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Cycle Madagascar
Madagascar - Trip code CMG Cycling
Days 14
Deposit From £313
Price from £3125
Flights inclusive
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Why book this trip?

Highland plains, verdant rainforests and tea plantations are the setting for this cycling adventure in Madagascar. We travel from the Malagasy capital to the inviting waters of the Indian Ocean, cycling the most rewarding sections on largely quiet roads to bring you closer to the sights, sounds and smells. Along the way we explore Ranomafana and Isalo National Parks on foot, hoping to see some species of lemur as well as endemic reptiles, birds and plants. Finally, we reward ourselves with time on the golden beaches of Ifaty before returning to the capital by plane.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 13

      Lunch: 5

    • Trip staff

      Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide

      Driver(s)

    • Transport

      Bus

      Bicycle

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      Accommodation

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      Cycling grade:

      Moderate

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      Group Size:

      10 - 16

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Trip information

    Country information

    Madagascar

    Climate

    The climate is tropical, but cooler in the highlands (dropping as low as 5°C at night in July/August in Antananarivo and Andasibe). The dry season is March to October continuing into November in most areas. The east coast is best March-May and September-November, January-March is cyclone season. The south west area is hot, dry and semi-arid. March-April is the best time for flowers and reptiles. November (spring) is generally the best time for wildlife and birds, but lemurs can be viewed all year round. Additional information and climate charts can be accessed at http://www.explore.co.uk/weather. Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable. Up-to-date information on the weather worldwide can be found by following the BBC weather link on this page.

    Time difference to GMT

    +3

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    Christian

    Language

    Malagasy, French

    Budgeting and packing

    Optional activities

    The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


    Ifaty - Snorkelling 38 Ariary per person, Whale watching 152 Ariary per person, Diving 152 Ariary per person, Jeep excursion villages and Baobabs 38 Ariary per person (min number required)
    Ranomafana National Park - Additional guided walk 38 Ariary per person (min number required)
    Toliara - Arboreteum 46 Ariary per person, Spiney Forest Walk 69 Ariary per person (depending on numbers)

    Clothing

    Prepare for a variety of weather but generally hot. We recommend you bring padded cycle shorts, cycle gloves and quick drying cycle shirts. In case of rain, waterproofs are essential. We operate this trip in the dry season from April to October at which time it can be cold on the central plateau (including Antananarivo) at night. Isalo on the other hand will be hot in the day and cool at night. Isalo should be dry, while Ranomafana can get very wet. Bring swimwear for the hot springs, rock pools and sea. Culturally it is acceptable to wear shorts.

    Footwear

    If you are not bringing cycle shoes then try to bring stiff-soled shoes as these are better for cycling - transmitting your energy into the pedals more efficiently. This becomes more relevant and recommended the more demanding the grade and distances to cover. SPD cycle shoes are not well suited to tours that combine sightseeing with cycling.
    Comfortable shoes, trainers, sandals or flip flops are useful when not on the bike.

    Luggage

    18Kg

    Luggage: On tour

    One bag or suitcase and a daybag.

    Equipment

    On all Explore cycle holidays we strongly recommend you bring along and wear your cycle helmet. In case of an accident resulting in personal injury, certain insurance policies are invalidated in cases where a helmet was not being worn. Cycle glasses to protect against dust, pollen and the sun, padded cycle gloves and a water bottle or water delivery system (e.g. camelback or platypus) are also useful. You may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. If a handle bar bag or pannier is not provided (check bike details) then you may like to bring a small rucksack to wear while cycling. Other items to consider bringing are a sunhat and sun cream, torch, earplugs and insect repellent. Please carry some or all of your cycling equipment e.g. helmet as part of your hand luggage.

    Tipping

    Explore leader
    At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
    Local crew
    Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow approx. £35 for tipping.

    In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.


    International Departure Taxes
    Ivato (Antananarivo) Airport:
    International airport departure tax is approximately 38Euros
    Domestic airport departure tax is approximately 20Euros
    There is an additional country departure tax of US$15.00 per person.
    Flight tickets issued after 04 November 2016 will include the departure taxes as part of the ticket. If you have booked your flight ticket independently please check with your travel agent/airline if these taxes are included in your ticket. If any are not you will need to pay for the above taxes locally at the airport in cash.

