Isalo National Park (Parc National Isalo)

#7 in Best Things To Do in Madagascar
Isalo National Park (Parc National Isalo) picture
Dave Stamboulis Travel Photography/Getty Images

Details

Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Isalo National Park woos visitors with its vertical rock walls, lush vegetation and picturesque waterfalls. Throughout this tropical paradise, travelers can hunt for reptiles and primates – there are more than 50 species living here – while strolling along 10 walking, hiking and bike trails. Some paths even lead to natural swimming pools, where you can cool off while taking in your surroundings.

Previous visitors had mixed feelings about Isalo National Park. While some described it as Madagascar's best national park, others felt it was too expensive. But if you can pay the park's 65,000 Malagasy ariary ($20) entrance fee and roughly 4,000 to 113,000 Malagasy ariary (or $1 to $36) to explore one of its paths during a guided tour, past travelers said you'll be rewarded with "stunning" views of an "incredibly beautiful" area.

You'll find Isalo National Park in southern Madagascar between the towns of Ilakaka and Ranohira. Getting to the park will require driving or joining an organized tour from companies like Kensington Tours, G Adventures and Intrepid Travel. Rates for multiday tours – accommodations and select meals included – start at $2,039 per person. Isalo National Park is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and tickets can be purchased from the on-site reception counter or the Analamanga Regional Tourist Office in Antaninarenina. Available facilities include a campsite, restrooms and several picnic areas. For more information, visit the Isalo National Park page on the Madagascar National Parks website.

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More Best Things To Do in Madagascar

Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve1 of 9
Avenue of the Baobabs2 of 9
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve

Situated along Madagascar's west coast, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is home to impressive geological structures and a variety of endangered species. More than 328 miles of forests make up this UNESCO World Heritage site, where 11 kinds of lemurs, 17 types of reptiles, 6 bird species and more reside. But the standout here is the park's towering gray limestone pinnacles, which stand up to 328 feet tall.

Past visitors said Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is a "must-see adventure" that's "definitely worth the drive." Although the locale can be a bit challenging to traverse – some former travelers reported crawling through tight gaps and lots of climbing – many described the views from the top of the pinnacles as "spectacular."

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