Cycle Madagascar

15 days
from
£2,949
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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 17 reviews >
Trip code: 
MZG
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
18
Group size:
4–16

An adventure rich in culture and discovery through unforgettable Madagascar

Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, offers a cycling adventure like no other. We journey on largely quiet roads through a landscape of dramatic highland plains, unique rock formations and natural swimming pools. We pause to visit the lush chain of rainforest in the Ranomafana National Park with deep canyons and huge waterfalls. Apart from its natural treasures the nation is also rich in culture and the many ethnic groups with fascinating traditions contribute to the melting-pot that is Madagascar. Our cycling is rewarded by a day to relax on the idyllic white sand beach of Ifaty on the coast, scattered with palms and protected by an offshore coral reef.

Highlights

  • Lush agricultural land of the north with paddy fields and fruit orchards
  • Ambositra, the arts and crafts capital of Madagascar
  • Isalo National Park, with its amazing rock formations, and natural swimming holes
  • Dense rainforest and cascading falls of Ranomafana National Park
  • White sand beaches of the fisherman’s village of Ifaty
  • Cycling through vilages

Key information

  • 11 nights standard and 1 night comfortable hotels
  • 8 days cycling with 100% vehicle support
  • Mostly surfaced roads, a few rough sections

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader/support staff throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Average 77km/day (48 miles)

Day by day breakdown
Day 372.0km/44.0miles
Day 454.0km/33.0miles
Day 538.0km/23.0miles
Day 684.0km/52.0miles
Day 774.0km/45.0miles
Day 956.0km/34.0miles
Day 1090.0km/55.0miles
Day 1265.0km/40.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    Overnight flight from London to Antananarivo.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Antananarivo.

    Our adventure starts in Antananarivo. The group flights usually arrive mid-afternoon. There will be a group meeting and briefing in the evening followed by an optional group dinner in the hotel for those that would like to join.

    Accommodation: Au Bois Vert Lodge or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 3

    Transfer to Lemur park; continue along wide open roads, cycling the best sections, to Ampefy.

    Leaving the hotel after breakfast we transfer out of the busy city to the Lemurs Park to encounter these primates which are endemic to Madagascar. Lemurs Park is a private park with a few species of lemur living freely in a forested area. After the visit to the park, we start cycling through scenic farmland with plenty of rice paddy fields. After lunch in Arivonimamo, we will transfer through a highland region to the top of a mountain pass before continuing the ride downhill to Miarinarivo, the capital of the Itasy, a region known its volcanic activity. The road levels out and the following 32km to Ampefy offer reaching views and are a real joy to ride. In Ampefy the lakeside hotel is our base for the next two nights.

    Cycle approx. 72km.

    Accommodation: Hotel Kavitaha or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Ride to dramatic geysers of Analavory; to waterfalls of Lily river.

    We start today by cycling to the geysirs of Analavory. These limestone mounds are similar to geysirs found in Utah and Nevada; volcanic activity encourages bursts of warm water to cascade down the bright yellow stone and create a series of pools, often used by the locals for swimming due to the belief of the healing powers of the water. The ride starts on a decent road but the 16km route out and back to the geysirs is along a bumpy dirt track, linking up some fascinating small rural villages. Re-joining the new tar road we head back towards Ampefy, but before reaching the hotel we will take a small detour to the Liliha waterfalls, a dramatic series of cascades that provide a perfect way to refresh near the end of a full day of cycling. This stretch is also on dirt road.

    Cycle approx. 54km (26km on dirt road).

    Accommodation: Hotel Kavitaha or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    A long day cycling through traditional towns and villages; overnight Antisirabe.

    Although relatively short, today’s ride is fairly challenging with varied terrain. We cycle the first 20km to Soavinandriana through scenic landscape with some hilly sections, including a steady 4km climb up to the town itself. The road levels out and we continue our undulating ride through spectacular scenery before a great descent which crosses the river at the small village of Kelivody. Here we will load up the bikes to drive across a high mountain pass to the town of Faratsiho. From here the road deteriorates dramatically and we will need 4X4 vehicles to pass the 47km stretch to Sambaina. This is an adventurous drive passing through a region that is rarely visited by tourists and provides a unique insight into the lives of those who live along the route. From Sambaina we re-join the tarmac for the final drive to Antisarabe. The entire transfer is likely to take up to 5 hours, but we will stop regularly to stretch the legs and have a look around. Antsirabe is an elegant city founded by Norwegian’s in 1856. It has a temperate climate and has a very European look and feel about it, including the local beer industry that makes it famous.

