Ranohira is located 683 km from Antananarivo and 243 km from Tuléar, on the RN7. Isalo Park, one of the most beautiful of the Big Island is the specificity of this city.
Isalo Park is the main tourist attraction of the region. A few days are necessary to be able to admire in full the park of Isalo which extends on about 81540 ha. The site is ideal for adventurers who wish to trek. The park is an authentic botanical garden evolving in a western setting. Indeed, it is renowned for its impressive canyons carved by erosion and up to 1240m altitude. However, some places on the site are sacred and must be respected. The Bara and Sakalava once resided there and some burials are still sheltered by the rocks.
Despite the western landscape of the park with its rocks and canyons, Isalo is rich in flora and fauna, the majority of which are endemic. There are 77 species of birds of which 70% are endemic, 15 species of amphibians and 33 species of reptiles. Visiting the park will allow you to admire the Pseudi Cossyphus Bensoni, known as Benson's Merle, a species of endemic bird that is found only in Isalo. The park is also a reserve for lemurs: makis, sifaka, brown lemurs, etc., live there. The flora includes aloe, spiny, palm trees and many species of medicinal plants. Pachypodiums rosulatum, also called "elephant's feet" and the endemic species aloe isaloensis, are sure to seduce you.
Many circuits are proposed to admire each site of the park. The most athletic should not miss the Monkey and Rats Canyon. This wide canyon is home to a magnificent turquoise waterfall. The site offers a panoramic view of the rainforest, cliffs and rice fields. The bamboo and palm forests are lush. This site favors the observation of lemurs in the park, especially the sifakas, ring-tailed lemurs.
One of the most beautiful excursions to Isalo is the exploration of the cave of the Portuguese or Teniky cave. The site opens on a splendid landscape, unique in the region. It is a cave built by Portuguese sailors during the 16th century. The course is rather sporty but allows to admire beautiful landscapes, archaeological sites, forests sheltering all kinds of species of birds, lemurs and endemic plants.
The Namaza canyon is a difficult site to access but your efforts will be rewarded by a superb panoramic view of the forest, the mysterious waterfall Nymphes and the "black pool". The canyon is home to some lemurs, birds, lizards, butterflies, etc. Nearby is a natural swimming pool. A swim in this natural setting is very nice. Calm and serenity reign in this site. Admiring the sunset at the Isalo Window is a step not to be missed to end the day in style. Indeed, the massif of Isalo, carved naturally in the form of window, opens on a fabulous decoration. A landscape of deserted valleys extends on the horizon.
A detour into the city of Ranohira is perfect for those who love discoveries and pretty sporty courses. The national park of Isalo brings together in a place different scenery: desert landscapes worthy of Westerns, savannah landscapes, dry tropical forests and humid.
Tips for getting to Isalo National Park
Spread over more than one hundred kilometers in a north-south direction, the Isalo National Park is one of the jewels of Malagasy tourism. For those planning to visit, we have a list of practical tips.
Covering an area of 81,540 hectares, the park is located in the municipality of Ranohira. At 80 kilometers from Ihosy and 279 kilometers from Fianarantsoa, this is a must-see on National Highway 7.
The length of the road from the capital which is 683 kilometers from the park deserves a good night's rest. In the vicinity of Ranohira, the town closest to the park, hotels offer various offers.
The best option would be an establishment with a view of the massif to enjoy the landscape.
Some establishments have a Malagasy art gallery. It takes a good day to visit the park through the course of your choice.
In high season, the queue is long at the park office in Ranohira, so it would be necessary to make the necessary arrangements. With the climate rather warm, it is advisable to have a bottle of mineral water on hand. In Madagascar, access to national parks and reserves must be accompanied by a local guide. No need to rush to the first comer, the choice of a good guide is essential to discover the park. To do this, simply engage in conversation and ask general questions about the area, for example. A good guide will inform you about the direction to take near a sacred site. Absolutely to put in your luggage, your swimsuit for swimming in the park's natural pools. To be expected also, walking shoes, a product to protect against insects and a sunscreen. A raincoat is essential if the stay is scheduled between November and April, the rainy season. For those who wish to camp, because of the cool nights in the park, warm clothes are also useful.