Diego Suarez to Cap Diego by bike
There are many things to discover in the area surrounding Diego Suarez. For enthusiastic mountain bikers, a trip to Cap Diego is just the right thing. The small, sometimes good and sometimes bad road leads along the Diego Suarez Bay (Antsiranana Bay).
Distance: 46.2km / 28.7 miles
Duration: 8 hours, 7 minutes, and 37 seconds
Average Speed: 5.57km/h / 3.4 mph
Minimum Elevation: 7m / 23 feet
Maximum Elevation: 69.7m / 229 feet
Total climb: 370m / 1213 feet
Total descent: 372m / 1219 feet
The Diego Suarez to Cap Diego bike ride takes about 5 hours, allowing for many stops to enjoy the magnificent views onto the bay and hinterland. The road offers all kinds of condition: small gravel, large gravel, dirt road, old asphalt road or a simple trail. At some sections the road is impassable and it is better to push the bike. Depending on the season, the weather can be very hot and windy.
For this bike tour it is essential to have a good mountain bike. Madabike in the centre of Diego Suarez rents out bicycles on a daily basis.
The bike excursion starts in Diego Suarez. After leaving the town towards the south, one turns right in the direction of Anamakia. On the way to this small village, one passes the large Plaine d'Anamakia, a wide open space which is used as grazing land for hundreds of zebus. At the western end of Anamakia is a bar, where just across the square women sell delicious mangoes when the season is right (usually October through January).
A short bike ride from Anamakia are the large salt marshes of the Salines d'Antsahampano. After passing the fields one comes to a crossing with a police checkpoint. Going straight leads to Nosy Hara National Park via Ampasindava (16km), going right to Cap Diego (21km). From now on the condition of the road changes every couple of kilometres. After passing some houses on the left, one should turn right. About 11km later, a sign points towards Cap Diego and the French Military Cemetery (Cimetière Militaire Français, 10km).
After passing the military airfield Andrakaka, the road is in good condition again. The remaining bike ride to Cap Diego is very quick and easy. At Cap Diego one can follow the road and pass through the military grounds. Against a fee, it is possible to visit the ruins of the former military station and some caves. For those not interested in history and old buildings should just turn right before the tollbar. A trail leads through some houses to the small harbour, from where scheduled boats leave straight to Diego Suarez (2,000 Ariary per person in 2017).
Detailed route with geographic coordinates
Antsiranana - Diego Suarez
crossing with some houses
12.290536S 49.180897E and 12.290541S 49.180890E
turn right direction Cap Diego and French Military Cemetery (Cimetière Militaire Français) - 10km
Military airfield Andrakaka
Back to Diego Suarez by boat
Bicycle rental: Madabike.com