Bike tour on the Red Island
Individual tour or small group with maximum of eight participants
Our group starts on Thursday, 14 May and 29 October 2020 in Antananarivo
Or as individual at your preferred date
During this tour, we travel a lot by bike. During 12 days and 11 nights from the highland to the tropical East coast. The road leads to the villages of the highland, passing the green landscape to the sea. We get an experience, we see the local people working in the rice fields and see plantations with tropical fruits. Add to that the magic flora and fauna of Madagascar. We ride almost on tarmac road but occasionally on dirt road too. You bike, you play golf or tennis, and you drive on a boat. This bike tour is an unforgettable experience.
Rental free for the bike 200 Euro
Rental free for the E-bike TBA
Single supplement 590 Euro
Flight Toamasina- Antananarivo on request
Stevens Mira Stevens
Rock Machine Torrent 70 and Cube Attention,
29“ or 27,5“ frame, 30 courses, Shimano Deore or higher, front fork 100 mm Rock Shox or SR Suntour
From / to Antananarivo
Duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Ride: 7 days and short stretch
Distance around: around 420 km, around 35 km dirt road
National park: Andasibe-Mantadia National park
Private Park: Exotic Reptile Farm
Beach: One day
Best Saison: April till November
For this tour, a domestic flight is required, which is not included in the tour price.
You should be a good cyclist and have team spirit
The proposed hotels and lodges:
(The information comes usually from the hotel or a third party).
The hotels are listed according to the place and are upper middle class hotels, boutique hotels, fine 3-star hotels or comfortable lodges with a special flair. If there are exceptions is it simple and authentic accommodation with the maximum comfort for the region. In these cases, it is the best hotel to stay. The standard of accommodation is not the same as in Europe or other countries.
Madagascar is among the third world country, and the tourism is not yet fully developed. They should be prepared or changes in the itinerary or hotels until the last minute. The weather conditions (rain or cyclones) can submerge whole areas of land or destroy bridges. The airplanes fly, trains do not always run on time- sometimes not at all. The stage of the roads and the hotels are not the same as we have in Europa. Please, take a sense of adventure. Madagascar is a developing country and we come in the partly in remote area where hotels, infrastructure and travel services often go through a development process. Be aware of the fact that people in the country you visit often have a different view and that their way of thinking is often different from yours. Please be ready to leave your conform zone. Discover the real Madagascar- this is a challenge.
The landscapes of the vast island continent of Madagascar are diverse, ranging from arid zones in the south of the island, to savannah to the west and the north, Tropical Mountain and rainforests to the east and northeast to temperate subtropical areas in the central highlands. We discover the east tropic on our tour.
The stage is ready. Leave your certainties aside. After setting foot on Malagasy soil, the world at home will not be the same. In the country, only one bike you can carry. Each trail leads to nice place. It is unforgettable to ride a bike between the sky and the earth, in the other moment and other world.
This tour has a specificity…
The people of Madagascar are friendly and smiler. We go far into the region; we go to search the gap difference between the cultures. We can learn a different cultures and places. We give our feeling for the culture and custom of Madagascar. We enjoy our interaction with different cultural groups in a spirit of respect and understanding. This shows the difference.
From the city Antananarivo to the tropic beach of Mahavelona (Foulpointe), we ride about 420 km
Bike excursion in the surroundings of Antananarivo
Imerintsiatosika Lemurs Park
Exotic Reptile Farm
Andasibe-Mantadia National park
Discovery the Mahavelona beach (Foulpointe)
Towns: Antananarivo – Moramanga – Brickaville – Toamasina (Tamatave) – Mahavelona (Foulpointe)
Arrival in Antananarivo
You will be picked up to the airport, transfer to the hotel. You meet with your guide in the course of this day. Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar. The name is mostly cut to Tana. Many steep hills have been favoured for strategic reasons by the then queens and kings. They had built their rules there with the Rova, the castle and the village for the citizens. This has become the largest city in the country. Antananarivo is an enchanting collection of colourful houses, often strangely crooked on the slopes. Sloping roofs, weathered brick walls and dilapidated wooden shacks thrust daringly into and over each other, as to prevent each other from slipping. The original face of the old town is characterize by the intertwining of small paths pedestrian walkways.
Antananarivo, the San Cristobal live closed to the Ivato airport. This hotel has air-conditioner and bathroom. With the garden, a terrace and a bar and free WLAN. All the room in the hotel has TV-cable and chicken. The rooms has a coffee machine, a fridge and a terrace.
