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Madagascar Bike Tour


it is time to get prepared for your tour!

details, suggestions & more

General Information

What we need you to do

  • Fill out your Guest Questionnaire
  • Make sure you have the necessary visas
  • Spend a little time warming up for the tour

Guides

All of your crew on Madgascar the Ride are from Madgascar. Pedalers believes strongly that local guides can provide much more insight into a country's culture, daily life, cuisine and history, then any imported guide, no matter how well they have been trained.

You will be getting a pre-tour email regarding your guide team prior to departure. In addition to basic info, such as their name, it will also have phone contacts should you need to reach them while in transit or if you can't seem to connect in the airport. You can also relay messages via our main office if you get delayed enroute.

Tipping

While tipping is not mandatory, it is always a nice way to say thanks for a job well done and greatly appreciated by your crew. While Pedalers pays our guides well above local standards, it is still low compared to what workers get in your home country (and low compared to what you may spend for souvenirs and post ride beers).

We would like to offer the following suggested amounts for your crew members, of course subject to how well or how far above the call of duty they went. Tipping in USD or Euros is suggested and amounts listed are per guest per staff.
    Bike Guides: $100 - $150
    Support Drivers: $50 - $75

Tour Operations

This tour is operated in conjunction with Momotas sarl based in Madagascar.

Itinerary

Download Itinerary PDF

Travel Needs

Meeting Point & Time

Your guides will meet you and your fellow guests upon your arrival at the Antananarivo Airport.

Please note that this will be the only pick up point(s), if you arrive earlier and are staying at a different hotel or location, you will need to make your way to the meeting point.

Flight Requirements

The Madgascar the Ride tour uses Antananarivo Airport as its gateway.

You need to plan your flights to arrive before the time listed below and to depart afterwards. The arrival time is earlier than the meeting time to provide the time necessary to clear formalities and claim your baggage. Please note that we can not accommodate flight times outside what is listed, as it would adversely effect all guests on your tour.
    Arrive: Antananarivo Airport (TNR) before 5 pm on Day 1
    Depart: Tulear Airport (TLE) after 10 am on Day 16

Domestic flights within Madagascar are frequently subject to cancellations and schedule changes. We highly recommend that you book your flights to allow an extra night in Antananrivo after your domestic flight from Tulear to allow breathing room for any delays or schedule changes.

Tickets for the domestic flight between Tulear and Antananrivo are better bought as a separate ticket. If you include it with your long haul flight the add-on cost is much higher.

If you need help coordinating your flights, feel free to contact our friends at Exito Travel.
https://help.pedalers.travel/flights.htm

Visa and Passport needs

Passports are required for all guests joining the Madgascar the Ride. Your passport should have at least 6 months validity left on the date your trip starts. Most airlines will not let you board without, so don't show up hoping to talk your way onboard, get your passport renewed well in advance.

Visas are required for all travelers to Madgascar. Visas can be obtained upon arrival at the Antananarivo Airport valid for 30 days. For stays longer than 30 days, a 60 or 90 day tourist visa must be obtained in advance from the nearest Madagascar Embassy or Consulate.

Guests are responsible for obtaining a passport and the necessary visas or other travel documents necessary for your trip (including any transit points enroute to or from the tour). No refunds will be issued if you are prohibited from traveling due to your failure to obtain the necessary documents, nor will Pedalers be responsible for any additional costs should you have to change your routing during the tour due to your failure to obtain the necessary documents.

For help with visas (if needed) contact our friends at VisaHQ.
https://pedalers.visahq.net

Vaccinations & Health needs

Some inoculations above and beyond the common travel suggestions (tetanus, etc) are recommended for Madagascar. The suggested inoculations include Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Anti_Malarials. Yellow Fever is not required unless you will be visiting other African countries where YF is present. We suggest discussing this with your family doctor. The CDC webpage for Madagascar: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/madagascar

Destination Info

Currency, Exchange & ATMs

The official currency of Madagascar the Malagasy Ariary (MGA), which has been reintroduced to replace the Malagasy franc (FMG). 1 Ariary equals to 5 FMG. Both currencies are still being used so please make sureto check which one you are using. $1 is about 2,300 Ariary and 1€ about 3,000 Ariary.

When bringing cash, be sure it is the newest version of your home currency and in good shape (no torn or worn out bills). African banks can be finicky about exchanging worn money due to counterfeiting.

ATMs are available in the bigger cities. Most take a wide range of cards, Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Plus. Likewise banks and foreign exchange services are available in the bigger cities.

Something to keep in mind ... If you have multiple accounts tied to a single debit card, international ATMs will usually default to your current or checking account.

Cell Phones & Internet

Cellular phone service in Madgascar is based on the global GSM frequencies (900 / 1800 mHz). Local prepaid SIM cards can be obtained, should you desire a local number for more economical calling. Travelers coming from the USA & Canada, need to check if their phone accommodates "international" frequencies, as North American systems use the 800 / 1900 mHz bands.

Wifi will be available at a few stops. The available bandwidth will vary. We suggest that you not plan on any video streaming or other such hi-speed oriented downloads.

Power

Madgascar has 220 V 50Hz power. The outlets are set up to use the round pin plugs common in Europe.

Most modern electronics now accommodate voltage ranges from 110V to 220V, so a power convertor usually is not necessary if your camera, phone, laptop have been built within the last 5 to 10 years.

Government

Politics of Madagascar takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Madagascar is head of state and the Prime Minister of Madagascar is head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Senate and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Weather

Madagascar is located in the tropical zone, but combines many different climate Zones. You will find four main areas across the country: the North is hot and tropical, the West is more moderate, the East is quite wet and the south is mainly dry.

