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Madagascar: Hike & Bike


Madagascar: Hike & Bike

Start: Antananarivo
End: Ifaty

Hike, cycle and row in the unique island paradise that is Madagascar

Duration14 days
Start / EndAntananarivo / Ifaty
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel


Madagascar: Hike & Bike

14 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Antananarivo
End: Ifaty


Off the coast of East Africa lies a magical island of spectacular mountains, lush rainforests and unique wildlife – a trekker's dream. From Antananarivo to Ifaty, encounter beautiful national parks, mythical volcanic lakes, hidden waterfalls, lizards, lemurs, unique Malagasy palms and bizarre boabs. Friendly Bara and Betsileo folk greet you as you hike via small villages, and many modes of tran...

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Day 1Anatananarivo
Tonga soa Bienvenue! Welcome to Madagascar. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting. If you arrive early, take some time to explore hilly Antananarivo. Head to Analakey to visit the permanent street markets or seek out the restaurants and nightclubs.
Day 2Antsirabe
Drive to Antsirabe in the early morning and enjoy an afternoon exploration of the area. (3.5 hours) Enjoy a two-hour cultural city tour which combines walking and local rickshaw (called a pousse-pousse). There will be an option to visit a local artisan workshop where every guest will be able to participate in making a traditional Malagasy handicraft.
Day 3Ambositra
In the morning, explore the lovely Antsirabe countryside by bicycle. This round trip (approximately 16 kilometres) takes you to both Andraikiba Lake and Andrononobe Lake. Lake Andraikiba is not only gorgeous but very unique, with a strange legend attached to it – about a pretty pregnant lady whose spirit has haunted the area since she drowned here long ago. Even to this day it is said that you might see her at the break of dawn resting on a rock by the lakeside. Swimming is possible during summer months (May–December). In the afternoon, drive to Ambositra.
Day 4Zafimaniry Country
Transfer to Antoetra to start Zafimaniry country trekking. The trek (approximately 4 hours; 10.2 kilometres) starts in Antoetra, the main Zafimaniry village, and also the last one reachable by car. Start your walk through eucalyptus forest, grass land and mimosa trees, until you reach Vohibe, a rocky platform where catholics built a large cross back in the last century. After enjoying the views, reach the village of Sakaivo, where you will camp under canvas, dozing off to the ambience of the wild. km -10.2 Elevation Range = +300m / -525m
Day 5Zafimaniry Country
Enjoy a full day of trekking in Zafimaniry Country. After a hearty breakfast, start your day among the rice fields and take in the scenery, replete with typical houses of the Zafimaniry living in Sakaivo. The rest of the day will be a tour of different typical villages, where you'll see woodcarvers (well-known in the area) at work. Sit down to a picnic lunch en route. km = 12.3km Elevation Range = +700m / -600m
Day 6Sahambavy
Today you'll head back to Antoetra, where your vehicle will be waiting for you. This last day, you'll still cross some typical villages and be able to share special time with local people. Transfer to Sahambavy for some well-earned rest. km = 10.6km Elevation Range = +600m / -365m
Day 7Sahambavy
Rise early this morning and visit the Tea Estate Factory (if it's open). Then, if you are up for it, transfer to the village of Manaotsara for an optional full-day dugout canoe trip on the Matsiatra River. There will be two people, plus a local boatman, per canoe. Everyone will row and participate actively. The dugout canoes require calm and balance, and it's important to follow the indication strictly, so as to avoid a bath in the river! Before starting the trip, you'll be asked to do a 'soatra', a traditional rhum offering to ancestors asking them to take care of the boats on the river. Lunch will be a picnic on the river bank near a waterfall. Throughout the day, enjoy scenes of the countryside and the daily agricultural life of the local Betsileo people. If you would prefer a break from the action, spend the afternoon relaxing around Sahambavy.
Day 8Andringitra National Park
Drive down to Ambalavao and then to Namoly, the northern entrance of the Andringitra National Park. At this point your Andringitra / Peak Boby trek begins. Today's walk (approximately 4 hours; 11.3 kilometres) takes you to your first campsite, at Andranolava. km = 11.3 Elevation Range = +862m / -250m
Day 9Andringitra National Park
Today is the big day of walking (approximately 9 hours; 21.5 km). Wake up early (before dawn) and firstly walk to the Peak Boby (approximately 2.5 hours). Due to its eastern position, the Peak Boby is surrounded by fog during the day, but normally not in the early morning. So an early start makes for a better chance of being exposed to nice weather conditions. After enjoying an amazing view over the area, descend via the 'moon trail' and explore a very special mountainous landscape. You will then reach a forest of endemic palm trees called 'Ravenea glauca'. Continue to the Lantaranomby campsite. km = 21.5km Elevation Range = +1000m / -1400m
Day 10Andringitra National Park
Today's walk takes you to Tsara Camp (approximately 5 hours; 12 km). After breakfast, set off down to the southern entrance of the Park, looking over the Tsaranoro Valley from the impressive Tsaranoro cliff. Along the way, spot aloes, lizards and chameleons, maybe even a few lemur catta (ring-tailed lemurs). Then you'll pass through several villages inhabitated by the 'Barabory', a mixed population of Bara and Betsileo. Arrive at the Tsara Camp in the eary afternoon and enjoy some free time in this peaceful place. km = 12km Elevation Range: = +140m / -850m
Day 11Isalo National Park
Enjoy a morning of free time. In the afternoon, drive to Isalo National Park. Covering an area of 81,540 hectares, this beautiful reserve is filled with golden plains punctuated by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons, waterfalls and even tombs. Spot lemurs and Verreaux's sifakas in the lush forested entrance to the canyon.
Day 12Isalo National Park
Enjoy a full-day exploration of Isalo National Park. The park is home to approximately 55 species of birds, including the endemic Benson’s rock thrush, as well as a variety of lemurs, lizards and snakes. An optional hike amidst stunning rock formations (approximately 6 hours) will take you to Piscine Naturelle, a beautiful natural swimming pool in an oasis-like setting.
Day 13Ifaty
Drive down to Ifaty. On the way there you will visit the Zombitse National Park and see its bizarre baobab trees. The park comprises some 363 square kilometres of dry forest, marsh and savanna. On arrival in Ifaty, the rest of the day is at your leisure. As optional, you can visit the highly recommended Antsokay Arboretum on the way to reach your hotel, a superb display of hundreds of different plant species.
Day 14Ifaty
Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. We recommend that you don't plan to connect any regional or international flights within the same day. It's important to note that these flights can fill up quickly in high season and we also recommend that you purchase a re-routable ticket.