Antananarivo – walking in Lemurs Park, around 65 km in the easier
Our first day in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. After the breakfast, we take our bike. Then, we do a picnic in Antananarivo’s surrounding. After, we lead in the west of the city. After 20 km, we go to the private park, the ‘Imerintsiatosika Lemurs Park’. This animal park, which is located in the surroundings of the capital, has set itself the goal of re-integrating the animals in their natural environment in a longer term. There is a small botanic garden too. Then, we return to Antananarivo and stay in our hotel in the city. Antananarivo extends over several hills. Everywhere we discover small stone houses, which mix with traditional houses from clay tiles and give the city still today a special flair. The focal point and the main shopping street is the arcade-lined and listed historic ‘Avenue de independence’ in the district of Analakely, ‘Little Forest’. The boulevard has become one of the most popular boulevards after renovating many houses and shops.
Antananarivo, La Varangue is a very nice hotel in authentic surrounding and have a vast central. The comfort of the rooms are with bathroom, TV, telephone, WLAN, safe coffer.
Antananarivo – Lac Mantasoa, about 85 km, including 30 km dirt road
We sit in the saddle in the morning in Antananarivo to start the tour. Then we leave this city and come to a spice periphery. We cycle in good tarmac road, the NR2 to the East, until Manjakandriana. We cycle within a nice landscape, we come to small nice places and we will see the rice field terraces. We ride until the small town of Manjakandriana. Now we get to a dirt road. We profit the nice landscape of the highland. We can find some Eucalyptus forest and the way we cycle is a contrast between green and red landscapes.
Mantasoa and its surrounding, about 40 km dirt road
Today we take a bike tour in the surroundings of Mantasoa Lake. Then we an excursion in the history back to the year 1837 and visit the old constructions of Jean Laborde. He was a French shipwrecked adventurer, who acquired the favour of the ruler of the period. In the afternoon, we can see the small Island Nosy Soa, where we may find some Lemurs, or frogs. Alternatively, you can ride a horse, enjoy a massage or even hike somewhere else. Mantasoa Lake and its surroundings provide many opportunities for recreation, sport, relaxation and recreation. In Mantasoa, we enjoy the special culinary of the country.
Mantasoa, Ermitage. This hotel is founded in a green place, covered by a pine forest and closed of the lake. Restaurant, bar. Sport, massage-salon, tennis place, volleyball, basketball, tennis’s table, water sport, picnic with the boat. There, all is possible. When you do not want to do a sportive activates, you can profit a massage in the hotel.
Mantasoa – Moramanga, about 62 km
In the morning, we ride the first13 kilometres on dirt road and return to the National road 2. From there, we cross a green rainforest zone, direction to Moramanga. We come to the rice fields and typical Betsimisaraka houses, in which the ethnic group lives. For the rest of the morning, the terrain and the road are flat; sometimes it is windy and hilly. The fast descent from Mandraka brings us on winding road finally to the Exotic Reptile Farm. Probably, the best place to observe chameleons, frogs, lizards and even boas. For a while, we drive alongside the railway line and occasionally we should see one of the freight trains. Some kilometres from there, we arrive in Moramanga, a town that has a meaning in the recent history of Madagascar. Here was one of the starting points of the uprising of 1947, an (unsuccessful) revolt against the French colonial rulers. The region is rural, but at the same time, it has populated area. Later, we come to our hotel.
Moramanga, here is the Bezanozano, a hotel is equipped of local style, it lives on the centre of the city, with restaurant and swimming pool. A good way, to get to know the local people and discover the city.
Moramanga – Andasibe, about 31 km
In the morning, we look around in Moramanga. The ‘Musée de la gendarmerie’ in Moramanga displays the history of Malagasy authorities since the origin. The bandwidth ranges from before colonization to nowadays. We learn about the interesting culture and way of life. Then we cycle to the rain forest, on a good undulated tarmac road. This same day, we cycle to the rainforest where we can see some rain forest. Still a few thousand years ago, 90% of Madagascar had been covered of forest. Nowadays only 10% is remained. Madagascar has become the country with probably the highest rate of endemic animal and plant species in the world – most cannot find that only here and nowhere on earth. The Lemur is the most famous of that.
