Where and how in Madgascar to Test Your Limits

kitesurfing in Madagascar

Madagascar is breathtaking. From incredible views to spectacular landscapes to paradise islands, it's a country that never fails to impress. It is also where popular action adventure sports like these magnificent seven, will take your breath away. Sometimes literally.

Kitesurfing in Sakalava

Kitesurfing is increasing in popularity in Madagascar where sandy beaches, warm water and reef breaks that provide waves and sheltered lagoons create ideal conditions. Also, most importantly, there are consistant trade winds that blow from April to November with peak times between June and September.  Sakalava Bay in the north has become a popular spot with kitesurf centres and boutique hotels scattered along the 2km beach where the lagoon is a perfect location for beginners and the waves on the reef are challenging for advanced kiters. There are also kitesurf safaris by boat from Ramena to the spectacular Emerald Sea where there is a kitesurf lodge at Babaomby. Another spot is in the south-east up the coast from the popular surf breaks near Ifaty where the winds blow cross-shore and the water is flat for kitesurfing inside the reef that runs parallel to the endless white sandy beaches.

More here about kitesurfing in Madagascar over the course over two trips to the Big Isle, featuring Ifaty, and the Saphire Coast, Salary Bay, Sakalava and the stunning Emerald Sea.

Climbing in Tsaranao

Tsaranao, the starting point for climbing the Pic Boby, is located near the Andringitra National Park, south of Fianarantsoa. The cliff called Tsaranoro also gave its name to the valley. To reach a plateau, you’ll need to hike along a track characterised by a series of steppes. Using the appropriate equipment, you can climb the 850m mountain, to take in the breathtaking view. For those of you who would rather wear a harness than a bikini, there are other sites for mountaineering and rock-climbing, such as the Tsingy of Bemaraha to the north-west and Nosy Hara in the north of Madagascar.

Mountain biking in Isalo

Take a ride through the Isalo National Park to discover its very rich ecosystem. The park is located in the district of Ranohira on the RN7 main road. Whether you are an amateur or an experienced rider, there are two types of trail in the Isalo National Park: a 60km one starting from Ilakaka (the big circuit) and the 30km routefrom Ankorombe. These trails, at an altitude of 1,000m, can be completed in half a day, or longer if you decide to camp. In this National Park, with its area of  81,540 hectares, you can see a variety of amphibians, reptiles and birds. During your bike ride enjoy the extraordinary landscapes, characterised by canyons and huge boulders. It is also possible to rent bikes for 'free riding' outside or around the National Park.

paragliding in Madagascar

Paragliding over Ampefy

Among the aerial activities, paragliding is the ideal sport to discover Madagascar from a bird's eye view. This activity, originally brought to the island by adventurous tourists from France and Reunion Island, now attracts more and more amateurs each year. It is a sport that is very dependent on the climate, the optimum weather conditions being between April and November. In Madagascar, the best sites for paragliding are located in Ampefy, Antsirabe and Ambositra on the high plateaus. There are three other sites in the south: Andringitra, Isalo and Saint Augustin. These sites give access to gliding spots over plains, mountains, coastal environments and other spectacular landscapes. This activity is regulated by ‘La Fédération Malgache de Vol Libre’ (the Malagasy Free Flight Federation).

Sea Kayaking in Diego Bay

While canoeing has become more and more popular in Madagascar, sea kayak expeditions are the new trend. The idea is to go for a trip at sea for several days and include other activities, such as swimming or snorkelling. Sea kayak expeditions are a new way to discover fauna and flora, as well as enjoy the scenery.

The most popular circuits for sea kayak expeditions are located in the north of Madagascar and on the west coast, thanks to their favourable currents. The most famous circuits are to be found in Sakalava Bay, Diego Bay, the Emerald Sea, Nosy Hara and the Mangily archipelago.

Quad-biking and SSV in Anjozorobe

 A buggy is similar to a kart and gives a smooth easy ride, while the quad provides greater stability and acceleration. On the Antananarivo-Anjozorobe circuit, off-road lovers can drive along an asphalt road before arriving at a red laterite road, to finish along a forest trail where there are lemurs, reptiles, birds and extraordinary flora. Anjozorobe isn’t the only trail of this type: there are others in Mantasoa, Mananjary and Toamasina.

 Trekking on the Masoala Cape

The most renowned tracks for close contact with nature are those linking the Alaotra Lake on the west coast, going through the Masoala Cape, the Mandraka track or the Makay labyrinths in the south. There are other higher and more difficult trails through beautiful scenery, such as the one leading to the Pic Boby in the Andringitre National Park or the Marojejy trail. Other national parks and protected areas also have trekking circuits along which you can see exceptional Malagasy fauna and flora.