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5 Stories of Adventure in the Land of the Lemurs

Tales of exotic wildlife and unique cultural experiences touring Madagascar.

Published on 04.22.2014

5. Land of Freedom, Kingdom of Offroad Adventure

Franck Brunie is a French Adventure Rider currently living in Munich, Germany. Each year he and his friends take two weeks off for an Adventure Riding trip. Franck and his friends enjoy extreme off-road riding at a fast pace using small Dual Sport bikes. They also like to travel to the more remote areas of the world to have unique cultural experiences. Madagascar offered the perfect location to combine those two pursuits for their annual trip.

Water crossing touring Madagascar
The group encountered many deep water crossing during their tour of Madagascar. (Courtesy Franck B/

The plan consisted of 1,300 miles (2,000 km) and 12 days of riding some of the more challenging trails of Madagascar. Upon arrival, they rent five well maintained Honda XR400’s with oversized tanks and set off with a local guide with extensive knowledge of the trails in the area. Traveling as light as possible, they carry all of their equipment and supplies in large backpacks.

Climbing up the high plateau in Madagascar
Climbing up the high plateau, the landscape changes to arid single-tracks of dirt and white dust. (Courtesy Franck B/

Their journey takes them from Nosy Bé up North to Diego Suarez, then back south along the East Coast to where the road ends in Andapa. From Andapa they take muddy tracks through the rain forest all day to Antsakabary on some of the most difficult terrain of the trip. This video clip shows some of the technical riding they encounter.


By getting off the main roads, the group is able to test their riding skill through deep sand, mud and silt (fesh-fesh). They also witness some spectacular views of the countryside as they travel to remote areas rarely visited by Westerners. During the tour they must endure injuries, illness and mechanical failures to complete this ambitious journey. You can check out the full ride report on

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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Kevin Fairburn
Kevin Fairburn
August 10, 2014 3:04 am

Thanks for promoting my video and sharing the adventure with the world. Madagascar is one of the most fascinating countries I have had the privilege to ride through.
Kevin Fairburn (AUS)

Rob Dabney
Rob Dabney
August 10, 2014 8:55 am

No problem Kevin. Thank you for sharing too! We look forward to following your future journeys.


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