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Isalo Madagascar – Explorer guide
An oasis in the middle of the desert, that’s what Isalo national park in Madagascar looks like. The park is one of the most popular parks in Madagascar and what makes it so special is the diversity of wildlife, plants and surroundings.
This huge rock massif from the Jurassic period rises up in the middle of the plains and once you step inside.. it’s a whole other world. The trails lead you through wet gorges with natural pools, over savanna fields and on top of Lion King like rock formations.
Read all about it in this Isalo Madagascar explorer guide!
Ranohira is your entrance to the famous Isalo national park. After you’ve booked your tour at your hotel or the park office in Ranohira, you will head out to the park with your guide.
Tours & guides
The park’s main attraction are the beautiful hiking routes, which differ from 2 hours to 15 days in length. Just like in all other national parks in Madagascar you are required to hire a guide that will take you through the national park.
Entrance fees Isalo np
Entrance price per person: 65.000 ariary (€15,45)
Community price/Tax per person: 5.000 ariary (€1,20)
Guide: 120.000 ariary (€28,50) for more than 5 hours
Keep in mind extra costs for porters, camping fees and tips.
So expect to pay a minimum of €60 when you visit the park with two people.
How to get there
Almost all towns are connected by the RN7, the best maintained road you’ll find in Madagascar. This road will lead you from Antananarivo in about 15 hours to Ranohira and Isalo national park.
It’s a long way to drive, but there are plenty of great stops along the way. Such as the beautiful lush Ranomafana national park.
You can also choose to fly to Tulear (Toliara) and make your way to Isalo from there.
When to visit the park
Unlike other national parks in Madagascar, Isalo is great to visit year round. The temperature is dry and hot throughout the year, but there is a slightly cooler period from May to October.
There are many many trails going through the massive 815km² Isalo Madagascar national park, from short trails to long trails and from high plateaus to blue natural pools. But, there’s three trails that stand out and you should definitely consider.
Also check out “Ranomafana Madagascar – Explorer guide”
1. Piscine Naturelle trail
This is one of the most popular trails inside the park, probably because of its length. It will take you to the Piscine Naturelle, a beautiful crystal blue pool fringed with lush greenery. It's only 3 km from the parking and it's an easy hike over mainly flat terrain. It's nice to combine this hike with the Canyon des Singes.
2. Namaza circuit & the Cascades des Nymphes
This amazing route will take you through the wonderful world of what Isalo is all about. The cultural heritage and ruins of the Bara tribes, lush green gorges and beautiful natural pools that will take your breath away. A beautiful highlight of this trail are the natural pools. There's the blue and black pool and the stunning Cascade des Nymphes, a natural clear blue rock pool with a waterfall. Make sure to bring your swimsuit!
This sandstone massif is spread over a huge part of Southwestern Madagascar. The Makay Massif is fairly unknown and lots of it hasn't been explored yet. It's a real expedition that can take multiple days, sometimes up to 15. So are you a real explorer that needs a huge adventure? This might be it!