Andasibe-Mantadia National park, about 34 km dirt road
We start with a short cycling to Andasibe-Mantadia National park. Then we go search the famous Indri Indri in the Analamazaotra reserve. We follow the strange calls and hope to meet a whole family. Then we have opportunities to find more Lemurs and different plants. We look for the different species of Lemurs, birds and other animals like reptiles and frogs. The Indri delimits its territory with an extraordinary cry. The primate characterised by the stubby tail and short coat, may get up to 60 years. The Indri lives in a narrow strip between the east coast and the highlands, loosing terrain every year. The region Andasibe is one of this last retreat. We do not keep our eyes only to the Lemurs, the rainforest still have different interesting flora and fauna to discover that we appreciate too. 70% or more of endemic flora and fauna in Madagascar we can find only here and nowhere else in the world. After lunch, we cycle with our bikes to the north to the Mantadia Park. There we do a hike around the primary forest, and then we come back with our bike. The primary forests of Andasibe-Mantadia are dense forest with trees of impressive height, moist moss, ferns, and many species of orchids that bloom in the northern winter. Other native plants in this area are for example Pandanus, the Ravinala palm, bamboos and teak or ebony. The ecosystem is very sensitive.
Andasibe, Lemur Lodge, spacious, clear bungalow with nice view of the big garden. The each rooms and bungalows have a small terrace, where you can relax after the tour in the park. The hotel places a few kilometres from the villages of Andasibe.
Andasibe – Manambato – Ankanin‘ ny Nofy, about 40 km, including seven km difficult dirt road, about 70 km Bus transfer and one hour Boot transfer
Today is a very active day, we cycle, transfer by bus and we take a motorboat transfer. During the breakfast, we may hear the call of the Indri out there. Then we cycle more with our bike. The temperature changes now and it gets warmer and humid. We drive in long way a panoramic and nice view. Along our road, we cycle in the rainforest; we can see many typical fruits plantations of the East coast, like banana, litchi and mango. Seeing the originality and life in the villages is an experience. After our mobile lunch buffet, we drive by bus to get to Brickaville, and then still some kilometres remaining. The last 7 km, we cycle our bike and take the direction to the lake. We do a strain to pass the bumpy dirt road to come to the village of Manambato to the Rasoabe Lake. There, we start the transfer by motor boat on the Canal de Pangalanes, an artificial waterway, connecting some lakes.
Ankanin’ ny Nofy, Palmarium here you will find traditional and comfortable bungalow. The entire bungalows has a bathroom and terrace, live your day to have a contact with the nature and the wave.
Palmarium visit – Ankanin‘ ny Nofy – Canal des Pangalanes – Toamasina, Boat transfer
In the morning, we walk in the reserve and with a little luck we can see little frogs, harmless See snakes, lizards, chameleons and geckos. The Palmarium is famous for its high number of Lemurs as Indri, Sifaka, Black and white Vari, Crown and Moorish Maki. The terrain is overgrown with a dense rainforest. An artificially created area with orchids is in the corresponding season an eye-catcher in the otherwise largely natural area. We can also admire the carnivorous pitcher plant. After lunch, we continue with the motorboat. Gradually, the landscape slowly moves past us, while time seems to move very slowly. While we are on the Canal de Pangalanes, we see rice and spice plantations sliding by. We continue to Toamasina now. This is the second largest city and has the largest port in the country.
Toamasina, Victoria Beach lives near the beach. This hotel has swimming pool, a restaurant and bar. WLAN is available.
Toamasina (Tamatave) – Mahavelona (Foulpointe), about 63 km
We continue our bike tour after breakfast. Wide, palm-lined avenues, one several kilometers long beach promenade and numerous large villas in the midst of tropical Gardens await us. We leave the bustling city heading north past the airport. We cross some bridges and rivers. The way is flat and the traffic decreases noticeably. We see the first sand dunes along the coast and drive past small seaside resorts. A Lagoon separates the road from the coast. Mahavelona is a popular seaside resort on the eastern side Coast of Madagascar. Here ends our bike tour and now there is relaxation and recreation popular. We can now forget all the hardships and celebrate our success.
A free day in the see and its surrounding and a very nice beach. The beach has a coral reef, so that it is possible to do some activities like swimming, snorkelling. The lagoon is very nice and very clear; it is possible to see the flora and fauna in the floor of the see. You can walk or swim with sunny day and paradisiac surrounding. About the program: relax and take a rest under the sun, walking in the warm beach ant tasting the see’s fruits or play golf.
Mahavelona (Foulpointe), the Azura Golf Resort and Spa provides a spice and comfortable. It lives in a green and spice place, has a restaurant and spa, massage, sauna,… this hotel has modern construction. There are Sport conception, walking, golf, volleyball, football and in play in garden and some activities.
Mahavelona – Toamasina – Antananarivo
The least day. Today is the transfer back to Toamasina and take a flight to go back to the capital Antananarivo. – End of the performance in the airport.-
Would you want to have more experience? Stay some days, or discover the tropic island Nosy Bora (Sainte Marie)? Please tell us.
Photos: © Momotas Sarl, Antsirabe by courtesy of our riders