BaltiCCycle – Madagascar
To the Kingdom of Baobabs and Lemurs
from Antananarivo (Tana) to Antananarivo (Tana)
In summer we invite you to travel in Madagascar – the biggest island in the Indian Ocean famous for its unique endemic flora and fauna, breathtaking landscapes and cultural particularity of the Malagasy people.
The route covers the Southern part of Madagascar. It was attempted to include most important sights and show the diversity of the country. The travel is divided into four stages, which differ from each other by the complexity of the route and the nature as well.
Antananarivo (Tana) – Miandrivazo: 491 km by bicycle
Miandrivazo – Belo sur Tsiribihina: 160 km by river
The first 120 km (up to the Lake Itasy) lead through area for the weekend rest of the capital’s residents. There are amusement centres, restaurants and other entertainment facilities on the way from the capital. The Lake Itasy is a popular holiday destination. Further, the picturesque road continues from Itasy to Antsiraba; it should already be completed asphalt and in a good condition. Antsirabe is a resort and the third largest city in Madagascar; after it the route goes to Miandrivaz.
The road ends at Miandrivaz, onward a river descent with pirogues (3 days) or a motorized flatbed “chaland” (2 days), observing coastal images, birds, lemurs, chameleons, crocodiles, and settlements of local people. It is one of the most popular tourist routes in Madagascar. Overnight stay during this trip – tents on a river island or on a sandy shore.
West coast: Belo sur Tsiribihina – Morombe –Tulear: 534 km by bicycles, some parts by other means of transport
The road is bumpy, dirty, sandy and rather deep in some parts; therefore on separate sections it is recommended to pass across by pirogues at the coast or by trucks (camion-brousse). The bad road is the technically most difficult stage, but beautiful views – the Great Reef and the lagoon (from Morombe to Tulear) and the authentic life of isolated coastal towns – compensate for these difficulties. From Morondava to Belo sur Mer the road goes through deep sand, and it is planned to overcome this part by boutre or a pirogues along the coastline (60 km) or camions-brousses or taxi-brousses (100 km). From Belo sur Mer to Morombe there is a bumpy dirt road with difficult to cross sand areas, many transitions through rivers and sparsely populated areas; overpassing by bicycles is possible only at favourable weather conditions and a positive mood. Alternative is to take a truck (camion-brousse); to go by boat due to the high swell of the sea is not recommended. From Morombe to Tulear we will enjoy a picturesque coast of the Great Reef with lagoons and fishermen’s settlements begin.
The better road goes apart the shore and approaches the lagoon just 70 km before Tulear, so it is advisable to try the entire stretch along the coastal road, sometimes on the beach, heavier sections overpassing by pirogues/boutre or car.
Tulear – Ranomafana National Park: 577 km by bicycles
The paved road RN7, of medium quality, one of Madagascar’s main roads; it is characterized by a variety of national parks and tourist attractions alongside, but also by a more intense traffic. Overnight accommodation – almost everywhere there are hotels or campsites in national parks. Cycling distances are planned to be smaller to have more time for sightseeing.
East coast and return to Antananarivo: 650 km by bicycles
A dirt road or asphalt rising to the central heights of 1400 m in the last days. Traveling in evenly populated areas, lodging options in townships, national parks, and camping sites on the Indian Ocean coast.
Route prepared by Vitalis Tamašauskas.