Here is our Guide to Isalo National park Madagascar. All you need to know about visiting this beautiful wonder of the world, where to sleep and what to do there.
Isalo National Park is a protected area located in the central highlands of Madagascar, near the town of Ranohira. It covers an area of 815 square kilometers and is characterized by its stunning sandstone formations, deep canyons, and lush vegetation. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including several species of lemurs, reptiles, and birds.
Visitors of Isalo National Park can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, camping, swimming in natural pools, and exploring the park’s many scenic viewpoints. The park is also known for its cultural significance, as it is home to several sacred burial sites of the Bara people, a local ethnic group.
Some of the popular attractions in Isalo National Park include the Piscine Naturelle. A natural swimming pool surrounded by lush vegetation, and the Canyon des Singes, a deep canyon that is home to several species of lemurs. The park also features several well-marked hiking trails that lead visitors through its rugged landscape, including the Namaza Circuit. The trek takes you past several scenic viewpoints and through a variety of different landscapes.
Isalo National Park in Madagascar offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.
Here are some of the top things to do in Isalo National Park:
Hiking – Guide to Isalo National park Madagascar
Isalo National Park features several well-marked hiking trails that offer visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s stunning landscape on foot. The trails range in difficulty from easy to challenging and offer a variety of different experiences, from hiking through deep canyons to climbing up steep cliffs.
Swimming – Guide to Isalo National park Madagascar
The park is home to several natural swimming pools, including the popular Piscine Naturelle, which offers a refreshing place to cool off after a hike.
Wildlife watching – Guide to Isalo National park Madagascar
Isalo National Park is home to a variety of unique wildlife, including several species of lemurs, reptiles, and birds. Visitors can spot ring-tailed lemurs, sifakas, chameleons, and more.
Exploring canyons and rock formations
The park is known for its stunning sandstone formations and deep canyons, which offer visitors the opportunity to explore unique geological features and take in breathtaking views.
Isalo National Park is home to several sacred burial sites of the Bara people, a local ethnic group. Visitors can learn about the cultural significance of the park and the Bara people through guided tours and cultural experiences.
Isalo National Park is important to the local Bara people, who have lived in the area for centuries. The Bara have a strong cultural connection to the park and believe that it is a sacred place.
The park offers several campsites where visitors can spend the night and enjoy the park’s stunning scenery under the stars. Camping in Isalo National Park is a great way to experience the stunning natural beauty of the park and immerse yourself in the wilderness of Madagascar.
Camping in Isalo National Park requires a permit, which can be obtained from the park office in Ranohira. You will need to provide a valid ID and pay a fee to obtain the permit. There are several designated campsites in the park, like for example Namaza campsite. The campsites have basic facilities such as pit toilets and fire pits. Camping equipment is usually provided by the guides. You will also need to pay for a porter to carry all the food and other supplies.
You will have to take a guided tour with a local operator. They can provide you with valuable information about the park, its wildlife, and the best camping spots. We recommend contacting our guide Felix (we put his information in this post). You can also ask in the park office for further information.
Warning: The weather in Isalo National Park can be unpredictable, with hot days and cool nights. It is a good idea to bring warm clothing for the evenings and rain gear in case of sudden showers.
How to visit Isalo National Park
First, you will need to decide how much hiking you want to do. You can choose from an easy hike to a full-day hike and the price of course depends on your decision. We went for a full-day hike with Felix and we enjoyed every second of it! The hike was not hard, just come prepared with enough water, a hat, and sunscreen. Don’t forget to bring your swimming suit, you can swim and cool down on the way!
The entrance to the park will cost you 120.000 MGA = 25€ per person and for the full-day guide, you will have to pay 200.000 MGA = 42€. Here is the price list so you can check the prices yourself.
We recommend talking with Felix before and then you guys can meet in front of the main office where you will decide on the hike and where you will pay for the entry and the guide.
We highly recommend our guide Felix (firstname.lastname@example.org; +261345146859), he was the best guide we had on the whole trip! He can also help you with organizing whatever activities you want to do in the area.
Where to stay in Isalo National Park
There are several accommodation options available near Isalo National Park, including hotels, lodges, and campsites. The town of Ranohira is the closest to the park and offers a range of amenities, including restaurants and shops. The only problem for us was that the accommodations weren’t exactly cheap, considering we are in Madagascar.
So we asked our driver Josh for recommendations and it turned out this was the right thing to do! 🙂
We stayed in a beautiful place, called Chez Alice. It is a very nice place with very good prices. For a simple but super cute bungalow for 2 people with warm water, we paid 62.000 MGA = 13,2€. A bungalow with cold water costs even less 46.000 MGA = 9,7€. It is the best accommodation in the city if you ask us.
One of the highlights – Guide to Isalo National park Madagascar
Overall, Isalo National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers visiting Madagascar. Isalo National Park is a stunning and unique destination that offers visitors a chance to explore Madagascar’s incredible natural beauty. With its spectacular sandstone formations, diverse wildlife, and cultural significance, it is a must-see for anyone traveling to Madagascar.