Madagascar cycling holiday
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.
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PlanetAccommodation 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.
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.
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.
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