    Madagascar

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £7.00
    Dinner price
    £12.00
    Beer price
    £2.00 - 4.00
    Water price
    £0.50
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Malagasy Ariary.
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    We recommend taking most of your money in GBP, US Dollars or Euro cash. GBP can be changed at Tana airport and then after that Euro or US$ will be the preferred cash for exchange outside the capital. Please note that US$100 bills are not accepted and credit cards are rarely accepted.
    Where To Exchange
    Limited to Antananarivo, Antsirabe and Fianarantsoa. Your tour leader will advise on arrival.
    ATM Availability
    Antananarivo only, but ATMs cannot be relied upon.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Very limited in Antananarivo and not to be relied upon.
    Travellers Cheques
    Take some travellers cheques in case of emergencies, though note that they are extremely difficult to exchange. Up-to-date information re: global exchange rates can be obtained at https://www.currencyexpress.com/explore/
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    Bus, Bicycle

    Accommodation notes

    Standard - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    Madagascar: An entry visa is required by UK, New Zealand, Australian, US & Canadian citizens and can be obtained on arrival. The visa is chargeable at 80.000AR (approximately 30Euros) and issued for 30 days. The visa fee is payable in Euros and we advise to take small denominations and a little extra as the Euro amount is calculated daily by the applicable rate of exchange. Please note GBP sterling is not accepted for the visa fee. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate.

    Travel via South Africa (including transits): From 1st June 2015 South Africa will enforce new immigration regulations effecting all children aged under 18 years that are travelling to, from or via the country. The new laws state that parents and/or guardian maybe requested by the airline and/or South Africa immigration officers to provide additional documentation for each child they are travelling with. Please refer to the FOC website (for UK passport holders) and/or your local South African High Commission or Embassy for full requirements. The following link, is a leaflet produced by the South African government explaining the requirements: http://www.dha.gov.za/files/Brochures/Immigrationleaflet.pdf.


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Ability to swim

    An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.

    Madagascar

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A plus Polio and diptheria. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Following the advice given by the Government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we strongly recommend the wearing long sleeved shirts and the liberal application of insect repellent as a precautionary measure to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. These precautions should be taken at all times as the mosquitoes are also active during daylight hours. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Cycling information
    CMG Distance Chart
    General cycling information
    On this tour we cycle 343 km over seven days (an average of 49 km per day). The terrain is mainly undulating and on tarmac in decent condition with little car traffic, except some small sections in Antsirabe and Fianarantsoa. About 20% of the entire route is on poor quality pot-holed roads or dirt roads. A support vehicle accompanies the rides throughout the tour. We have graded the route as moderate.
    Bike included
    27 or 30 gear Cube or Rock Machine mountain bikes with front suspension
    Bike information
    Your included bike is a 27 or 30 gear Rock Machine Torrent 70 or Cube mountain bike with front suspension and will be the correct frame size for your height. Female and male frames are allocated accordingly when booking unless you specifically request otherwise. A water bottle holder is included as well as the facility to fit your own pedals or saddle if you wish to bring them. A support vehicle accompanies the rides throughout the tour. We provide spare parts and take care of the day to day maintenance. All you need to bring is your own helmet.
    Cycling grade
    Moderate
    Additional Information

    Why book this trip

    Unlike many other operators, we include the hire of your bike in the overall cost of the holiday: you don't need to bring your own or pay extra to hire one locally. We also provide a support vehicle, spare parts and take care of day to day bike maintenance. All you need bring is your own helmet.

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Sun 29 Sep 2019 - Sat 12 Oct 2019 Guaranteed departure
    CMG_2019
    Price from £2295
    Save was
    Single room option +£390
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Antananarivo
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Antananarivo
    Time
    09:00
    Information Please be advised that all international flights incur the following departure taxes:
    From Ivato (Antananarivo) Airport:
    International airport departure tax is approximately 38Euros
    Domestic airport departure tax is approximately 20Euros
    From all Madagascan airports:
    International country departure tax of US$15.00 per person.
    Flight tickets issued after 04 November 2016 will include the departure taxes as part of the ticket. If you have booked your flight ticket independently please check with your travel agent/airline if these taxes are included in your ticket. If any are not you will need to pay for the above taxes locally at the airport in cash.
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 28 Sep 2019 - Sun 13 Oct 2019 Guaranteed departure
    CMG_2019
    Price from £3125
    Save was
    Single room option +£390
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Antananarivo
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Antananarivo
    Time
    09:00
    Information Please be advised that all international flights incur the following departure taxes:
    From Ivato (Antananarivo) Airport:
    International airport departure tax is approximately 38Euros
    Domestic airport departure tax is approximately 20Euros
    From all Madagascan airports:
    International country departure tax of US$15.00 per person.
    Flight tickets issued after 04 November 2016 will include the departure taxes as part of the ticket. If you have booked your flight ticket independently please check with your travel agent/airline if these taxes are included in your ticket. If any are not you will need to pay for the above taxes locally at the airport in cash.
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Award Winning Explore Leaders
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    Price Guarantee Promise
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    Airport Transfers
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