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Some Tips on Flying with your Bicycle to Madagascar

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If you are contemplating cycling across Madagascar with us, you may have wondered about getting to the start point, and returning back at the end. Magical Madagascar starts May 17, 2017 in Ifaty – a small fishing town blessed with gorgeous beaches and ends June 25, 2017 in Antsiranana at the far northern end of the island.

Madagascar may seem like a far off place, but you might be surprised to learn that Turkish Airlines, South African Airlines, Air France, Air Madagascar all have direct flights from either Paris or Johannesburg to Antananarivo – Madagascar’s capital city (not to be confused with Antsiranana where our tour finishes). Below we detail how to get to Ifaty and back from Antsiranana with you bike.

Getting You (and Your Bicycle) to Ifaty

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credit: Ifaty beach by Bgag under CC-BY-SA-3.0

From Antananarivo you will need to fly to Toliara Airport (TLE). Our hotel in Ifaty is a one hour taxi ride from there. You can book the flight to Toliara directly on Air Madagascar’s website.

Flying with your bicycle should be possible, but it is best to try and confirm this at the time of booking. If you run into issues with securing a place for your bicycle on the flight, we can bring your bicycle with our tour support vehicles from the capital to the start line. In order to do this you would need to arrive in the capital at least 3 days before the tour starts, to allow enough time for the vehicles to reach Ifaty in time.

Getting You (and Your Bicycle) Back Home from Antsiranana

Nosy Be Island, Madagascar

Nosy Be Island

At the end of the tour there are two options:

International flights depart from Fascene Airport (NOS) on Nosy Be Island – a relaxing beach destination where you may want to rest your tired legs. You can reach Nosy Be from Antsiranana by local bus, or arrange to hire a private taxi. You can book a flight leaving from Nosy Be directly through Air Madagascar.

The other option is to fly back to the capital from Arrachart Airport (DIE) in Antsiranana, and then fly home from there. But it is important to note that your bicycle will likely not fit on these small planes, so you would need to book your flight out of the capital at least 2 days after the tour finishes, to allow enough time for the vehicles to reach the capital with your bicycle.

Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar

Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar

Still Need Help?

If you are struggling with booking the flights through Air Madagascar’s website, please feel free to contact Jennifer Patterson. She is a travel agent at Merit Travel based in Toronto who we have known for many years and will be able to assist you.

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4 Comments for "Some Tips on Flying with your Bicycle to Madagascar"

I just read this blog and I wish it had been included in the details before I registered. The prospect of having to possibly arrive 3 days in advance and another couple days at the end of the journey, simply because you’ve selected locations that are remote and serviced by small aircraft, has driven a nail in the coffin for me joining you on this trip. I very much want to come, and carving 6 weeks out of my schedule is difficult enough, but spending another week downtime awaiting transport of my bike back and forth seems a bit arcane. Maybe a bit too much wanderlust for me…if I’m there I want to be riding. Sorry for the honesty.

    Madagascar is a distant destination and not the easiest place in the world to travel to, or in. However once in the country you won’t regret that you made the journey.

    There is still the possibility of getting your bike on the plane to the airport near the start of the tour, so hopefully no extra days will be required. We still recommend arriving at least a couple days early to get yourself sorted and adjust to the time zone change. Also just to enjoy the beach!:)

    If you’re leaving after the first section, then your flight home will be easy, as you’ll be departing from the Capital city with international flights.

    If you want to avoid any chance of us needing to transport your bike at the end of the tour, you can arrange to fly out of Nosy Be.

This might also mean I can’t join either, I was hoping to do the whole trip but was also having to face reality of only being able to do the first section and assume that will be even more difficult from a bike transportation angle? What is the advice for a first sectional rider or is that even worse from a timing perspective?

    Madagascar is a distant destination and not the easiest place in the world to travel to, or in. However once in the country you won’t regret that you made the journey.

    There is still the possibility of getting your bike on the plane to the airport near the start of the tour, so hopefully no extra days will be required. We still recommend arriving at least a couple days early to get yourself sorted and adjust to the time zone change. Also just to enjoy the beach!:)

    If you’re leaving after the first section, then your flight home will be easy, as you’ll be departing from the Capital city with international flights.

    If you want to avoid any chance of us needing to transport your bike at the end of the tour, you can arrange to fly out of Nosy Be.

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