    Cycle approx. 38km.

    Accommodation: Plumeria Hotelor similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Ride to Ambositra, famous for its craft and woodwork.

    Departing Antsirabe we start with a very short transfer to Vinanikarena to avoid the hectic morning traffic within the city. This is a long day’s cycling with a few undulations including a 4km climb to the ‘Col de Tapia’, a type of tree resistant to bush fires that makes for some interesting scenery. The support vehicle is with us all day so a rest is available if needed. Today’s destination is Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar's wood carving industry. The highlands are characterised by its architecture; the houses are made with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with bright colours. Upon arrival, depending on timings, we may visit a Zafimaniry woodcarving workshop to learn all about this local art that is listed on the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage (if there isn’t sufficient time today then the visit will take place the following morning).

    Cycle approx. 84km.

    Accommodation: Artisan Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To Ranomafana; thrilling descent through ravine canyon and rainforest.

    We have a lot of ground to cover today to get to the famed Ranomafana National Park. We’ll start the day with a transfer to Camp Robin before riding towards Ambohimahasoa. The landscape is still dominated by rice fields, pine forests, eucalyptus trees and jagged mountains. The last section, from Vohiparara, cruises downhill through a ravine canyon, with a tremendous view of the Namorona River and the rainforest, to our final destination of Ranomafana, our base for the next 2 nights.

    Cycle approx. 74km.

    Accommodation: Hotel le Grenat or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Full day to explore the national park by foot; natural thermal baths and nocturnal walk.

    We have a day off the saddle today to explore Ranomafana National Park (approximately 40,000ha). With its rain-forested hills and abundant wildlife this has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights, and is one of the most heavily visited of the country’s national parks. Its entrance lies about 7km from Ranomafana village. Altitudes in the park range from 800m to 1200m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterised by numerous small streams, which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the easternmost part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest. The morning will be spent walking through the park, learning about the abundant flora and fauna and in the early evening there will be the chance to go on a night-walk in the hope of spotting some the nocturnal lemurs and chameleons.


    Accommodation:Hotel le Grenat or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Cycle to cottage industries en route to the red-dust roads of Ambalavaro.

    We’ll start today with a 2 hour transfer to Fianarantsoa, which literally translates into ‘good education’ and is known locally as ‘the City where one learns good things’. It is regarded as the cultural and intellectual centre of Madagascar and is home to some of the oldest Protestant and Lutheran cathedrals on the island. We’ll start cycling here following a windy road to Ambalavao. Ambalavao is the centre of the Madagascan wine industry - the climate is said not to be ideal for grape vines but it is a tradition left by the priests and monks who lived in the area of Fianarantsoa. We climb a steady pass then enjoy a fabulous descent with great views before arriving in Ambalavao.

    Cycle approx. 56km.

    Accommodation:Tsienimparihy Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Continue through the hills and rock formations towards Horombe plateau.

    We’ll start cycling from the hotel today and pause to visit the small Anja nature reserve where we hope to see Ring-tailed Lemurs in their natural surroundings. Continuing on a straight road flanked by mountains we’ll head towards Ihosy, the capital of the Bara tribes. This nomadic tribe are shepherds to the prized Zebu cattle recognisable by their large horns. We’ll pass through the mountain chain of Andringitra, which serves as a transition between the dry south and the green highlands, with its famous ‘3 hillocks’ and its huge ‘archbishop's cape’. Along the way we’ll pass the ‘Bishop’s Hat’, a sacred place for local people as it is a place where their ancestors chose a collective suicide rather than to give in to the Merina tribes. On reaching the town of Zazafotsy we’ll jump on the bus for a transfer over the mountain-pass and then through the huge dessert-like ‘Plateau de Horombe’ famed for its deep red soil and sprawling savannah. Beyond the plateau we arrive in Isalo, our base for the next 2 nights.

    Cycle approx. 95km.

    Accommodation: Isalo Ranch or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Full day trekking in Isalo N.P.; explore canyons and cool off in natural waterfalls.

