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.

Accommodations: Tsara Camp

Day 11TSARANORO RANOHIRA (B, L, D)

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. After that, we drive to Ihosy and, from there, we continue to the plateau of Horombe, where 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.

Accommodations: Orchidée de l’Isalo

About 95 km including 20 km dirt road

Day 12ISALO NATIONAL PARK (B, L, D)

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.

Accommodations: Orchidée de l’Isalo

Day 13RANOHIRA - TULEAR - IFATY - MADIORANO - AMBOLIMAILAKA (B, L, D)

We drive by bus in a southern direction to Toliara (Tuléar), the end of the National Road 7. On the way, we will see the iconic and impressive Baobab trees. We will 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 back on our bikes for the last part of our trip. We cycle to Ifaty, Madiorano, and Ambohimailaka, which are all small fishing villages. Here, the warm Indian Ocean invites us for a swim. In the evening we will celebrate the end of our bike tour! After dinner, your tour manager says ‘Goodbye’.

Accommodations: Belle vue

About 54 km

Day 14 - 15IFATY (B, D)

We relax and swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. At the coral reef, we can discover colourful plants and fish while snorkelling. If you would like to see more of the unique plant life, then take a walk to a nearby Nature Reserve; this park is known for its variety of Baobab trees.

Accommodations: Belle vue

Day 16IFATY - TULEAR - ANTANANARIVO (B)

Today you will be transferred to the airport of Tulear in order to catch the domestic flight to Antananarivo. In Tana, you will be able to enjoy a day-use of Chez Jeanne hotel. You will be transferred to the airport to take your international flight with, hopefully, some unforgettable memories!

Map

Sustainable Tourism

Mora Travel dedicates itself to organizing ‘sustainable’ trips to Madagascar every day. Sustainability is very important to us! By organizing these trips, we believe our travelers can experience Madagascar and enjoy everything that the country has to offer. And because you are traveling with us, we can contribute to preserving biodiversity and endemicity and giving local people in Madagascar a real chance.

Madagascar is not an easy destination to promote sustainable tourism as the logistics in remote areas are often very basic, the options are limited, and many resources are hard to get by. There aren’t always sustainable options, but wherever possible we opt for the most sustainable choice. Nevertheless, we do promote responsible travel to lessen our negative impact on our destination as much as possible.

This means we work together with partners that are environmentally conscious (renewable energy, sustainable waste management) while also looking after the social and economic wellbeing of the local people. We give preference to local Malagasy accommodations, businesses or for example parks that employ local staff under good conditions, that use mainly local products and/or are engaged in community initiatives. This means that the hotels during the trip are a real mix of very simple and luxury hotels depending on the criteria mentioned above.

We also contribute to reforestation. To compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions of all tourists who travel with us, we plant trees. The purpose of planting trees is to house animals, because they have less and less place to live because of deforestation. We still have a long way to go, but we feel that making this a choice and communicating this to our partners will help create a larger sustainable tourism community in the long run.