DAY 8 ISALO
Visit to Isalo National Park. The park covers an area of 81 540 ha comprising of the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is very spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountain.
Today we will walk to the ‘Natural swimming pool’. After a 10-minute drive from Ranohira village we park our car and walk about 1½ hour to reach the Natural Swimming Pool. Along the way we will see vegetation like Uapaca bojeri, Pachypodium rosulatum or “elephant foot”, Aloes isaloensis, a native species of aloes and endemic to Isalo. We walk through the eroded mountains, which are also where the Bara people placed their dead before they can bring them into their real tombs. We start our climb and reach the massid (after 20 minutes’ walk) where we will have a spectacular view of the huge sandstone figures: the tortoise, the mask and the crocodile. We see small streams of water, and rivers which are marked by lines of brilliant green, generally made up of numerous Pandanus pulcher and the delicate, slim-stemmed, feathery leaved palm Chrysalidocarpus isaloensis. Along the way, for lemur lovers, there may be sifakas, brown lemurs and ringtaild lemurs, as well as 55 species of birds, lizards and snakes. We finally reach the swimming pool, with its crystal clear water, which is a great reward after a long and very hot walk. (B)