Day 1 Tana – Ambatolampy 44 miles
We will begin our long trip, just outside the capital to avoid the traffic and the consequent smog. The national road 7 is a beautiful road and easy to cycle. En route, many rice fields, hills and typical houses of the highlands. At around midday, we’ll pick our spot for a delicious light picnic: avocados, salad, tomatoes, cucumber, bread etc. You tell us your preference, we will make sure there will always be plenty of it. Our first stop is Ambatolampy where we should arrive early in the afternoon. Time for a shower and if we are early enough, we will visit Madagascar’s main pot casting little factories.
Day 2 Ambatolampy – Antsirabe 62 miles
The second day after a light breakfast, we will start a little earlier. Today the scenery will not change much from the previous day, just a few extra miles to cycle. Again, good road ahead of us. We should arrive in Antsirabe before dark.
Day 3 Antsirabe – Lake Tritriva – Antsirabe 26 miles
We will set off early after breakfast, and cycle west towards Lake Tritriva. Here the road is dusty and bumpy, but when you arrive the panorama and the sight are incredible. The Lake itself is one of the most beautiful Volcanic Lake in the world. Return to Antsirabe by early afternoon in time for lunch. Afternoon at leisure by the pool of your hotel or to visit this lively little town on a pousse pousse.
Day 4 Antsirabe – Ambositra 56 miles
Again on the road to the Great South. Our destination today is Ambositra, center of Madagascar’s wood carving industry. If you are after some gifts to take back home, this is the place for you. We should arrive by early afternoon. We should arrive to our next stop before dark. Dinner and overnight in Ambositra.
Day 5 Ambositra – Ranomafana 81 miles
One of our longest day, make sure you eat breakfast but stay light. We might need help from our car that follows us, the road before Fianarantsoa is where RN7 is at its worst. Half way through we’ll stop for lunch. After lunch, you will notice that climate conditions and landscapes change from dry to humid, all within a few miles. If we are up for it, just after dark and after a pleasant shower we will do a short night walk by the edge of the park with one of the guides. You will be able to see some amazing little creatures at work in the darkness. Dinner and overnight in Ranomafana.
Day 6 Ranomafana National Park
The whole day is dedicated to Ranomafana NP. No cycling to do today, but by no means a resting day. We will do a 6 hours hike into the park to admire some of the most beautiful rainforest left in the world. We’ll see our first lemurs of our voyage.
Day 7 Ranomafana – Ambalavao 76 miles
Back on the road with our bicycles. We will soon start descending altitude, hence the temperature will commence to rise. The road is quite good and after a day of “rest” we should make it in 6/7 hours, excluding our stop for the picnic.
Day 8 Ambalavao – Andringitra National Park (Camp Catta) – Anja Reserve 60 miles
Small day ahead of us, we will “only” cycle 38 miles…but before our 4 hours trail of the Andringitra National Park. The Andringitra National Park, is one of the most spectacular parks of Madagascar and you will be blown away by its granite peaks and dome, reaching an altitude of almost 9000ft. We will take you to the foot of the sacred Riandahy drop (1000 ft high) and visit the cave of Ijajofo hidden under a forest. This circuit will last 4 hours and you will see why this is considered the most scenic National Park of Madagascar
Day 9 Anja Reserve – Ihosy 85 miles
Our longest day! Before we commence our ride, we will visit the magnificent Anja Community Reserve. Amazing scenery of rice fields, intriguing plants huge rocks and several ring-tailed lemurs are awaiting for you. After a short visit to the Reserve, we will continue south to Ihosy, a town whose role is to feed and accommodate those going south to Toulear
Day 10 Ihosy – Ranohira 62 miles
Breakfast and another long day on the road. After Ihosy the RN7 that crosses the Plateau, look monotonous, but the road is probably at its best shape. Our usual light picnic awaits us at around midday. Nearer to Ranohira, beautiful palms start appearing along the road and the scenery enlivens. We have now arrived in the area of the National Park of Isalo
Day 11 Isalo NP
Today, another breathtaking National Park of Madagascar. The National Park of Isalo is truly a unique park with incredibly diverse landscapes, including prairie-like grasslands, mountains, deep canyons and tropical oases with picturesque waterfalls dropping into inviting blue pools of cool (COLD) water. You may consider taking a dip after a long hike, here temperatures can easily reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit before midday. Wear good walking shoes and bring plenty of water. Before sunset we will head to the famous Window of Isalo, a rock formation for one of the best sunset photo opportunities of the tour.
