Bike and Hike Wild Madagascar

DestinationsMadagascar
Tour MeetsAntananarivo, Madagascar
Tour EndsToliara, Madagascar
Fly in toIvato International Airport (TNR)
Fly out ofToliara Airport (TLE)
Group Size2-16 riders
Minimum Age18 (on scheduled departures)
519kmTotal cycling distance
58kmAvg distance / day
613mAvg climbing / day

Trip Profile

This journey is a multi-activity tour consisting of 519 km of riding and up to 50 km of hiking. This trip is recommended for confident and physically fit riders looking for a challenging experience with a variety of off-road activities.

Although for some riders the journey may at first seem overwhelming, the rewards for your effort are priceless. It will also have lasting memories once you have made up your mind to get in the saddle, and those adventurous minds are sure to make the most of their time on this one-of-a-lifetime expedition.

Suitability: The majority of this trip takes place off road, so we recommend that participants be physically fit and confident riding on rough terrain. In addition, as this cycling adventure is complimented by two days of hiking through rugged terrain, a moderate level of physical fitness will be an asset.

Biking Conditions: The off-road portions of this trip are offset by flat tarmac and hard-packed roads. While the trails are generally smooth, some sections have loose gravel and sandy patches that could prove hazardous to riders. Additionally, as some of the descents can be rocky, extra caution is recommended.

What's Included

  • SpiceRoads jersey
  • Water bottle
  • Support vehicle
  • Guide(s)
  • Meals (as indicated)
  • Accommodation
  • Snacks and drinks

What's Excluded

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Airport pick up
  • Airport drop off
  • Visa fees
  • Alcohol
  • Tips

Nuts & Bolts

Bikes

Because some people can't imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, we do not provide them as part of this tour. However, you can hire bikes locally for the price listed in the tour pricing section. The bikes are Carraro mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, in good mechanical order.

Bike Repairs

Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.

Safety

Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.

Guides

You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.

The Nitty Gritty

Passports and Visas

A valid passport and visa are required for all nationalities to enter Madagascar. However, for those staying fewer than 30 days a visa on arrival can be obtained at the Antananarivo Airport for 35USD, provided that their passport is valid at least six months from the date of entry. Please go here for more information.

Health

No vaccinations are required. However, it is encouraged to consult your physician if you need any preventive medication before you travel.

Weather

Dominated by the southern trade winds from the Indian Ocean Madagascar has two seasons, a warm, wet season (November – April); and a dry, cool season (May – October). However, due to its geographic setting this island country has a variety of climatic patterns – tropical in the north, temperate in the central, and arid in the south. Although the western and southwestern parts are hot in the summer, the weather is warm, with blue skies and a lot of sunshine during the winter months. Also note that in the central highlands the weather can get fairly chilly in the day and cold at night, so warm clothing is highly recommended.

Food

Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Malagasy cuisine incorporates many ingredients and culinary techniques in its dishes that reflect Southeast Asian, African and European influences. With rice as the main staple most meals consist of local dishes that include curries, soups, and salads, and we will make sure you sample as much variety as possible. Be sure to try Akoho Sy Voanio, a chicken dish made juicy and aromatic with coconut, tomato, onion, garlic and ginger. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.

Drink

Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer is freely available everywhere in Madagascar, but is NOT included in the price.

Solo Travelers

SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.

Extra Expenses

We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$20, for incidentals. It is customary to tip local tour guides and drivers, however, the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive.

Money

Madagascar's currency is the Malagasy ariary (AR) and is used throughout the country. Euros are also widely accepted, with US dollars occasionally accepted in the capital, major cities and tourist attractions. However, while ATMs are available in Antananarivo and other major towns, you are allowed to draw only around €150 per transaction. In addition, as credit cards are not widely accepted except at a few luxury hotels, upscale restaurants, Air Madagascar offices and travel agencies, it is recommended you have enough cash on hand. The most useful card is Visa, with MasterCard welcomed only in some stores. Visa and MasterCard can also be used to get cash advances (in ariary) at the banks which also change travellers cheques and cash in major currencies. Ivato Airport also has a foreign-exchange counter offering exchange rates as good as those at the banks, and is quite convenient for tourists upon their arrival to the country, but be sure to count your money immediately so that you haven’t been short changed as there have been a number of reports of fraud committed by its staff.

General booking info

Booking

If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions

From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.

Deposit

For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.

Balance

Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.

Cancellation Policy

On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.

Loyalty Riders Club

For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.

International Flights

International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.

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