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Isalo’s golden sandstone cliffs can be seen rising out of the plains from many miles away.

Isalo National Park

Isalo National Park is home to some of Madagascar’s most stunning scenery, and is a sacred place for the Bara tribe, whose burial sites are marked by mounds of tiny stones placed in crevices in the rock face. Hiking up to the massif, visitors enter a barren wonderland of twisted rock formations and extraordinary plants, shimmering in the heat of the plateau. Squat elephant’s foot plants cling to the rocks, a few dry grasses blow in the wind, and succulent aloes thrive.

Wildlife of Isalo

Verreaux's sifaka, Isalo National ParkWildlife concentrates in the numerous shady gorges and cool running streams that carve through the massif. Deciduous woodland grows in each canyon’s higher levels, and it is here that Isalo’s lemurs are most often found. Brown lemurs feed among the branches, Verreaux’s sifakas leap from rock to rock, and troops of cheeky ringtails wander along the pathways.

Descending deeper into the gorges, only a few shafts of sunlight penetrate to the streams below, and dripping mosses and ferns line the walls. Occasionally the streams become blocked, forming tiny tropical pools among the rocks. The clear air, tumbling waterfalls, and cool water almost defy belief, and make a wonderful respite from a hot day’s hiking on the plateau.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist James

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Isalo National Park by contacting one of our Madagascar specialists

Suggested itinerary featuring Isalo National Park

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Isalo National Park, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Isalo National Park

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Isalo National Park

    Our expert guides to exploring Isalo National Park

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Isalo National Park, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Isalo National Park at its best.

    • Madagascar’s wildlife: A quirk of evolution
      Fossa, Madagascar

      Madagascar’s wildlife: A quirk of evolution

      Madagascar’s wildlife: A quirk of evolution

      Madagascar’s forests shelter so many endemic wildlife species that visiting is like arriving on another planet. Following your guide through the trees, Indris cry overhead while chameleons lie perfectly camouflaged in the undergrowth. Africa specialist Andrew shares his wildlife experiences.

      11 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Isalo National Park

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Isalo National Park. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Isalo National Park

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Isalo National Park, and which use the best local guides.

    • Hiking in Isalo National Park
      Isalo National Park, Madagascar

      Hiking in Isalo National Park

      Hiking in Isalo National Park

      Hiking in Isalo is superb. In the late afternoon your guide may suggest visiting the natural rock window to watch the sunset.

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