There’s a unique new activity on offer in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo. Guests can now explore the scenic Royal Hill of Ambohimanga on two wheels instead of a standard bus excursion! Cycling to the ancient royal city is a refreshing way to take in the sights and surrounding area of the journey and engage with the Malagasy way of life. Once arrived at the site, guests explore the King’s Palace on foot. The compound consists of palace grounds, burial sites and a collection of sacred places. It’s an excellent way to learn more about Madagascar’s rich cultural history as well as have the opportunity to witness some of the rituals and customs of the local Malagasy people. The ride is a pleasant meander through the area and is suitable for all fitness levels.
The historical and culturally enlightening excursion starts with a pick-up from your hotel. Guests will be transported to Ambohimanga Hill by vehicle and from there cycle to the Royal compound of Ambohimanga to visit, among others, the King’s Palace and the Queen’s Summer house. Along the way view Antananarivo from the locals perspective, with rural landscapes and scenic views. The hill overlooks the city and offers an excellent viewpoint. The neighbourhood surrounding Ambohimanga is slightly more upmarket than the rest of Tana, with beautiful architecture and nice restaurants, providing a slightly more suburban feel than the bustling city. As you enter the Royal Palace remember that this is a privilege previously denied to foreigners as it is an incredibly sacred place for the Malagasy people, with many still visiting today to sacrifice zebu and smaller animals to their ancestors. Cycle through the town while listening to interesting stories and learning more about the Malagasy customs and ways of life. Your guide will also share interesting quirks of the previous Kings of Madagascar as well as one of the bloodthirsty queens. Feel free to ask your guide to stop at any points which grab your attention. You will also have the option of walking through a market where you can try the local foods on offer. This is a must-do and certainly deserves to be experienced while in Madagascar.
The entire outing takes about 5 hours. It’s a wonderful way to fill a day in Tana, especially for travellers who are looking to do something new and different. The price includes transfers, bicycle rental, entrance and guide fees.