Isalo National Park (Parc National de Isalo)

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Isalo National Park was established in 1962. It lies on a massif with grassy plains and eroded sandstone ridges, including weird landscapes and natural features. The park covers 81,540 hectares (201,404 acres) and can be explored on foot, though you'd best take a guide or you'll most definitely get lost. Hidden in the rock are numerous Sakalava Tombs. Since there exist many fady (taboos) in the region, don't press your guide if he seems reluctant to tell you about the tombs, just change the subject.

Another interesting feature in the park is the Canyon des Singes, or Canyon of the Monkeys. There are many sifakas, lemurs in the trees near the canyon. Not far away are the Bara Zafimagnely Tombs in the Canyon des Rats, but there might be the same uneasiness from your guide, so it is possible you won't be able to see them. The walk along the canyon to the Piscine Naturelle (natural swimming pool) goes through a magnificent landscape.

At the northern side of the park you will find the Grotte des Portugais, a cave in the beautiful ForĂȘt de Sahanafa. The forest houses many natural springs and you will see numerous lemurs.

Ranohira is the nearest town to the park and lies 450 km southwest of Antananarivo. You can get to the town by bush taxi from Antananarivo or Ihosy. From Ranohira to the park is by brousse-taxi. In Ranohira is some accommodation available.


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