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Ride Info

Ride Overview

Madagascar-Cycling the 8th Continent

  • Arrival
  • 7/29/2019
  • Departure
  • 8/12/2019
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Marita Moberg
  • Tour Company
  • Spice Roads
  • Starting Location
  • Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Finishing Location
  • Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $4250
  • Deposit
  • $1250
  • Number of Riders
  • 11 (min. 14 /max. 20)
  • Space Available
  • 9
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Coordinator Comments

This tour is a repeat of the very successful 2017 Madagascar BAC ride. For more detailed information and photos, please see Bruce Nelsons blog Please see video from SpiceRoads: Madagascar(1).mp4

Ride Description

Separated from the mainland around 88 million years ago, Madagascar is truly a world of its own. Dubbed the "8th continent", the country is one of the very few places on earth where plants and animals have evolved in isolation, with a variety of flora and fauna endemic only to its territory.  Apart from this natural treasure, the 4th largest island in the world is also rich in culture with charming ethnic groups who settled on the island paradise more than two millennia ago.

This bike (and hike) tour lets you appreciate the friendly Malagasy people along with their proud traditions before venturing away from civilization into the wilderness to marvel at biodiversity that literally cannot be matched anywhere on the planet. Spot unique plants and animals and explore stunning landscapes with sharp cliffs and bizarre rock formation resulting from volcanic activities and wind.  Hike through the prairies and hills of Madagascar's massifs to discover a whole new world this country has hidden from the rest of the planet-truly an experience unlike any other.

This ride begins with Happy Hour on Monday July 29th in Antananarivo at the Relais des Plateauxe Hotel, and ends with our arrival at Ivato International Airport (TNR) Antananarivo on August 12, 2019.

The journey starts in Antananarivo with our first overnight at the Relais des Plateauxe Hotel where we have our welcome Happy Hour and briefing, followed by our first group dinner.  Day 2 we transfer to Antsirabe for a shake off ride.  On day 3 (34 miles) we explore the crater lakes of Andraikiba and Tritriva.  We climb through terraced rice paddies to Lake Tritriva and explore the calderas.  Day 4 (59 miles) our longest day, we cycle on a pleasant paved hilly road to Ambositra which is home to the Zafimaniry, an ethnic people who live in the forested mountains and are famous for their wood carvings, which are listed as one of UNESCO's intangible cultural heritages.  On day 5 we will transfer a short distance to the village of Camp Robin, where we ride into the lush rainforest reserve of Ranomafana National Park.  Day 6 will be a hike in the park through rainforest to see the Golden Bamboo Lemurs and over a hundred species of birds. Day 7 we return to the bikes to explore Madagascar's only tea plantation at Sahambavy (33miles).  Day 8 (35 miles) we will visit the wine region of Ambalavao and Fianarantsoa, the capital of the Betsilio ethnic group.  Day 9 we ride to Anja Park, a grassland dotted with bizarre granite mountains.  On day 10 we hike again, at the edge of the Andringitra Massif, an area famed for the ring tailed lemur and a hiking paradise. Day 11 our ride takes us to the base of the L'lsalo Massif where we stay overnight and will enjoy spectacular views at sunset.(47miles).  Day 12 is our last hiking day exploring the L'lsalo Massif with its canyons and wildlife.  Day 13 we bike (20 miles) again to ride through the national park before our transfer to Toliara where we have a rest day on Day 14 to soak up the sun and beach.  Day 15 we are transferred to the airport for our internal flight to Ivato Airport in Antananarivo (TNR).  

We will be supported by an English speaking cycle tour leader.  A support van will transport luggage and provide emergency assistance to riders who are injured or become ill.  The traditional Happy Hour meeting will be held each night to go over cue sheets and discuss the next days ride or hike.

For a more detailed daily itinerary, please contact the ride leader.

