Isalo National Park

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Those equipped for trekking and camping can spend several days or longer wandering around the Isalo Massif.

From Tulear It’s quite easy to take a lift on the way back to the north – Route Nationale n. 7 (RN7), most of 4×4s arrive to Tulear full of tourists from Tanà and they come back the day after almost empty…it’s almost a pleasure for the driver to take someone back, some of them asks for few money but we were lucky we found one for free directed to the Isalo National Park (237km). The landscape change in beautiful and huge valleys till when we arrive in Ranohira where you can see the Isalo Canyon. Ranohira is our base camp to visit the park.

Isalo is a vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers, deep canyons, eroded sandstone formations, gorges and oases. The grassy plains are surrounded by canyons and in some places the landscape can give the sensation of being transported to the old wildwest. The rocky landscape is the perfect place to explore on foot, but Isalo is more of a landscape stop with its wildlife. The forest is the home of a population of ring-tailed lemur, red-fronted lemurs, and verreaux’s sifaka. Higher up, the landscape becomes much more arid, providing the perfect habitat for endemic succulents including members of the aloe family and the aptly named ’Elephant’s Foot’ plant (Pachypodium rosolatum). The area also features a number of traditional burial tombs, tucked into the nooks and crannies of the rocks. A popular two-days excursion is from the campsite at Canyon des Singes through the Isalo Massif to the Canyon de Makis and Piscine Naturelle. It’s a hot and long walk but the landscape along the way is breathtaking with hidden canyons, brilliantly coloured ranges, bizarre strata and the chance to observe sifakas as well as ringtail lemurs.

At Piscine Naturelle there is a natural stone cave that overlooks a waterfall that tumbles into a deep green pool surrounded by overhanging pandanus trees. Ideal for swimming, especially after a long hot trip over the massif from Canyon des Singes. The sunset from the top of the Isalo Massif (the Malagasy Colorado) is really unbelievable. Pay attention there are no direct busses from Ranohira, so from 6 am to 5 pm you have to take a bus to Ilakaka and then choose where you want to go.
Those equipped for trekking and camping can spend several days or longer wandering around the Isalo Massif.

written by -a-l-b-e-r-t-o- on 2010-05-05 in #world #locations #madagascar #canyon #national-park #lemur #landscape #isalo #nature

2 Comments

  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Waow Alberto ! You brought us back some crazy images form this trekker's paradise !

  2. azurblue
    azurblue ·

    Once again, fantastic shots of a beautiful location ! Thanks again for sharing, a-l-b-e-r-t-o !
    Your horizon pics are so nice !

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