Day 12 Ranohira – Zombsite National Park 68 miles
We will continue our route southwards towards Toulear. Zombsite NP is our next stop. With a picnic en route we should arrive before dark. Should we arrive before dark, we could have a small visit of this seldom visited spiny forest.
Day 13 Zombsite – Toulear 81 miles then to Ifaty by car
After breakfast, last push as our final destination is in sight. Still 80 miles though. As we get closer to the sea, humidity and high temperatures make this last stretch of road even harder. Before entering Toulear, we will secure our bikes and drive our way to our last stop: Ifaty. After 700 miles, in a little over a week, you deserve a week break.
Day 14-19 Ifaty
One week long break, on a full board basis. Ifaty is a lovely seaside resort area where you will enjoy amazing seafood, sunbathing by the beach and swim in warm beautiful clean water. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing…it can all be done here. And don’t forget to pay a visit to the nearby Reniala Forest, a wonderful spiny forest home to many plants and animal endemic to this area.
Day 20 Ifaty – Toulear
Before midday, we depart to Toulear airport to catch your flight back to Tana. Our services end here.
- Car with English speaking driver ready to assist you at all times
- Bicycles (any other gear such helmets, gloves etc… not included)
- Tourist class hotels on a full board basis
- All mentioned excursions with National Park entrances and local guides
- Transfers from and to Airports
- All drinks
- All activities in Ifaty
- All flights, International and Domestic
Air Madagascar flies Toulear – Antananarivo daily with different times depending on the day of the week. The cost of the flight TLE – TNR one way is about $220 pp (Nov 2016). Many visitors buy the international flight with Air Madagascar to get a discount for domestic flights. You MUST purchase of both the international and the domestic flight at the same time in order to get the discount.
In case you want to avoid the domestic flight, and save some money ($400), we also offer the trip back to Antananarivo by the car, 600 miles along the “route seven”. The cost of this service is of $140 for two people, that includes the hotel in Ambalavao (with the possibility of a short tour of Anja Private reserve – at extra cost). The trip Ifaty – Antananarivo will be done in two stages: Ifaty – Ambalavao 9 hours and Ambalavao – Antananarivo 9 hours.
During this tour, we will travel a distance of about 1000 miles by car. Here below the approximate time of each leg:
Antananarivo – Antsirabe 3 hours | Antsirabe – Miandrivazo 4 hours | Belo Tsiribihina – Bekopaka 3 hours | Bekopaka – Reserve of Kirindy 8 Hours | Reserve of Kirindy – Morondava 1 hours | Morondava – Belo sur Mer 4 hours | Belo sur Mer – Manja 8 hours | Manja – Morombe 7 hours | Morombe – Andavadoaka 2 hours | Andavadoaka – Salary 3 hours | Salary – Ifaty 4 hours | Ifaty – Tulear
Travelling over water:
This tour is for lovers of the sea and for the adventurous! For the crossing of the river Tsiribihina, we will use a small pirogue (individual dugout canoe). You will paddle with the current of the river, so your only concern is that of only guiding the canoe rather than pushing it. However, we recommend a minimum of training, sunscreen, sunglasses and a spirit of adventure. Also note that you will spend many hours on the dugouts and that they are not the most comfortable means of transport. We can provide you with a motorised boat upon request (extra $150 pp)
As for the visit of the surrounding islands of Belo sur Mer, we will use a modern speedboat. The crossings should not exceed 1 hour.
With a supplement of $300 pp we offer the trip on a small motor boat from Morondava to Ifaty. You have two extra day to spend by the beach. Here below the approximate timing of each leg by boat:
Morondava – Belo sur Mer 4 Hours | Belo sur Mer – 8 hours Morombe | Morombe – Andavadoaka 2 hours | Andavadoaka – 3 hours Salary | Salary – Ifaty 4 Hours | Ifaty – Toliara 1.5 hours
We all know, the unexpected can happen anywhere, a domestic flight cancellation, impassable road due to flooding, the car breaking down etc. We suggest you to spend an extra day in the capital before the international flight, to avoid unpleasant situations. The capital has many interesting sights to offer: the Lemurs’ Park; the Blue Hill of Ambohimanga (UNESCO site); the Rova princess on top of the city and the many markets spread across the city. Contact us for the extra day in the capital.