Isalo National Park & Zombitse National Park

Isalo National Park

The combination of sandstone rocks cut by deep canyons and eroded into spectacular shapes and rare endemic plants, makes Isalo one of Madagascar’s most appreciated parks. For botanists there are Pachypodium plants and locally endemic Aloe; and for lemur lovers there are Sifakas, Brown Lemurs and Ring Tails. Isalo is also sacred to the Bara tribe; for hundreds of years they have used caves in the canyon walls as burial sites. A full day of guided walking in the park will allow you to explore one of Madagascar's most diverse parks. Very different to the lush tropical vegetation in the east, Isalo's attraction is its vast rolling plains interspersed with stunning rock formations. Wildlife is not as dense as in other parks but look out for Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Brown Lemurs, Sifakas and 14 nocturnal lemur species hiding in dense vegetation along the streams.  There are also 80 species of bird (including the rare Benson’s Rock-Thrush, the Knob-Billed Duck or the Crested Ibis), 35 species of reptiles and several endemic frogs.  Your guide will offer you a variety of possible trails depending on your interests and physical abilities. A popular trail is the ‘Canyon des Singes’ which winds through the dense foliage of the forest and brilliantly colored rock formations to reach a stunning rock pool known as the ‘piscine naturelle’.

Zombitse National Park

Zombitse National Park is a 36,300 hectare transition forest between the western and the southern habitat types, rich in biodiversity. The park is outstanding for birdwatchers as it offers the chance to glimpse one of Madagascar’s rarest endemics, Appert’s Greenbul, which is confined to this forest. Other bird species include the Giant Coua and Crested Coua.