Visit Isalo National Park, Madagascar
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
Wildlife 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 amongst 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 amongst 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.
Suggested Isalo National Park itinerary
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
- Eastern Madagascar 12 miles away
- Ambalavao 116 miles away
- Ifaty 119 miles away
- Central & Southern Madagascar 119 miles away
- Anakao 131 miles away
- The Remote West of Madagascar 157 miles away
- The Southern Tip of Madagascar 159 miles away
- Ranomafana National Park 163 miles away
- Ifotaka Community Forest 165 miles away
- Andohahela National Park 178 miles away
- Berenty Reserve 182 miles away
- Manafiafy 195 miles away
- Fort Dauphin 202 miles away
- Antsirabe 216 miles away
- The Islands & Beaches of Madagascar 253 miles away
- Antananarivo 289 miles away
Photos of Isalo National Park
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.
Staying here is a real delight. The food is good, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the setting is one of the best we've seen in Madagascar.
Most guests come to Jardin du Roy for only one or two nights to visit the park, but if you're keen to ride, or simply relax in beautiful surroundings, it's certainly worth a longer stay.
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 is superb. In the late afternoon your guide may suggest visiting the natural rock window to watch the sunset.