Madagascar hike & bike holiday

“Madagascar is a trekker’s paradise, with a rugged and lush interior composed of mountains, rainforest and volcanic lakes. Discover the island from a variety of angles.”

Highlights

Anatananarivo | Anatananarivo | Pousse-pousse rickshaw tour | Handicrafts workshop | Bicycle ride around Ambositra | Trekking and village tours around Zafimaniry | Sahambavy tea factory visit | Dugout canoe tour on the Matsiatra River | Trekking in Andringitra National Park | Peak Boby | Trekking in Isalo National Park | Zombitse National Park | Ifaty |

Description of Madagascar hike & bike holiday

Madagascar is one of the planet’s most exotic and unique destinations, teeming with incredible biodiversity, spectacular landscapes and its own distinct, French-infused personality. During a two-week small group tour you’ll explore the island in many different directions on foot, on two wheels and by canoe, with thrilling daily expeditions led by local guides. If you like a little adventure on your holidays then Madagascar will not disappoint.

Beginning in the capital, Anatananarivo, with its effervescent street markets, you’ll continue to Antsirabe, admiring the handsome colonial architecture here with a tour by pousse-pousee (rickshaw), and also take part in a fascinating handicrafts workshop.

After a few days immersed in Madagascan culture, head into the highlands around Antsirable with a series of energetic daily treks, visiting Zafimaniry villages to learn about ways of life in the rural countryside, picnicking and camping under canvas. You’ll need to be in reasonably good shape to cover distances of up to 21km in nine-hour treks on some days, but if you’re a fairly experienced walker then the pace shouldn’t be an issue. These are very sociable walks, as you get to know your group of up to around 16 people, and guide.

You’ll trek in beautiful national parks such as Isalo, Zombitse and Andringitra to see some of Madagascar’s famously diverse wildlife, keeping a close eye out for lemurs perching in the branches. Cycle out to a picturesque local lake for a day, try paddling a traditional dugout canoe on the Matsiatra River, swim beneath waterfalls and perhaps even drop into a tea estate, before finishing in the gorgeous beach resort of Ifaty on the southern coast – the perfect place to extend your trip by a few days perhaps.

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28 Apr 2019
£2250
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30 Jun 2019
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12 Apr 2020
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18 Oct 2020
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Madagascar hike & bike holiday

Environment

Travel offers the opportunity to experience different cultures, meet new people, taste weird and wonderful foods and – for many – to get close to wildlife. This trip is wildlife-focused and protecting both the animals and environment that form the unique Madagascan eco-system is an important part of touring here. We only use local guides who have an in-depth understanding of the flora and fauna of this island nation, and thanks to their superior knowledge, we don’t venture off marked paths or accidentally enter into protected areas. Plus, fees from the national parks we visit such as Isalo and Andranolava are put towards the protection of the lemurs living in them.
There’s a lot of camping included on this tour and this works two-fold. It provides a local economy for the communities running this activity and it minimises our carbon footprint, as the accommodation is under canvas only and no electricity is used. Waste is also collected, removed from the park and disposed of appropriately in the facilities provided.

Community

Our philosophy is to act local and that means respecting the local traditions. This trip visits the Zafimaniry people who lead a simple and rudimentary life. They earn their living from agriculture and woodcarving trades. This local balance is very fragile, therefore visiting this area requires a responsible approach to tourism. We strongly advise against giving money or gifts directly to the local people and children, especially as a large portion of our trekking costs are contributed to the local community.
Touring the area of Antsirabe there’s an opportunity to visit and support local artisans like Miniature Mamy, which is run by Mr and Mrs Rajamason. It’s here that they create small works of art from recycled waste, such as cans, pieces of electric wire, bottle caps and more. The recycling of waste is a very important activity in Madagascar, both for the conditions of poverty and because most of the new materials should be imported at a high price.

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