As Madagascar’s most popular park, Isalo National Park, is a must-do when visiting the country. Our 1000 Views of Madagascar tour includes a stop at the park that can boldly claim some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. Most people already know about the “Window of Isalo” a stack of rocks that create a rectangular frame through which to watch a stunning sunset, but what about some of its lesser-known highlights? How much do you know about Isalo National Park? Take a list at our list and see whether you’re a novice or an expert…
1. It’s kind of like Colorado
Did you know that the park is considered the Colorado of Madagascar? The rock formations, reddish hues, and desert landscapes are said to resemble the Wild West of old school cowboy movies.
2. It has colourful rocks
The variations of colour on the rocks is what the park is particularly known for, did you know that this is because iron and mineral deposits stain the rock formations this plethora of different colours?
3. It’s home to a plant that resembles an elephant’s foot
When it comes to flora, the park is a fantastic place to see a special plant that resembles a mini baobab, a bulbous root, or the foot of continental Africa’s largest land mammal… the quirky Elephant’s Foot Plants are in bloom from August to October.
4. It has beautiful natural pools
The Piscine Naturelle is Isalo Park’s most popular natural pool but there are other pools that are less known (and less crowded) but equally as beautiful and refreshing. Perhaps take a dip in the Piscine Noir or the Piscine Bleu instead.
5. It’s rich with history
Look out for sacred burial grounds and even a former royal village, these are remnants of the Bara Tribe a nomadic people who traditionally inhabited the area.
6. It boasts stunning scenery & unique creatures
The park has less fauna than other parks and reserves in Madagascar, here the scenery is what astounds. However, this is a good place to spot interesting smaller creatures like the uniquely patterned Rainbow Frog, or the Mouse Lemur and lots of Praying Mantises are found in the Savannah.
7. It’s a great location to hike through
Isalo National Park has some excellent hiking trails, with varying degrees of ease and fitness levels required, but did you know you can rent mountain bikes and explore these trails on two wheels?