We cycle 316 miles and climb 15,424 ft in 8 days. The days that fall above the 2B rating are Days 4 with 59 miles and 2686 ft of climbing.  Day 5 with 3214 ft of climbing, Day 7 with 2706 ft of climbing and Day 9 with 2893 ft of climbing.  The cycling route is a mixture of paved and unpaved surfaces-off road sections from well worn to rough.  Because of this, mountain bikes are REQUIRED for this trip.  We recommend that riders make arrangements with Spice Roads to rent a mountain bike if they do not wish to bring their own.

On Day 6 we do an easy 3.7 mile hike through the rainforest with lots of stopping for lemur viewing.  On Day 10 our hike starts out flat but is a more strenuous hike to the top of Chameleon Peak, then downhill for lunch and another 2 mile on flat ground-4-6 hours, approx 8.7 miles.  Day 12 is similar to Day 10 with more ups and downs but lots of stops to visit swimming holes and canyons-4-6 hours, approx 9 miles. Shorter hikes can be arranged.

July and August are Madagascar's dry season with lows in the 50's and highs in the low 70's.

Accommodations for 14 nights will be in hotels, bungalows and B&B's.  Lodgings range from basic 3 star bungalows in national parks to 4-5 star hotels and B&Bs.  We stay overnight in Antananarivo, Antsirabe (2 nights), Ambositra, Ranomafana National Park (2 nights), Sahambavy, Ambalavao, Andringitra (2 nights) Ranohira/L'lsalo Massif (2 nights), and Toliara (2 nights).

Ivato International airport (TNR) is the airport closest to Antananarivo, where we start and end our ride. The airport is about 10 miles from Relais des Plateauxe Hotel and can be reached by taxi.  Spice Roads will arrange shuttle service for those arriving on July 29th.  There will be an extra charge for transfers for those arriving earlier.  On Monday August 12 we will be transferred to the airport in Toliara for our air transfer to (TNR) Ivato International Airport for our flight home.  Flight times for the included internal flight from Toliara to TNR will be announced at a later date.  The tour ends with this flight to Ivato International Airport (TNR).

Visitors from many countries including USA, Canada and UK require visas to visit Madagascar, however all can apply for a free visa on arrival. This will cover trips up to 30 days, however for a longer stay, you should apply for a visa in advance at a local embassy.  Passports must have at least 6 months of validity.

Cost is per person, double occupancy.  The price includes 14 nights lodging, 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners, cue sheets, BAC Happy Hours refreshments, cycling jersey, and transport to and from the airport as well as one internal flight to TNR airport from Toliara at the end of the tour.  The price does not include the non-refundable $100 BAC ride registration fee, the cost of optional activities, or alcoholic drinks at included meals.  For riders who choose to rent a mountain bike from Spice Roads the cost is $260 for two weeks, payable directly to Spice Roads and is in addition to the $4250 estimated ride cost. Cost also includes 2 English speaking cycling guides, air-conditioned support vehicles, snacks and soft drinks during cycling. Each Happy Hour drinks are based on 1/2 bottle wine or 2 bottles of beer, 2 premium fruit juice or 1 cocktail per person.  The second payment of $1500 is due by July 31,2018 and the final payment is due by Feburary 28th  2019.

If space allows, a limited number of solo rooms may be available. It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until September 1, 2018 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $600 single supplement and stay on the ride.  The single supplement is payable directly to BAC by check with the ride name noted on the check. The BAC office address is: P.O. Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.

The BAC ride registration and payment processing fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour's remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the single supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

For cancellations that go unfilled and without a replacement, the Spice Roads policy applies and is as follows: 
Number of days prior to trip start, cancellation fee per person:
90+    days  Administration expenses incurred* 
60-89 days  $1,125 
45-59 days  $1,875 
15-44 days  $2,625
  0-14 days  $3,750 
*Bank fees and any tour costs incurred by the company a result of the cancellation.

Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader's decisions.

To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description.  When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee online.  Once those steps have been completed, the initial deposit of (insert dollar amount) will be due.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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