    Today we take a break again from our bikes for a hike in the stunning Isalo National Park. We spend the day exploring this vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers, deep canyons, gorges and oases often described as Eden. During our time we will go walking in the magnificent Canyon des Makis in search of cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs and the Verreaux's Sifaka. The eroded mountains also served as a place where the Bara kept their dead before they could bury them in their actual tombs. We start our walking and reach the massif after about 20 minutes, where we will have a spectacular view of the huge sandstone mountains with its beautiful colours and its strange and battered formations creating many different images like ‘the tortoise’, ‘the masks’ and ‘the crocodiles’. We also visit the 'Piscine Naturelle' (natural swimming pool), a beautifully lush spot in such an arid landscape, where we mayswim and relax. Perhaps the magic is just to soak up the sheer beauty of the park, the combination of coloured eroded rock forms, strange plants and enveloping silence make this one of the most captivating places in Madagascar.

    Accommodation: Isalo Ranch or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Cycle through bushland and thick forests; transfer to Tulear on coast.

    Today is our last day cycling and we ride from the hotel through the dramatic rock formations heading out of the national park. Leaving the canyon, the ride continues to the sapphire mining town of Ilakaka and through isolated forests that constitute the most important remnant of dry deciduous forest of Madagascar. After finishing the ride we transfer through Zombitse National Park and through areas known for flamboyantly painted ‘Mahafaly tombs’ and ‘Antandroy tombs’. From Tulear we’ll continue north of Ifaty to Ifaty beach, a seaside beach resort protected by coral reefs. The landscape is dominated by cactus-like plants and mangrove trees line the coast which is used by local Vezo communities that earn their livelihoods through fishing.

    Cycle approx. 65km.



    Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Day of leisure on tranquil Ifaty beach overlooking a vast turquoise lagoon.

    Our hotel lies on the beach and today is a full free day to relax on the beach or take part in some optional activities. From July to mid-September there is the option to go whale watching as the migration of Humpback whales passes through to give birth in shallow warm waters. Situated in the largest lagoon of the country, the area is also protected by a large coral reef, which makes it an ideal place for diving and snorkelling.

    Accommodation:Hotel de la Plage or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Transfer to Tulear for flight back to Antananarivo.

    Today we transfer to Tulear airport for our flight to Antananarivo. Depending on the flight schedule, you may have some free time to explore Antananarivo on your own.Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport in the evening for the very early flight the next morning.

    Please note that flight delays on the internal flight are not uncommon - we suggest you do not book your international flights to depart before midnight.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Fly to London.

    Most flights depart for the airport in the early hours of the morning for a daytime flight to London. Flight schedules are subject to change so please check with your agent when booking.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Madagascar

Visas are required for entry to Madagascar. 30-day tourist visas may be obtained at the airport on arrival. If obtaining a visa at the airport, you should ensure that an entry stamp is recorded in your passport. The visa fee is payable in US dollars or Euros (US$37/€35).

Vaccinations

Madagascar

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

The food in Madagascar is generally of a good quality, particularly so by the coast where the seafood is excellent. A one-course lunch/dinner should cost £4-6 while a three-course lunch/dinner should cost £9-12 . Please allow approximately £220 for meals not included, plus a little more if you enjoy a drink with dinner! Malagasy lager is reasonably priced and easily available. Malagasy wine is also reasonably priced but is not to everyone's taste. It is sometimes possible to get hold of French or South African wine. A delicacy in Madagascar is the various flavoured rum’s which are widely sold and very reasonably priced.
Please note that if you eat neither fish nor meat, your food options will be rather limited (i.e. omelette, cheese, pasta, vegetables and rice) on this trip. Breakfasts are usually simple, eggs, a baguette, jam and coffee or tea, and sometimes fruit. You may wish to bring something to supplement your morning meal (e.g spread, peanut butter etc).

Weather

Madagascar has a tropical climate with two seasons - rainy and dry.

The driest season extends from April to October. It can be cold on the central plateau (including Antananarivo) in the evenings, and in the rainforest areas, so you should bring warm clothes (fleece and waterproof).

There is considerable regional variation but coastal areas will normally be very hot and dry. Expect daytime in the shade temperatures up to 38ºC from October-December and up to 30ºC during the trips running from April-June and September.

Antananarivo

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road and Activity Level 4:

Average daily distance: 67km (47 miles)
No. of days cycling: 8
Vehicle support: 100%
Terrain and route:
Routes follow a mixture of back roads and a few main roads, but Madagascar lacks heavy traffic in most areas. Some of Madagascar is mountainous and there are a few tough climbs and long downhills in the first week, but vehicle support is always available. Road condition are varied; some are excellent with smooth new tarmac, however some can be bumpy and pot-holed and in some places not suitable for cycling, which is when we'll transfer using the bus. There are a few bumpy and dusty dirt road sections.

