Madagascar cycling holiday

“A unique exploration of Madagascar by bike, with eight days in the saddle, plus time to explore national parks and beaches on a small group guided trip. Internal flights and vehicle support included.”

Highlights

Antananarivo | Lemur Park | Arivonimamo | cycle the volcanic Itasy region | geysirs of Analavory | Liliha waterfalls | cycle through traditional towns and villages | Antsirabe | Col de Tapia trees | Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar's wood carving industry | Zafimaniry woodcarving workshop | Fianarantsoa | Ambalavao centre of Madagascan wine industry | Anja nature reserve with see ring-tailed lemurs | Plateau de Horombe | Isalo National Park | Zombitse National Park | relax on Ifaty beach

Description of Madagascar cycling holiday

Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, offers a cycling adventure like no other. We pedal along largely quiet roads through a landscape of dramatic highland plains, unique rock formations and natural swimming pools. Visit lush rainforest with deep canyons and huge waterfalls and experience the island’s unique flora and fauna at every stage of the journey. Madagascar is also a nation rich in culture, with evidence of colonial settlers here alongside the many ethnic groups, each with fascinating traditions. This is the melting-pot that is Madagascar!

You cycle for eight days, exploring the scenery and visiting local villages where traditional crafts such as woodcarving, wine and paper making thrive. There are also two days out of the saddle to explore Ranomafana National Park, with its rain-forested hills and abundant wildlife, long considered one of Madagascar’s highlights. Finally, your cycling is rewarded by a day to relax on the idyllic white sand beach of Ifaty, scattered with palms and protected by an offshore coral reef.

This is a small group guided holiday, with 100% vehicle support. The trip follows a mixture of back roads and a few main roads, but Madagascar lacks heavy traffic in most areas. The roads are generally good, although some can be pot-holed, and as parts of Madagascar are mountainous there are a few tough climbs and long downhills. The average daily distance is 67km, so you’ll need to be moderately fit with an interest in remote and challenging environments.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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30 Sep 2017
£ 3059
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14 Oct 2017
£ 3059
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28 Oct 2017
£ 3059
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19 May 2018
£ 3149
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09 Jun 2018
£ 3199
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04 Aug 2018
£ 3649
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15 Sep 2018
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29 Sep 2018
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13 Oct 2018
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27 Oct 2018
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18 May 2019
£ 3199
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08 Jun 2019
£ 3249
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03 Aug 2019
£ 3699
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14 Sep 2019
£ 3249
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28 Sep 2019
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12 Oct 2019
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26 Oct 2019
£ 3199
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Madagascar cycling holiday

Accommodation and meals:
Throughout this trip we stay at a number of hotels all of which employ local staff meaning our guests are providing an income to the surrounding areas. Isalo Ranch and Hotel de la Plage are examples of places we stay that use solar panels, therefore reducing their environmental impact. All breakfasts are included in the tour price. Leaders will encourage the group to take lunch and dinner in local restaurants enabling their money to spread further within the local economy.

Community:
Clients have the opportunity in Ambositra to visit a woodcarving workshop, supporting one of the traditional Madagascan industries. The local architecture in the highlands is characterised by carved balconies and shutters, this art is listed on the UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage so our engagement assist with the continuation of this industry.

During the trip clients visit two community run projects/parks. Firstly we visit the Lilly waterfall in Ampefy where a small watermill generates electricity for part of the village. Later on we visit Anja Park which is near Ambalavao. The Park is 30 hectares and was designated a National Park in 1999. This managed forest and ecotourism site is home to ring-tailed lemurs as well as being steeped with native flora and fauna. These areas attract tourists and charge an entrance fee thus providing employment opportunities to the local community, the entrance fees go back to the community and into the maintenance and conservation of these areas.

Environment:
Half way through the trip we visit Ranomafana National Park, it covers approximately 400 km2 and is home to an abundance of wildlife and plants which are now largely protected from the logging of previous years. Towards the end of the trip we visit Isalo National park which protects an area of 815 km2. The proceeds from the entrance fees go back into protecting these amazing ecosystems.

Group size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size.

UK office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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