Isalo is like a museum dedicated to the art of the desert canyon. It contains sculpted buttes, vertical rock walls and, best of all, deep canyon floors shot through with streams, lush vegetation and pools for swimming. All of this changes with the light, culminating in extraordinary sunsets beneath a big sky. Add all this to easy access off the RN7 and you understand why this is Madagascar’s most visited park.
At more than 800 sq km, it’s also a large park, so if you want to go off on your own there is plenty of room for exploration, with everything from two-hour to week-long hikes. There's also an excellent chance of spotting ring-tailed lemurs, red-browed brown lemurs and Verreaux's sifaka around the Nemaza campsite.
The park is served by the small town of Ranohira, which contains the MNP Office and most of the cheap hotels and restaurants, while some of the finest resorts in the country extend all along the park’s southern border.
Isalo can get very hot during the day. Bring sunscreen, a hat and enough food and water for your visit.