Bicycle touring in Madagascar may not be easy from a logistical point of view, but most cyclists who make the trip agree on one thing: it was worth the effort.

German solo cyclist Heike Pirngruber tells us what makes cycle touring in Madagascar so special.

#1: Scenery

Madagascar’s scenery is very diverse and includes tropical rainforest, different types of desert, mountains, beaches, canyons and rice terraces as pretty as you’ll find on Bali. There is also southern African bushland, with the deep red clay soil that makes the scenery so attractive.

It is just gorgeous where ever you go.

05 Madagascar Heike Pirngruber


 #2:National Parks:

The National Parks are the real treasures of the country. Not only are there many endemic plants that are superb to look at, but also colorful frogs and the countless different reptiles.

There are lizards, the well camouflaged uroplatus and the famous chameleons that exist in every size and color imaginable.

And of course don´t forget the well known lemurs. They are one of the cutest animals I have ever seen.

Every National Park has its own attraction and all are unique.

08 Madagascar Heike Pirngruber


02 Madagascar Heike Pirngruber


03 Madagascar Heike Pirngruber


# 3: Route National 7

The main Hwy is a 1,000 kilometer long tarmac road which runs from the capital, Antananarivo, to Tulear on the southwest coast of the country.

The road is in very good condition and the best part is about 50 kilometers after leaving the capital—you’ll have the road all to yourself. There is absolutely no traffic.

It passes through wonderful and diverse scenery, nice little towns and beautiful national parks. If you include a few side trips it will keep you busy for at least a month.

Best of all, there is no need to get stuck on any dusty or muddy gravel roads. Just hit Route 7 and enjoy easy pedaling downhill to the coast.

06 Madagascar Heike Pirngruber

#4: Kids

The kids are fabulous.  Curious but respectful.  Happy.

They never beg or ask for school pens, No, they just want to say hello or help you push your bike up a hill.

Not a single stone thrown, no aggression, just friendly kids who keep enough distance from you and your belongings. It´s a real pleasure just to be with them and play together.

07 Madagascar Heike Pirngruber

#5: Travel Light

You can leave your camping gear (including tent and mattress) as well as your stove and pots at home.

If you don´t expect a lot, you can find cheap but very basic accommodation and small restaurants in nearly every little town.

Just remember, a mosquito net is essential.

01 Madagascar Heike Pirngruber

About the Author:

Heike Pirngruber is a professional photographer and camera woman.  She has visited more than 70 countries, many of them by bicycle.  In May 2013 she began her big solo female cycling trip from Germany to Australia. As of 2017, she's still cycling strong. Her current adventure is a bikepacking tour of the Americas. You can follow her adventures at


Top 5 Reasons to Cycle Madagascar
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