Motorcycling Madagascar Coast
Madagascar’s difficult road system makes motorcycle touring an excellent choice for navigating the different terrain and having intimate views of volcanos, the rainforest and the Malagasy people.
This bold motorcycle journey begins in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo, where you set out to Ampefy passing the Itasy region’s lakes, waterfalls and volcanoes. After a night’s rest, you’ll ride to Antsirabe along rice paddies and quaint villages. The next leg takes riders to Ambohimahasoa, passing lakes of Andraikiba and Tritiva before resting at Lemur Forest Camp. The road to Manakara leads to the coast through the rainforest. Enjoy a canoe trip before riding toward Mananjary in the Indian Ocean rim and head to Ranomafana to see the best park on the island. Riding to the Deep South, you’ll pass rock formations near Fianarantsoa before arriving in the vineyard region of Ambalavao. Continuing south from Ambalavao to Ranohira, riders pass the Anja reserve for a glimpse of ringtail lemurs. Bikers can spend a day exploring canyons and riding along sandstone formations of Isalo National Park. Heading down between Ranohira and Ifaty, riders can take a break in Ifaty’s beach village and check out baobab trees before catching the flight back to Antananarivo the next day.
Flights arrive from one of the international hubs servicing Ivato Airport, 20 km north of Antananarivo in Madagascar. Ivato Airport is the main hub for Air Madagascar with flights arriving via all major airlines WestJet, Turkish Airlines, Delta Airlines and many more.
It’s best to take a charter taxi from the airport due to the challenging road conditions. Less than 20 percent of the roads in Madagascar are sealed, leaving the remainder riddled with massive potholes so it’s wise to have a local driver take you to Antananarivo. And, during the rainy season, many of the country’s routes are impassable and a local driver would know the appropriate detours.
Motorcycles can be leased in many places in Madagascar, including Nosy Be, Tulear, and Ile Sainte Marie.