Mountain bikes are ideal for this trip and flat bars are preferable, but a good strong tourer will suffice.

Madagascar is a rewarding destination with its wealth of flora and fauna, however, before you decide to travel, we would highlight the following issues for you to consider:
Travelling by vehicle in Madagascar can be uncomfortable as some of the road quality varies. Please read our travelling conditions for more information. We do have a few transfers but the diverse scenery more than makes up for time spent on the bus. We break up our road journeys with stops to take photos and to stretch our legs.

There will be lots of early starts and long days.

Please note that in the winter months, the days are shorter with sunset coming by 5.30pm.  If cycling is not completed by this time, it will be necessary for safety reasons to get on the bus.

Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries and a degree of flexibility and improvisation is required at times. The tourist infrastructure in Madagascar is still new and some services are limited. It is not unusual for there to be changes to accommodation or internal flights and for this reason, the order of the itinerary (but not the content) may sometimes have to be changed. However, what tourism does exist is of a pleasantly good standard and you may be impressed by the level of services in some of the places we stay.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

We use tourist class hotels throughout the trip. The hotels are simple but comfortable. Most of the hotels have mosquito nets in the rooms. Please note that although all of the hotels are said to have a reliable electricity and water supply there may be instances in which you experience some gaps in supply - this is more a reflection of life in Madagascar than the standard of the hotel. Please be aware that some hotels do not have 24 hr electricity, and in some, hot water is not always available. There is WiFi in most of the hotels but often this is only in the communal areas and not in the rooms.

Single accommodation is available on this trip for a supplement.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Kathleen LOvell

    Cycle Madagascar

    Absolutely loved it. My only criticism being that I felt like we should have set the bikes up on the evening of our first get-together. We spent a lot of time fussing with bikes on the first morning. That way we could have got away earlier on Day 1. We could have got out of the city earlier and quicker, had more time watching the Dancing Limas at the Reserve and not been biking so long in the hot sun. Also, the trip to Ramofama was unpleasant - too many tourists all there at the same time and scrabbling through and breaking the native forest. We saw very little in the way of Limas - saw many more further on in the trip.The evening event was great so you would really only need to stay there one day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having lots of time and room to see the ring tailed Limas at one of the smaller parks. Going there in the afternoon was great value - much better than using up valuable cool cycling time the following morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely outstanding. Patient, funny, supremely organised, caring, considerate, always aware of what was happening. A delightful man whom we were privileged to have and get to know. We learnt so much about the local people and areas because of him

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Carry diarrhoea and vomiting tablets - be super careful about water, salads, hand washing

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would loved the cycling to have been several more days
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Kathleen LOvell

    Cycle Madagascar

    Absolutely loved it. My only criticism being that I felt like we should have set the bikes up on the evening of our first get-together. We spent a lot of time fussing with bikes on the first morning. That way we could have got away earlier on Day 1. We could have got out of the city earlier and quicker, had more time watching the Dancing Limas at the Reserve and not been biking so long in the hot sun. Also, the trip to Ramofama was unpleasant - too many tourists all there at the same time and scrabbling through and breaking the native forest. We saw very little in the way of Limas - saw many more further on in the trip.The evening event was great so you would really only need to stay there one day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having lots of time and room to see the ring tailed Limas at one of the smaller parks. Going there in the afternoon was great value - much better than using up valuable cool cycling time the following morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely outstanding. Patient, funny, supremely organised, caring, considerate, always aware of what was happening. A delightful man whom we were privileged to have and get to know. We learnt so much about the local people and areas because of him

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Carry diarrhoea and vomiting tablets - be super careful about water, salads, hand washing

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would loved the cycling to have been several more days
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Karla Capers

    Amazing country, fun cycling

    This was a great trip packed with very fun cycling days, a couple days off-saddle to explore the country on foot, and a relaxing day at the end to rest and recuperate while staring at the beautiful Mozambique channel. It was really the perfect mix of activities -- all perfectly planned and executed by the amazing trip leader Armel. The cycling was really fun with some challenging hill climbs and amazingly long, winding, fun descents through some of the most beautiful and interesting landscapes I've ever seen. There was lots of time to explore nature (tons of lemurs!) and the tiny villages we were cycling through. The food was fresh and delicious. Mel was always willing to share information about this interesting country -- it's people, cultures, music, politics, animals, and history -- and went above and beyond to ensure the trip was perfect for everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved waking up early two mornings to ride while watching the sunrise. Not only did that mean we avoided cycling during the hottest part of the day (in the afternoon), but the sunrise over the mountains was really dramatic and the morning light was just breathtaking.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Lindsay MacRae

    This trip has it all!

