Isalo National Park

Isalo National Park or Parc National De L 'Isalo is a conservation area of 815 sq kilometers (314 sq miles) in Ihorombe Region, Madagascar, which has a variety of terrain including sandstone formations, deep canyons, palm oases and grasslands. The national park was declared in 1962 and has been managed by the Madagascar National Parks authority since 1997.

Isalo National Park is traditionally inhabited by Bara people who live nomadic life style with herding cattle or zebu. This area has a tropical dry climate with seasonal rainfall as home to over 400 plant species and many of them are endemic including Bismarck palm (Bismarckia nobilis), elephant's foot plant (Pachypodium rosulatum), Catharanthus ovalis and Aloe isaloensis.

Xvlor Isalo National Park is home to ring-tailed lemurs and elephant's foot plant

Xvlor.com Isalo National Park is home to ring-tailed lemurs and elephant's foot plant

More than 82 species of birds include Benson's rock thrush (Monticola sharpei bensoni), the knob-billed duck (Sarkidiornis melanotos) and the Madagascar ibis (Lophotibis cristata). More than 33 species of reptiles and 15 species of frogs include Dumeril's boa (Acrantophis dumerili), the white-lipped bright-eyed frog (Boophis albilabris) and the Malagasy rainbow frog (Scaphiophryne gottlebei).

More 14 species of mammals including some of the different legendary lemur species are found in the park. Diurnal lemurs include ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) and red-fronted lemur (Eulemur rufifrons), while the nocturnal is gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), red-tailed sportive lemur (Lepilemur ruficaudatus) and Coquerel's giant mouse lemur (Mirza coquereli).

Naturelle piscine is a natural stone cave overlooking a crystal-clear waterfall that falls into a dark green pool surrounded by pandanus trees. The piscine is a true oasis in a hot canyon. The Canyon des Singes (Canyon of Monkeys) is a popular climb through dense foliage in the woods to find ring-tailed lemurs.

www.xvlor.com Isalo National Park is home to ring-tailed lemurs and elephant's foot plant

Xvlor Isalo National Park is home to ring-tailed lemurs and elephant's foot plant

Location: Ihorombe Region, Madagascar.

Routes and public transport: Flight to Manja Airport in Manja City, then drive to Ranohira City for 163 kilometers (101.3 miles). Another alternative flight to Toliara Airport in Toliara City, then drive to Ranohira City for 198 kilometers (123.3 miles). The other closest city is Ihosy City.

Advice: Isalo National Park has administrative offices in Ranohira and Ihosy. Local guides and porters are available at Ranohira and Ihosy. Tracks in the park can take anywhere from a few hours to a week or longer. The park includes several natural pools.

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