The enigmatic ridges of the eroded sandstone massif cast an eerie atmosphere over the grassy plains and jagged gorges of the Isalo National Park, drawing people from all over the world who are eager to hike through this Jurassic-like landscape. The 81,500ha park in southern Madagascar is a place of ritual and tradition in which the sacred tombs of the Bara tribe lay hidden among the rocky cliffs as a testament to the cultural importance of the area.
An interior of lush valleys and waterfalls cradles the wildlife of Isalo including ring-tailed lemurs and the sifaka. A hike to the Piscine Naturelle takes visitors beneath overhanging pandanus palms to a spectacular waterfall cascading down into a natural green pool, offering respite from the heat. For the experienced hiker, a four day trek through the dense and dark woods of the Sahanafa Forest to the Portuguese Cave will give them a chance to witness the full extent of the park’s varied landscape.
Isalo is accessible throughout the year and can be reached by following the well-kept road between the cities of Antananarivo and Toliara. To get a better idea of the park’s cultural and natural significance, a visit to the eco-museum at the La Maison d’Isalo is a must-do.
- A distinctive Jurassic landscape draws hikers from all over
- Visit the sacred tombs of the Bara tribe hidden among rocky cliffs
- An interior of lush valleys is home to ring-tailed lemurs and sifakas
- The Piscine Naturelle is a brilliant waterfall cascading into a natural pool which guests can reach after a picturesque hike
- The more experienced hiker can enjoy a four-day hike through the Sahanafa Forest to the Portuguese Cave
- Easily accessible by road between Antananarivo and Toliara