    This trip is in a class of its own. The cycling is varied, with plenty of hills and descents through a wide range of landscapes. The country and cultures are fascinating. There is a perfect balance of cycling and other outdoor activities. Mel, the guide, goes the extra mile at every opportunity and is passionate about every aspect of his job and country. If you want long, action packed days with early starts, plenty of exercise, honest, clean accommodation and the freshest food imaginable and you have a spirit of adventure, sign up! I could not fault any aspect of this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit to the Malagasy house. It was a very humbling experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He’s a legend! He works 24/7 to ensure the smooth running of the trip, includes his own initiatives which add so much, never stops smiling and joking. He is the difference between this and other Exodus trips.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind and a sense of humour. Be prepared for some physical challenges. Don’t expect wifi to always work. Take a gel saddle.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Keith Batchelor

    A fantastic holiday!

    Eager to catch a glimpse of life in Madagascar from a cyclists perspective I was not disappointed. The terrain and scenery changed as we progressed from Antananarivo to the south and the roadside picnic lunches were great. The roads were fine for cycling despite a large number of pot holes in some places and all the hotels were comfortable and welcoming. The people were also very friendly, I certainly never felt under threat. With the help of Armel, our guide, I gained some valuable insight into life within Madagascar. It was certainly a very worthwhile experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me there were 4 particularly inspirational moments/events: 1) seeing lemurs in both the lemur park and in the wild; 2) the walk across the rocks up into the hills/mountains; 3) the visit to a "typical" dwelling together with a brief description of how the family lived; 4) the unspoiled beach and shoreline at Ifaty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armel was excellent, always cheery, humorous and well informed. He was also keen to give me/us a glimpse of Madagascan culture in so far as that was possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In early morning and evening it is quite cold so a fleece or two and other layers are important. The walk in the rain forest certainly requires a descent pair if walking shoes/boots.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The small herds of zebu are quite memorable and the zebu steaks are very tasty.
  • Reviewed June 2018

    Excellent trip

    I had originally booked for the Cycling Nicaragua-Costa Rica-Panama, but it got cancelled 2-3 weeks before the trip due to the situation in Nicaragua. I decided to do Cycling Madagascar instead and I was not disappointed at all. I had an excellent time and I enjoyed every single day of the trip, both cycling and non-cycling days. The landscape is simple breathtaking. I have to say that the tour guide (Armel) made a huge difference and made this trip memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I can think of more than one! - Cycling at sunrise riding towards the full moon while the sun was slowly rising behind us. It was simply surreal. - Night walk in the rainforest looking for chameleons with millions of starts shining above us and the sound of the nature. - Riding through the small villages in the remote areas and the entire family greeting us and the cute little kids jumping up and down as if we were doing 'Tour de France'! :) - The exilerating long downhills surrounded with mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armel was simply amazing. He was very passionate about his country and the tour. He was full of energy and always had a big smile. He cared about every single member of the group and did not leave anybody out. Without him, the tour would not have been the same!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are quite a few hills to climb so make sure you have a decent fitness level.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    M I

    Loved it! Excellent and Challenging!

    I loved every moment of this trip, even the part where I fell off the bike!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to cycle the longest distances I've ever cycled in my entire life. Seeing so much beautiful scenery that my eyes hurt, and feeling on certain roads that there was noone else in the world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mel was a fantastic tour leader. He had a tough job on his hands as I was a very amateur cyclist with a very strong group. He managed to accommodate across alllevels.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure that you are fully prepped on cycling on hills. The Malagasy flats are undulating and challenging. I thought I had a reasonable base level of fitness, but would have enjoyed it more if I had done more cycling related prep.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would highly recommend this trip. I had an amazing time and would do more as a result of this!
  • Reviewed November 2017
    LIz Bissett

    A fabulous trip!

