Isalo National Park in Madagascar

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Isalo National Park is a National Park in the Ihorombe Region of Madagascar. The park is known for its wide variety of terrain, including sandstone formations, deep canyons, a palm-lined oases, and grassland. Established in 1962, Isalo National Park is dominated by rugged massive that rises up from the flat surrounding grassy plain, attracts hikers from the whole world that gather here to admire the sweeping colours of this Jurassic scenery.

Location

Isalo National Park is located approximately 700 km southwest of Antananarivo and protects 815 km² of sandstone massif wildly eroded by wind and rain into bizarre ridges (known as runiformes”)
featuring wild forms, impressive gorges and canyons and tiny stalagmite pinnacles.

About Isalo National Park

  • The park homes also approximately 80 species of birds (including the rare Benson’s rock-thrush, the knob-billed duck or the crested ibis), 35 of reptiles and several endemic frogs.
  • The flora is indeed more interesting than the fauna. There are several local endemic plants among the 500 species which are found within Isalo, such as the elephant´s foot and some rare palms and aloe species.
  • A local guide is required for visitors entering the park, and guides and porters can be hired in Ranohira. Treks in the park can last from several hours to a week or longer. The park includes several natural swimming pools which are popular among tourists, and are excellent sites to see the Benson’s Rock Thrush.
  • A natural stone cave overlooks a crystal-clear waterfall, which tumbles into a deep green pool surrounded by overhanging pandanus trees. The piscine is a true oasis in the heat of the canyons. This tour is ideally combined with the canyon des Singes, as the piscine offers a very welcome refreshment after a exhausting hike.
  • Canyon of Monkeys is a popular hike through the dense foliage of the forest to discover ring-tailed lemurs leaping through the trees, with their faces tilted to the sunrays and the lovely Sifakas, with their legs sideways along the ground in a bizarre and singularly cool dance step.
  • A Namaza circuit of there is a rather uneven canyon through luxuriant vegetation, a water fall and a deep swimming pool.
  • A big challenge, only reserve for the very fit, is the Portuguese cave. The cave is at the northern end of the park and getting there involves 4 days back and forth through the beautiful Sahanafa forest with natural springs and a lot of lemurs.

Best Time to Visit

If you are planning a Travel to Madagascar then the best time to go to Madagascar is between the months of April through to mid-December.

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