Friday, April 29, 2016

Isalo National Park



            Isalo National Park is located just outside the town of Ranohira, which is in the south central highlands.  The area, now known as the center of the sapphire trade, is sacred to Bara tribe who use the caves and areas inside the park as burial sites.  The park is known best known for its enormous sandstone formations and canyons, tranquil pools, endemic plants, and lemurs.
            Upon arriving in Ranohira I made the short trek to my hotel in sight of the cliffs of the national park.  The following day we hired a car to take us into the park and with a guide made the day trek through the park.  First walking through the sandstone cliffs where we saw some of the burial sites of the Bara tribe.  The tradition of the tribe is to first put their dead in a cave, which is walled up with stones, for five years.  After this time they exhume the body and move it to their
tomb.
            Making our way to the top of the rock formations we were able to see a panoramic view of a huge area of the park.  We then made our way over a dry grass land, still atop the rock formations to the cliffs over looking the town.  From here we made our way down into the lush rainforest within the rock formations.  Stopping to have lunch we were soon joined by a sifaka and a troop of ring-tailed lemurs who looked on as we ate our lunch.  Afterwards we made our way still further down into the forest till we came across the stream at the bottom.  Following this, we visited a few waterfalls and swimming holes where we took the opportunity to jump in and swim around in the cold refreshing water of the pools. 


















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