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Trip title

Madagascar: Hike & Bike

Trip code



Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019


Off the coast of East Africa lies a magical island of spectacular mountains, lush rainforests and unique wildlife – a trekker's dream. From Antananarivo to Ifaty, encounter beautiful national parks, mythical volcanic lakes, hidden waterfalls, lizards, lemurs, unique Malagasy palms and bizarre boabs. Friendly Bara and Betsileo folk greet you as you hike via small villages, and many modes of transpo... Read more




Active Adventures,Walking & Trekking



Physical Rating


Joining point

Hotel Belvedere

Joining point description

Belvedere Hotel is centrally located in Antananarivo, perched on a hill with views of the city, and within walking distance to shops, restaurants and banks. Rooms are equipped with private ensuite, air-conditioning, TV, phone & mini-fridge. Hotel facilities include restaurant, bar, and WiFi access.

Joining point instructions

If you have pre-booked a transfer, your driver will be waiting for you outside the arrivals hall. Please look for our driver who will be holding a card with your name on it. They will be waiting outside the arrival building. The driver will wait for an hour after your scheduled arrival time. If you are unable to find your driver you can call our local operator on +261 33 15 812 12 or +261 33 37 06... Read more

Finish point

Hotel IKOTEL Ifaty

Important information

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. However, it is not applicable on nights 4 and 5 while camping in Zafimaniry Country and on nights 8 and 9 while camping in Andringitra National Park. 2. You are required to bring your own sleeping bag on this trip please refer to our packing list

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leade... Read more


Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more


PASSPORT As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with... Read more

Why we love it

Lush eucalypt forest, volcanic lakes, mountainous 'moon' trails and bizarre boabs make this a winning destination for active types

Is this trip right for you

This being an active trip, there is quite a bit of walking involved. The hike to the Peak Boby (Day 9) is incredibly scenic and rewarding, but remember it takes around nine hours. Strong and sturdy hiking shoes, and a good level of fitness, are essential.  Road conditions in Madagascar are notoriously poor. This means some of the driving days will be long as well as bumpy. This trip has a lot of... Read more


All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowl... Read more

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you kno... Read more

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulde... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more


After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Emergency contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's local Antananarivo-based ground representative for Madagascar can be reached on the following numbers: - Ando : +261 32 11 061 79 or +261 34 14 660 05 - Laurence: +261 32 11 812 12 For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at For... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more


Hotel (8 nights),Lodge (1 night),Camping (4 nights)
€2,282per person
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Apr 28
May 11
Seats left: 8
Jun 30
Jul 13
Seats left: 11
Aug 11
Aug 24
Seats left: 7
Aug 25
Sep 7
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