    We enjoyed the variety of the trip - completely different, magnificent scenery every day, comfortable hotels, good food (we're veggies and it can be a bit of a struggle in some countries), a really lovely group of fellow cyclists, a great leader, some challenging hills and lots of amazing descents. The bikes were excellent, safety was always stressed and the back-up team were great. There are always interesting situations in a developing country and these were solved efficiently - the most serious one on our trip was crossing a bridge that had collapsed five days before..... it all came well in the end. We've already booked our next Exodus trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling 100 kms in one day - the furthest we'd ever cycled. Seeing lemurs on several occasions. Some of the long descents were absolutely wonderful. The warm welcome we received in every small village, with children keen to wave and greet us. A surprise visit to a village house for coffee.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mel was extremely good natured and efficient. Getting checked into each hotel was smooth and organised very quickly. He was at ease with everyone in the group (we ranged in age from early twenties to late sixties). He was encouraging and friendly and was happyfor us to cycle at our own pace. Everything on the trip ran very efficiently - a lot of thought and previous experience went into things such as ordering our meals a couple of hours early so that the small kitchens could cope. Suggesting and organising a group kitty for snacks en route and to pay tips in the hotels was really helpful. He emphasised safety regularly, particularly in damp weather and when the roads were steep with sharp bends.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're cycling, a gel saddle cover or your own saddle is useful. Don't expect to see lemurs in the wild - we saw plenty, but only in National Parks. Don't expect great wi-fi! Do expect to see a lot of cloud/rain in the rainforest.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A suggestion regarding Ifaty beach. A few of us walked to the nearby village with one of the hotel staff as our guide. We paid the hotel a small amount for this service. We agreed that travellers would be happy to pay twice as much and for some of the money to go to the village (whose water pump had failed).
  • Reviewed October 2017

    Cycling Madagascar

    This was our 5th Exodus cycling trip, and if like me you like a good balance between cycling and sightseeing, this is the trip for you! There was some non-cycling activity almost everyday, whether it be a short visit to some local handicraft workshop, swimming in natural pools or a half day hiking in the rain-forest. This trip combines all the best aspects of a cycling holiday: varied terrains, waving children, wildlife, interesting local culture, a large variety of non cycling activities, great guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to pick one thing, so I have chosen 3 things. -Seeing so many different types of Lemur, we saw Lemurs on 4 separate occasions. -The 10k downhill cycle through Ranomafana national park -Swimming in the natural pool at Liliha waterfall. There's nothing like a refreshing swim when you are hot from cycling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armel (Mel) was great. He really loves his country and is personally involved in supporting the rural communities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Credit cards are only accepted in Antananarivo, and ATM/Cash machines are few and far between, so planning money is a bit tricky. Taking extra Euros or dollars as a back up is an option. There were lots of picnics, some smart people in our group bought a foam garden kneeler to sit on. A sarong makes a good improvised changing room for the 2 natural swimming days.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make this your next Exodus cycling trip!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Katy Smith

    Cycling in Madagascar

    This trip had everything we expected and so much more! Fantastic scenery which changed day by day, varied terrain from good roads to off road dirt tracks, geysers, waterfalls, natural swimming pools, beautiful coloured mountains, rain forest, savannah, lemurs, chameleons, great company, lovely friendly locals and a wonderful guide! The bikes were of excellent quality and were well maintained both before we started and during the trip. The accommodation was simple, clean and comfortable and the food was good with plenty of choice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are far too many to single out one but it was lovely to see so many different types of lemurs in their natural habitat, especially the tiny mouse lemur seen at night in the rain forest. The scenery was spectacular and there were many rewarding long descents following hot, slow climbs! Swimming in the natural pools was a fantastic experience and It was also lovely to be greeted in the villages by children running to the road, jumping up and down, waving and cheering!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mel was a wonderful guide. He was enthusiastic, great fun and very motivational. He was very knowledgeable about his country, its people and culture as well as the wild life. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he looked after us all extremely well. One day our progress was halted due to a collapsed bridge and he worked tirelessly through the night trying to find a way to continue the next day. Thankfully the bridge was repaired in record time and we were able to continue with only a slight reduction in kilometres! He has a great sense of humour and he is truly inspiring. His love of Madagascar and its people shines through! He is definitely one of the best Exodus guides we've had. He makes everyone feel special - including organising 2 birthday parties!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All of the issues mentioned in previous reviews from last year have been addressed and the trip is now running like a well oiled machine. The bikes were of excellent quality and very well maintained both on arrival and during the trip. We had very few mechanical issues en route but those we had were sorted efficiently and effectively. Alain the bike mechanic was great.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip now in its second year is one not to be missed. If you love cycling, a new country with varying scenery and lots of unusual wildlife then this is the trip for you. The local people in the villages are delighted to see you and you will be sad to leave!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936