Madagascar has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April; and a cooler, dry season from May to October. In winter you can sometimes even get frost in the highlands. The humidity in summer takes most of the travelers some time to get used to. The best time to travel throughout the island is from April to October, when the climate is moderate.

Tourist Offices & Embassies

Embassy of the Republic of MADAGASCAR
2374 Massachussetts Avenue NW
Washington DC, 20008
Phone: 1-202-265-5525
Email: Malagasy.Embassy@verizon.net

Ambassade de Madagascar au Canada
03, rue Raymond
Ottawa ONT K1R 1A3
Phone: 1-613-567-0505
Email : ambamadcanada@bellnet.ca

Hotel List

Hotel List

Antananarivo
Hotel de France
34 Avenue de l'Independance
+261 20 22 213 04

Antsirabe
Le Royal Palace
Lot 512 C 61 Tsarasaotra Route d'Ambositra
phone: +261 34 49 040 40

Ambositra
The Artisan Hotel
Chez Victor Manarintsoa Ambositra 306
phone: +261 32 51 996 09

Andringitra
Camp Catta
phone: +261 20 75 923 58

Ranomafana
Le Grenat
phone: +261 33 08 909 20

Sahambavy
Lac Hotel
phone: +261 20 75 959 06

Ambalavao
Espace Zongo
phone: +261 33 83 724 59

Andringitra
Camp Catta
phone: +261 20 75 923 58

Ranohira
Motel d’Isalo
phone: +261 32 40 837 95



The hotels listed here are our first choice properties, but may not be available for all departures. If a substitution is necessary it will be of similar or better quality.


Bicycle Info

Using Our Bike

Please note that Pedalers does not provide helmets or waterbottles. Due to the warmer & humid climates in which our tours travel, we don't feel that loaner helmets can be adequately cleaned between uses, so we request you bring your own from home. If you don't have a helmet, they can be easily purchased at most of our touring gateways.

We suggest bringing one large waterbottle to use. Our support vehicles carry plenty of water to refill during the day.

If you ride regularly at home and use clip in pedals or have a favorite comfortable saddle, feel free to bring those with you and our guides will be happy to swap them out for you.

To help our guides have the correct size bikes available, we will need an accurate measurement of your height and inseam. Height should measured while barefooted. Your inseam should also be measured in bare feet and please note that the inseam value listed on your pants is not accurate for sizing a bike, follow the directions below.

Stand with your back against a wall, your bare feet 6 inches (15 cm) apart on a hard floor, looking straight ahead. Place a book between your legs with one edge against the wall, and pull it up firmly into your crotch, simulating the pressure of your saddle while riding. Have a friend measure from the top edge of the book to the floor. Repeat two or three times, for consistency, and average the results to get your inseam length.

Bringing Your Personal Bike for the Tour

If your bicycle hasn't had its annual overhaul, now is the time to do it !!

We expect that your bike will be in suitable shape for this tour when you arrive, as we strike out on tour the morning after you arrive and don't have time to overhaul your bike for you. Take your bike into your favorite shop and ask them to do a complete overhaul, so you can enjoy your tour with us.

Some items that they should be doing during the overhaul:

  • Check, clean & repack all bearings
  • Check tires, replace if dry-rotted or bare treaded
  • Check, adjust or replace all brake and shift cables
  • Check, clean & oil chain
  • Check, clean & adjust brakes
  • Check all nuts and bolts holding accessories

While our guide teams try to have a wide variety of spares, such as cables, inner tubes, etc, it is always advisable to bring at least two or three spare inner tubes that fit you bike with you to the tour.

To prepare your bike for the flight, first shift your front and rear derailleurs to their inner most position (smallest gear in front, largest cog in back). This brings the derailleurs inside the protection of the frame.

Next loosen both your stem and handlebars, so that you can turn them to the right and then rotate the handlebars down, so that they end up curling inside your frame. Then retighten the bolts. This will protect your brake levers during shipping. Finally, loosen and remove your pedals. We suggest putting them in a plastic bag and packing them in your luggage.

In this form your bike will fit inside the boxes provided by the airlines or will fly as is (our guides send their bikes without boxes this way quite often). If your airline does not provide boxes and will not accept the bike unboxed (check when your book your tickets), then ask your local bike shop for a box (as big of one as they have). Disassemble the bike as little as possible, hopefully you can get away with only removing the front wheel and seat/seatpost. If you have to remove the wheel(s) take out the quick release skewers, as they will get bent otherwise. Be sure to put any small parts in a plastic bag and attach it to the bike frame.

Clothing & Equipment

To Wear

Cycling Gear
  • Cycling Shorts
  • Jerseys / T-shirts
  • Socks
  • Cycling Gloves
  • Cycling Shoes
  • Rain Jacket
  • Helmet
  • Waterbottle

After Riding Clothes(casual wear)
  • Pants / Shorts / Skirts
  • Shirts
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Undergarments
  • Lightweight Pile Jacket or Sweater


To Use

  • Helmet
  • Waterbottle (large for bike)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera & spare batteries
  • Memory Cards
  • Favorite Energy Snack
  • Binoculars
  • Notepad or journal
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Scarf or Bandanna
  • Medications and Hygiene needs
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Travel Clock
  • Guide books and/or Language guides

Baggage
  • Duffel or softside suitcase
  • Fanny Pack or Day Pack
  • Passport wallet


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